When people hear the phrase “my computer is lagging” they often say “try defragmenting the hard drive”. This process used to be one of the most important methods of improving the performance of a computer and increasing the read or write speed on the hard drive But times have changed and today this is not so important. When should you defragment your hard drive in Windows 11? IIs it better to use the built-in utility or a third-party tool? Is it really necessary to carry out this operation in your case? All of these questions are answered in the following guide.
What is Disk Defragmentation in Windows 11 and what is it good for?
Die defragmentation is a process of rearranging the hard drive. Its main task is to group the different parts of a file into contiguous memory areas in order to avoid empty or otherwise used spaces. This problem is called “fragmentation” and it occurs when a file is split into different parts and distributed throughout the file system on the hard drive.
That’s because the operating system failed to save the entire file in adjacent slots. In the quickest way, it fragments them and spreads the parts that it couldn’t save with the rest to free space on the hard drive. As users add and delete files, fragmentation increases and many small pieces of files are scattered all over the hard drive.
Fragmentation means that read and write performance drops, since the hard drive has to travel longer physical distances to read a complete file. This affects the overall speed and stability of the computer.
Die Defragmentation in Windows 11 tries to unify files and place them in contiguous areas to make them easier to read. Of course, over time, the files will become fragmented again. Defragmentation is therefore part of the regular maintenance that should be performed on a PC.
Is it necessary to defragment your PC’s hard drive?
Now that you know exactly what defragmentation is and why it’s so important, you might be wondering if you really should defragment your computer. For that you should know that this is only necessary if you have a mechanical hard drive or an HDD. If your computer only has one SSD, it is no need to defragment themn. If you force defragmentation there with a third-party tool (Windows does not allow defragmentation with its native application), you can damage the SSD storage drive.
But even if your computer has a Solid State Drive (SSD), we recommend that you continue reading, because here we also explain how to optimize ssd drives in windows 11.
How to open defrag tool in Windows 11: all methods
Before we explain how you defrag your hard drive or optimize your computer’s SSD let’s look at the different ways you can access the native Windows tool.
From Windows 11 Search
Use the Windows search as follows to find the defrag tool:
Access to the defragmentation function via the search
- Enter the search using the Windows + S keyboard shortcut.
- Tip Defragment.
- Select the first result to enter the drive optimization utility.
From the system settings
It is also possible to use the native application via the Windows system settings to open.
Open Disk Defragmenter from System Preferences
just go to System > Storage > Advanced storage settings > Drive optimization or System > Storage > Advanced Storage Settings > Disk Optimization.
About the disk properties
There is of course a shortcut available in the drive properties dialog, which you can open via File Explorer. You can find it like this:
Accessing the defragmenter from File Explorer
- Right-click the drive you want to defrag or optimize.
- Click on the tab Tools.
- Click on Optimize.
How to defragment hard drive in Windows 11
We come to the last part of this guide where we will explain how you defrag in Windows 11 with and without applications can. Let’s go.
How to defragment a hard drive using the built-in Windows tool
If you follow some of the steps above, you will get to the Windows Drive Optimization tool. Depending on whether your hard drive is an SSD or an HDD, this application offers you the right option for each type of device.
In our case Windows allows us to optimize the drive, since it is a solid state drive. If we had a mechanical hard drive, the option to defrag would appear here. In any case, you should be aware that both methods are different and approach improving the performance of the engine from different angles.
Die disk optimization can be programmed by clicking Change settings.
Main window of the defragmentation function
In the pop-up window, you can specify how often you want Windows to run the optimization process.
Automatically schedule optimization
This is an ideal way to bypass manual optimization of the drive.
How to defrag a hard drive with Defraggler
Alternatively, we recommend Defraggler, an application that you can download completely free from Malavida. Once installed, it offers you the option to optimize or defragment the drive. It also has performance analysis tools.
Options available in Defraggler
Although this is a more comprehensive utility than the one offered by Windows, you should keep in mind that you can defragment all types of drives, even if they are SSD drives. Therefore, be careful when choosing the method you want to use on your computer. Otherwise, you could end up defragmenting an SSD drive, which is not recommended.