How to Defragment Your Hard Drive

For anyone unsure about what fragmentation actually is, it's a process that makes the hard disk carry out additional work that may end up slowing down your computer. A removable storage device such as a USB flash drive can also become fragmented.

The Disk Defragmenter feature on your computer is designed to rearrange fragmented data such that drives and disks are able to work in a more efficient manner. Disk Defragmenter has been designed to run on a schedule, although it is also possible to defragment and analyze drives and disks manually. Below is a step by step guide on how to do this.

  1. Click the Start button to open the Disk Defragmenter. Type Disk Defragmenter in the search box and then click Disk Defragmenter in the results list.
  2. Select the disk that you wish to defragment under "Current" status.
  3. In order to figure out whether or not the disk requires defragmenting, click "Analyze Disk." Should you be prompted for a confirmation or administrator password, simply provide confirmation or type your password in. Once Windows has finished its analysis of the disk, you may check the Last Run column for the percentage of fragmentation on the disk. In the event that this number is higher than 10 per cent, you will need to defragment your disk.
  4. Click on "Defragment disk." Should you be prompted for a confirmation or administrator password, simply provide confirmation or type in your password.

Depending on the degree of defragmentation and size of the hard disk, it may take from a couple of minutes to several hours for the Disk Defragmenter to complete. It is possible to continue using the computer during the process of defragmentation.