How to Optimize Hard Drive in Windows 11/10/8/7?

Normal use of a computer causes disk fragment over time, requiring you to optimize hard drive in time. This article aims to tell you how to optimize a hard drive with Windows built-in features and a third-party disk optimization tool.


By Hedy / Updated on May 12, 2023

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What does it mean to optimize your hard drive?

It's a common phenomenon to find that the computer is slowing down during usage. It takes a longer time to boot the PC, open applications, and load programs. Then, you will be reminded of insufficient memory space or low disk space. That is where hard drive optimization comes in.

The action to optimize hard drive is a process that consolidates the free space on your hard disk to make your computer run faster through various ways including but not limited to removing junk files, uninstalling unused programs, moving folders to a different drive, etc. After optimization, your disks and drives can work more efficiently and run more smoothly. To know more specific steps, scroll down to the next part.

How to optimize hard drive performance?

How to optimize a hard drive on a Windows computer? Windows contains several built-in programs to perform this important operation. The following content will show you two ways to optimize hard drive and improve the performance of your PC.

▌ Method 1. Defragment your hard disk

File fragment is one of the factors leading to poor performance on hard disk drive because it needs more time to read the scattered data. Thus, you can defrag HDD to re-arrange discontinuous data on sectors to shorten the read and write time. Here is how to defragment your hard drive manually in Windows 10.

Tip: Defragmenting SSDs is not a good idea. It will damage the disk performance and even shorten the lifespan of drives. To optimize a solid-state drive, you can align 4K partitions or securely erase SSD.

Step 1. Input "defragment and optimize drives" on the taskbar, then press "Enter".


Step 2. In the new pop-out window, select the target drive and click "Optimize" to defrag it.


If you find system hard disk drive needs optimization but won't defrag, don't worry, try other alternative ways to get better disk performance.

▌ Method 2. Enable Write Caching

Write caching is a good way to improve performance by using the volatile memory (RAM) to collect write commands sent to a storage device. Here is how to optimize hard drive by enabling write caching.

Step 1. Press "Windows" + "R" to open a "Run" window. Type devmgmt.msc, and then click "OK" to open Device Manager.

Step 2. Choose your hard drive from the "Disk Drives" option in the left menu.


Step 3. Right-click on the target hard drive and then click "Properties".


Step 4. In the Properties menu, click "Policies". Tick "Better performance (default)" and click "OK".


Switch to a disk optimization tool - optimize hard drive easily

To optimize hard drive easily and more effectively, turning to an expert hard drive optimizer is a wise choice. There are many disk optimization tools around you. Here we recommend you try AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional which has enjoyed a good reputation in the market for more than 10 years.

As for hard drive optimization, the functions in this software develop from basic to advanced, optimizing your disks to different degrees.

★ Free up space: In order to take good use of every space on the disks, you can use the "PC Cleaner" feature to remove all kinds of junk files from your computer, delete large files that are rarely used, or move programs and files to another drive.
 Increase system partition: You can create a friendly environment for OS by enlarging the system partition size. AOMEI software offers various features to help you make it, such as "Resize partition" with adjacent unallocated space and "Merge Partitions" with non-adjacent unallocated space.
★ Optimize disk: This software is also a disk defragger. You can set a detailed disk defragment schedule on your own and the fragment task will be performed at a specific time.
★ Upgrade hard drive: If your hard drive has some irreversible damage, you can replace it with a new one to gain a fresh start. And the best way is to clone your old hard drive to the new one via AOMEI Partition Assistant, the best disk cloning utility for Windows OS.

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1. Extend C drive

The easiest way to extend C drive is to allocate free space from another drive with enough space to C drive. And the steps are very simple, you can finish it in only three clicks.

Step 1. Install and open AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional and find the drive with enough free space like D drive. Right-click it and choose the button "Allocate Free Space".


Step 2. You can set the size you want to allocate and choose the destination drive you want to add, here is C drive.


Step 3. Click "Apply" > "Proceed" to commit the operation.


2. Upgrade to SSD

SSD has more benefits when compared with HDD. Thus, it's highly recommended to select an SSD as the new disk to hold all your programs, configuration, and files on the old drive.

Step 1. Open AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Go to "Clone" and "Clone Disk".


Step 2. In the "Select Disk Clone Method" window, choose "Clone Disk Quickly" which will clone only used space to another disk.


Step 3. Select your slow hard drive as the source disk and click "Next".


Step 4. Then select your new SSD as the destination disk and click "Next". Remember to tick "Optimize the performance of SSD" to make SSD 4K alignment.


Step 5. Then, you are allowed to resize the partitions on the new drive. Select the one you like and click "Next".


Step 6. After reading a note, click "Finish" and then click "Apply" to commit the operation.



That's all about how to optimize hard drive in Windows computers. If you want to make hard drive optimization easier and more efficient, don't miss AOMEI Partition Assistant. It's such a good helper in speeding up your computer that every user can get started soon.

By the way, if you wish to optimize hard drive on a Windows Server PC, you can run and use the Server edition.

Hedy · Staff Editor
Hedy is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is very good at solving problems of partition management, and she wants to share all the problems she had already solved to users who met the same questions.