How Often Should I Defrag My HDD?
How often should I defrag my HDD? Defrag HDD can improve its performance but how often to do it? Find all you need about defragment in this post.
You might hear of fragmentation and defragmentation, but how do they affect your HDD and the performance of your computer?
First, let’s figure out how fragmentation affects your devices.
HDDs store information on magnetic disks and read it with reading/writing heads. For the first time, only the new hard disk can store files in succession. Files are spread and stored at different areas on the entire disk as time passes, rather than being stored in continuous clusters of the disk. Then the fragments are raised.
Due to the working way of HDD, if the user needs to access a program, then the reading/writing heads will require a longer time to search the target files. So your HDD will waste more time to allow your computer to launch the programs, and the computer will be slower.
Defrag is a simple way to maintain your HDD in a nice status compared with other tech tricks. It can rearrange the separated files in orderly to reduce the seeking time of your HDD. Therefore, it can improve the performance of your HDD and your computer and decrease the loading time.
Regular defrag will help your HDD keep healthy, if you are a personal user, you can defrag your HDD once every 3 months; if you use your computer every day and over 8 hours, you could defrag once every two weeks. According to the working situation, we recommend defragging once a month for commercial, enterprise, and government customers.
To defrag your HDD, you need to use defrag applications. You can choose Windows built-in tool or specific defragment software.
Windows has a built-in application to satisfy users’ needs, it’s called “Defragment and Optimize Drives”. You can use it to defrag your drives when you feel your computer becomes a little slow. We advise you to end all running programs when you’re going to defrag your drives, otherwise, it might cause data loss and your programs might be frozen.
Step 1. Type “Defragment” in the search box, and open the “Defragment and Optimize Drives” app.
Step 2. In the “Optimize Drives” window, click “Change settings” to open the settings of the schedule.
Step 3. After clicking the “Change settings”, in the new window, select the “Frequency” and the drives you wish to defragment regularly.
As we mentioned above, the process of defrag will affect your use, but “Defragment and Optimize Drives” doesn’t give you more details to set a clear defrag schedule. So, if you need a better defrag schedule, you can turn to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. This disk manager has a “Disk Defrag” feature to help users defrag their drives, and the schedule settings are more user-friendly.
Besides the defrag frequency and assigning specific drives, users can select the exact date, day, time. What’s more, in the defrag conditions, you are allowed to set fragment rate, the idle time of your computer to avoid the program starts when you’re using your machine.
Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro, select the target disk or partition, and choose “Disk Defrag” from the right pane.
Step 2. In the pop window, you can see all your used drives. Because we need to set a schedule, you need to click the button “Schedule”, but you can also directly defrag the disk or partition if you need.
Step 3. In the schedule settings, you can select drives, and the time mode to defrag the target drives.
Step 4. Click “Conditions”, you can set the rate of fragmentation to trigger the schedule to defrag your disk. And there are other options to help you make a detailed schedule. Click “OK” to save all settings.
The defrag schedule won’t be affected if you defrag your drives during the schedule.
SSD is now gradually surrogate HDD because of its advantages such as faster speed, reliability, lower consumption… If you’re using an SSD, we don’t suggest you defrag it. That might hurt the lifespan of your SSD.
SSD has other ways to keep a nice performance in your computer, here we show 2 common methods.
1. “Trim” feature
Trim orders are like defragment in HDD. It can help SSD run garbage collection regularly to decrease the erasing times. You can enable it via CMD.
Step 1. Press “Windows” + “R” and type CMD to open it.
Step 2. Type: “fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify” to check the Trim feature is on or off.
DisableDeleteNotify = 0 : TRIM is already available and working in Windows
DisableDeleteNotify = 1 : TRIM is not available
Step 3. If it’s not available, please type: "fsutil behavior set DisableDeleteNotify" and press “Enter”. Then the Trim feature is enabled.
2. 4K alignment
In simple terms, 4K alignment is to allow the hard disk to start writing from an accurate initial position, to minimize the probability of data being "split" on the hard disk, which can effectively improve performance and extend the life of the disk.
AOMEI Partition Assistant also has a “Partition Alignment” to help SSD users. The operation is simple.
Step 1. Right-click SSD partition, choose “Advanced” and “Partition Alignment”.
Step 2. In the new window, choose the partition sector to align. We strongly recommend you to use “4096 Sector” (normally we know it as SSD 4K alignment).
Step 3. Click on “Apply” on the upper left of the screen to start the alignment.
If you’re not sure how often to defrag HDD, now you can set a defrag schedule for your devices. AOMEI Partition Assistant can help Windows 11/10/8/8.1/7/XP/Vista users manage their disks easily and safely, whether they are HDDs or SSDs. If you’re a Windows Server user, it can also help you. Just choose AOMEI Partition Assistant Server, it supports Server 2022/2019/2016/2012(R2)/2008(R2).
Besides the maintenance assistant we mentioned in this post, it also has “Migrate OS to SSD/HDD”, “Convert to GPT/MBR”, “Clone Disk/Partition” functions…