How To Defragment Hard Drives In Windows 11

Improving Your Computer’s Performance With Defragmentation

If your computer has been a bit slow and lagging lately, hard drive defragmentation might be the solution. It’s really worth a try. This process in general optimizes your hard drive for a better performance, because of faster files access as it rearranges them, expedited boot times, as it eliminates the need for the system to search for scattered file fragments during startup, and reduced system slowdowns.

Before the procedure, it’s important to know that there are two primary types of hard drives, the solid-state drive (SSD) and the hard disk drive (HDD). Defragmentation is mostly for HDDs, with their spinning platters and moving read/write heads, they are susceptible to file fragmentation, which can significantly slow down data access, so regular defragmentation is often recommended. In contrast, SSDs, composed of non-moving NAND flash memory, have no mechanical limitations on data access speed, making file fragmentation far less impactful. As a result, SSDs do not require routine defragmentation, and in fact, excessive defragmentation can contribute to unnecessary wear and tear on these drives.

So, here’s how to defragment your hard drive in Windows 11:

Step 1: Access the Optimize Drives Tool

  • Open Start Menu: Click on the “Start” button (Windows logo) at the bottom left corner of your screen.
  • Search for Optimize Drives: Type “Optimize Drives” in the search bar and press “Enter.” This action will launch the Optimize Drives tool.

Step 2: Choose the Drive to Optimize

  • Select a Drive: In the Optimize Drives window, you’ll find a list of drives on your system. You can also click on “Advanced View” to be able to see a complete list of your drives. Choose the drive you wish to optimize by clicking on it.
  • Analyze the Drive: Click the “Analyze” button to assess the drive’s fragmentation status and receive recommendations based on its condition. As you can see in the image above, the “Analyze” button is grayed out because we have an SSD. As mentioned earlier, they do not really need defragmentation as much as HDDs, but optimization can still be performed if needed.

Step 3: Initiate Optimization

  • Start Optimization: If the analysis suggests optimization is needed, click the “Optimize” button. If the drive is already optimized, the button might indicate “No optimization needed.”
  • Wait for Completion: As the optimization process starts, a progress indicator will appear. The duration depends on the drive’s size and level of fragmentation. You can use your computer during this period, but resource-intensive tasks should be avoided.
This is how it looks like in an SSD, and it happens really fast. It finished in a matter of seconds.

Step 4: Review the Results

  • View Summary: Once optimization concludes, a summary of results will be displayed. This will outline the drive’s condition before and after the process.
  • Close the Window: Click “Close” to exit the Optimize Drives tool.

Step 5: Regular Maintenance. For sustained performance, consider running the Optimize Drives tool periodically, especially after substantial software changes or if you notice sluggishness.

  • In the lower portion of the Optimize Drives window, there is an option for scheduled optimization. Click on “Turn on”.
  • Choose your preferred schedule in the dropdown arrow, then click “OK”.
  • You can also choose the drives that you want to be automatically optimized. On the same window as above, click on the “Choose” button beside Drives. A new window will come up, and once the specific drive is chosen, click on “OK”. You can also opt to include new drives in the automatic schedule by making sure that button is checked, as shown in the image below.
  • Done! This is how the window will look like if the scheduled optimization is on.

That’s it. Make sure to optimize your hard drives regularly if you have not scheduled it.

Beginner’s Step-by-Step Coding Course: Learn Computer Programming the Easy Way (DK Complete Courses)
EXCEL CRASH COURSE: The Ultimate Guide to Master Microsoft Excel from Zero to Expert in 7 Days.
Microsoft Office 365 for Beginners: 9 in 1. The Most Comprehensive Guide to Become a Pro in No Time

You may also like...