How to Defragment Hard Disk on Windows 8 for Free?

How to defragment hard disk on Windows 8? Generally, there’re 2 ways to get it done. Use Windows built-in defragmenter or try another more powerful third-party freeware.


By Michael / Updated on May 12, 2023

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My PC on Windows 8 is really slow

“I have just upgraded my OS from Windows 7 to Windows 8 but I found the computer was still way too slow, always taking several seconds to respond. I heard that this could be caused by hard disk fragmentation so I’m wondering whether there is a way to defrag it? Since I’m a novice in computing, knowing little about computing technology, can anybody tell me where I can find the Windows built-in defragmenter and how to use it?”

Why defragment hard disk on Windows 8?

On Windows 8, disk fragmentation occurs when files or pieces of files get scattered throughout your hard disks which usually causes poor disk performance and overall system degradation. For example, suppose you’re downloading a 300MB game demo.

However, your hard disk doesn’t have 300MB of contiguous open space handy. In this case, Windows 8 decides to save 50MB in one cluster, 120MB in another, and the rest in a third open space. When it’s time to install the demo and run the file, Windows 8 automatically pulls the right data from these distinct clusters on your hard disks and reassembles the pieces into the original file and this can literally take a long time.

Defragging or defragmenting a hard disk on Windows 8 is somehow putting those separate files together in contiguous clusters. Thus, both read and write speed get improved and the overall performance of your PC get boosted up.

2 free ways to defragment hard disk on Windows 8

How to defrag Windows 8? After learning the definition of both fragmentation and defragmentation, it’s time to learn to defragment hard disk on Windows 8. Actually, there is an inbuilt defrag program on Windows that you can access easily. However, if you’re not so satisfied with this tool or you encounter any error when using it, you can also turn to another even more powerful third-party software utility for help. Both tutorials have been provided below. Please read on.

1. Many files have been added.
2. Only around 15% of available disk space left.
3. A new program or a new version of OS is installed.
4. Fragmentation is over 15%.

Way 1. Use Windows built-in defragmenter

Windows comes with its own defragmenter that you can use for free. If you still have no idea where to find it and how to run disk defragmenter on Windows 8, this is your best chance.


1. In the search box on the lower left of the desktop, type “defrag”.

2. Then, in the popup results, select “Defragment and Optimize Drives”.

3. Select the drive to defrag and click on “Analyze”.

4. When the analysis is finished, check whether fragmentation of it is over 15%.

5. Hit “Optimize” to start the defragmentation.

Way 2. Try third-party disk management software utility

“Defragment and Optimize Drives” is indeed useful when your PC is running slow. However, people sometimes complain that this program can’t be opened at all. To fix the error, here, I recommend another more functional alternative to defragment hard disk Windows 8 – AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. It helps score each disk to give you reference and defrag disks more quickly and thoroughly. More than powerful defragmentation, Partition Assistant also allows its users to format disk when PC is running slow or wipe a hard drive.

If you're still wondering how to defragment hard disk on Windows 8 for free, now, you can try the best Windows defragmenter of AOMEI to get it done easily!

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Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. Then, right-click on the target disk and select “Disk Defrag”.

disk defrag

Step 2. Tick the target disk and hit “Analyze”.


Step 3. After the analysis is completed, the disk will be scored based on its fragmentation rate.

Step 4. Launch the defragmentation by hitting the “Defrag” button.


Wait a few minutes before it’s done. When the process is completed, the disk will be scored again.

How to defrag an SSD?

Honestly speaking, an SSD won’t need to be defragmented due to the different working principles of SSD and HDD. Defragging an SSD will cause unnecessary tear and wear and thus, reduce the lifespan of the hard drive. However, if you do want to optimize an SSD, boosting up its performance, AOMEI Partition Assistant offers a practical workaround – SSD 4K alignment. But beforehand, you must upgrade the freeware to the Pro edition.


With the professional edition of this AOMEI product, you can schedule defrag your hard drives as well to make the defrag run daily, weekly, or monthly.


In this post, you learned 2 proper ways to defragment hard disk in Windows 8 – using Windows built-in “Defragment and Optimize Drives” or third-party disk manager AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. As for me, the latter one literally helped me out when the former one wouldn’t work. Meanwhile, by comparison, the latter one is also faster in speed and more efficient in defragmentation. In the final part of the post, you’ve also learnt the way to optimize an SSD instead of defragmentation – SSD 4K alignment. To use this, a Pro edition of Partition Assistant is required. However, if you want to use the software on Servers, please try the Server edition.

Michael · Staff Editor
Michael is a professinal editor of AOMEI editor team.