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De-fragment Your HDD

Running out of space? Don’t fret, de-fragging the Hard Drive of your computer is a spooky sounding yet simple process to clear up some space.

Please note that if you have a SSD(Solid State Drive) you should OPTIMIZE rather than DEFRAG due to the way the drives work, DE-FRAGGING a SSD will hurt and decrease the lifespan of the drive.

Step One

We need to open up the built in De-fragging tool in Windows.

To do this, we first open the start menu(pressing the keyboard’s windows key is quick). From here you can simply type “defrag”. Windows may take a second to search through everything, but once done, under “Best Match” you should see a option that says “Defragment and Optimize Drives”. Select it and let’s head to the next step!

Step Two
If you’re going to defrag a HDD and want to get a estimate on how worthwhile it will be, you can click “Analyze” to see how much space you can save by de-fragging. If you’re certain you’ve got the time, go ahead and press “Optimize”, this process can take quite a while depending on the size, speed, and usage of the drive. Fortunately, the Windows built in application automatically detects whether or not the drive it is Optimizing is a HDD versus a SSD. Thus Optimizing SSDs with this tool is safe.

Sidenote: It’s typically not best practice to “Optimize” or “Defrag” a drive containing archive files like the ones Paragon Backup uses. This is because one of the primary functions of de-fragging is to move files, which is potentially hazardous to more sensitive and imperative files.

Optional Step
Windows allows, and typically sets up, scheduled de-fragging and optimizations. You can Set-up/Modify these schedules by selecting “Change settings” and using the window below to add/remove schedules.

Updated on April 13, 2018

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