How to Defragment your Hard Drive on Windows 10?

Optimizing Drive Performance: A Guide to Defragmenting Hard Disks on Windows 10

Over time, as you use your computer, files can get scattered or fragmented across your hard drive. This scattering of pieces of files can lead to a drop in system performance. Thankfully, Windows, from its earlier versions like Windows 7 and 8.1 to the latest Windows 10, has consistently provided a native tool to remedy this. By defragmenting your hard drive, you can efficiently reorganize the scattered data, optimizing drive performance and ensuring smoother operations. If you’ve been noticing your Windows 10 PC lagging or your hard drive performing sluggishly, it might be time to give defragmentation a shot. In this risewindows guide, we’ll walk you through the simple steps to defragment your hard drive on Windows 10, helping you maintain optimal system performance.

What is Defragmentation?

Over time, files stored on your hard disk can become fragmented, meaning the blocks of data that constitute these files get scattered in different locations across the disk. This phenomenon is known as fragmentation. To address this, defragmentation rearranges these blocks so they’re positioned contiguously, which can enhance disk read times and overall system performance. Yet, with the advancements in modern computing, defragmentation isn’t as imperative as it once was. For instance, Windows 10 already manages defragmentation automatically for its internal mechanical drives. Furthermore, solid-state drives (SSDs) don’t benefit from defragmentation, so the process is unnecessary for them.

While Windows 10 takes care of internal drives, if you’re using external hard drives, especially those connected via USB, it’s a different story. These drives might not always be connected when Windows triggers its routine defragmentation, leaving them potentially fragmented. Therefore, occasionally checking and manually defragmenting external hard drives can be beneficial to ensure they operate at peak efficiency.

How to Defragment Your Hard Disk on Windows 10?

Follow these steps to defragment your Hard Disk on Windows 10:-

Step 1. First, click on the Start button and type defragment.

Step 2. Now, click the “Defragment and Optimize Drives” from the available search results to open up the Optimize Devices window.

The system will display a list of all eligible drives on your computer, including external and internal hard drives, that can be optimized and defragmented. Please note that if you don’t see any HDD on the list, it may be because Windows 10 can only optimize drives formatted in the NTFS file system. Additionally, hard drives that are formatted as exFAT will not be included in the list.

Step 3. Then, if the disk needs optimizing and defragmenting, you will see a percentage complete progress indicator in the Current Status column. To defrag any disk, select the partition and click on the Optimize button.

Step 4. After that, to reschedule the automatic defrag, click on the Change settings button.

Step 5. Next, select the frequency between Daily, Weekly, and Monthly; then click on the Choose button to select the disk drive which you want to defrag automatically.

Step 6. Then, once you make the appropriate changes, click on the OK button.

Puran Defrag, IObit Smart Defrag, DiskTuna, and UltraDefrag are free applications specially built for defragging Windows PCs. You can opt for any if you prefer to use a third-party tool to defrag your HDD.


Defragmenting your hard disk can significantly boost your system’s performance by reorganizing the scattered blocks of data. Windows 10, with its native defragmentation tool, ensures that users can efficiently optimize their internal and external hard drives. Although Windows automatically takes care of internal mechanical drives, it’s essential to occasionally check external hard drives to ensure they aren’t left fragmented. For those who are keen on exploring third-party solutions, several free applications like Puran Defrag, IObit Smart Defrag, DiskTuna, and UltraDefrag are available to further enhance the defragmentation process. By regularly optimizing your drives, you’re not only ensuring smooth system operations but also prolonging the lifespan of your hard disk.


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