How to Defragment C Drive on Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7

You are going to learn how to defragment C drive on Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7 with two powerful defragment utilities from here, and some basic defragment knowledge will be mentioned too.


By Dervish / Updated on May 12, 2023

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About defragment - what you should know


When we first store data on the hard disk, all data is arranged in order on the sectors of the hard disk. But a problem happen when data is repeatedly deleted and rewritten: the later written data will fill the sector of the deleted data first, and if this sector is not enough, the remaining data will look for another sector. In this way, a complete data is stored on discontinuous sectors, thus creating fragment. Excessive disk fragmentation can make your PC slow because it causes the disk to take longer to search for data.

Why we should defragment C drive?


Defragment C drive is actually a way to speed up computer. Because defragment is the re-arrangement of discontinuous data on sectors. In this way, when Windows read the data, the search time is shortened and the speed is accelerated.

▶ Is it safe to defragment C drive?

Defragment C drive is absolutely safe as it will not delete any data on the disk. Its purpose is only to organize the data, change the address of the data from discontinuous to continuous, and speed up the search for data.

Warning: Defragment C drive is absolutely safe only for HDD. If you're using an SSD, then you shouldn't defragment it. Because HDD and SSD work differently, doing so will shorten SSD lifespan.

▶ How long does defragment C drive take?

Defragment C drive can take a few minutes to hours to complete. It depends on the size of the C drive and how fragmented it is. However, you can still use your computer during the defragment process.

How do I defragment C drive on Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7?

To defragment C drive on HDD, you need to use a defragmenting application. This section will introduce you to two reliable tools, you can choose one according to your needs.

Way 1. Defragment and Optimize Drives

Windows 11, 10, 8, 7 have a built-in disk defrag tool. If you want to use this, you can refer to the following steps:

Step 1. Type "defragment" in the search box, then select “Defragment and Optimize Drives” and open it.

Step 2. You will see the “Optimize Drives” window. In this window, you can see all drives and Current status on your computer.

Optimize Drive

Step 3. Select the drive to be defragmented.


Step 4. You can click “Optimize” to defragment the target drive.


Wait for a while and the defragment will complete. You can also click "Change Setting" to set the disk defragment to be performed automatically on a daily, weekly or monthly.


Way 2. Defragment C drive with defragment software

Some users will complain that they cannot defragment C drive in Windows 10 or 7 because the Defragment and Optimize Drives won't open or not working. But if you use the AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, you don't have to worry about it at all.

This is an all-in-one disk management software that is able to decide on which clock and under what conditions you should defragment PC. In addition to cleaning up fragmented files for you, it also provides 4 ways to wipe the hard drive to get back to peak performance. If your C drive is an SSD, you can also boost Windows performance with SSD 4K alignment.

Download Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Please download the Demo Version to see how to defragment C drive in Windows 7, 8, 10, and 11.

Step 1. Install and start AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, right-click the target drive and select the "Disk Defrag" function.

Disk Defragment

Step 2. Click “Schedule” in the window.


Step 3. Now, you can select the drive, and the time to defragment the target drive, you will have 5 options about the time.

Choose Scheduel

Step 4. Check “Conditions” and click “Define”, you can set the fragmentation rate to trigger a schedule to defragment the disk. And there are “minutes” of idle time, this is to ensure that programs don't harm other programs' data. Click “OK” to save all settings.


Note: Pro Version supports Windows 11/10/8/8.1/7/XP/Vista users, Windows Server users please switch to AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.

Further tips: How often should you defragment C drive?

Defragmenting your computer (especially the C drive) helps organize the data on your hard drive and greatly improves its performance. If your computer is running slower than before, it may be caused by fragmented files on the hard drive.

Do you know how often you should defragment your computer? In general, you should perform defragment at least once a month, especially if the disk fragmented is more than 10%. Although, defragment will not cause any damage to the HDD. But with frequent defragment, it probably won't help.

Dervish · Staff Editor
Dervish is an English editor of AOMEI Technology; He is delicated to offering users easy and effecitve solutions for issuses related to disks and partitoins. In his spare time, he enjoy wathcning films, playing footable, traveling and so on.