Steps to defrag an external HDD. To defrag a USB hard drive, you can use standard utilities from Windows, as well as special free defragmenting programs. In the latter case, download the application of your choice, install and start the process, of course, using the Wizard. Defragging your hard disk on Windows 10 and Windows 8 is straightforward: Click on the Start button in the bottom left corner of your screen. Type the word defrag. From the options suggested, click on Defragment and Optimize drives.
Neila asks, 'How do defrag a computer running Windows 8.1? I can't figure out how to do it on my new laptop.'
- You can defrag your computer manually if you have Windows 7, 8, 10, or Vista. Defragmenting your computer helps organize the data in your hard drive and can improve its performance tremendously.
- With this method, the Disk Defragmenter will optimize your hard drives regularly. Use iSunshare System Genius to Clean Hard Drives. Step 1: Install iSunshare System Genius on your Windows 8/8.1 computer. ISunshare System Genius is the junk-file remover designed for Windows OS, which can easily delete the useless files from cache data to.
For those of us who have been using personal computers for the past 20 or so years, defragmenting your hard drive used to just be part of life. When you defrag a hard drive, you're basically re-organizing the data on it so that it will run faster and more efficiently.
When your hard drive stores data, it puts it anywhere there is space available, so it may sometimes put pieces of the same file in several different places instead of right next to each other. Imagine opening a file cabinet and just throwing paperwork into it. You would never be able to find anything if you did that, but your computer can keep track of where it put things even if they are all over the place. This works well, but things can become really messy after a while. This will make the computer start to run slow as it searches through your data. Running a defrag will reorganize everything.
When we received your question, Neila, we realized that we couldn't even remember the last time we defragged a computer. Beginning with Windows 7, Microsoft has built automatic defragmentation into the Windows operating system, so you don't have to worry about running it yourself. However, you can still run it manually if you want. On Windows Vista or 7, look for a program called Disk Defragmenter. On Windows 8, it is called Optimize Drive; you can find it by pressing the Start button on your keyboarding and typing in 'optimize drive.'
Apple has built similar automatic defragmentation into Mac OS X, but that operating system doesn't offer you a manual way to optimize your hard drive. There are third-party defrag programs available, but we don't recommend them because they often cause more problems than they fix. If your Mac is running slow, you should try restarting it and clearing off space on your hard drive instead.
One last note: if you have a Solid State Drive (SSD) instead of a classic hard drive, we don't recommend performing a defrag. It doesn't provide any real benefit on an SSD, and it can actually reduce the drive's lifespan.
Add audio device windows 10. Photo credit: 'defrag' by Lance Fisher is used under CC BY-SA 2.0.
In time as you use your Windows machine for different tasks, it would also suffer some serious problems and one of them is the overall decrease in speed and performance. While the cause of this problem is varied, the most common one is the cluttered files that are stored in your hard drive.
This is true especially if your computer is protected with a good antivirus software and is also well maintained in many other aspects but you still notice a significant slowing down in terms of its performance.
What’s the Solution?
Fixing this problem as soon as the earliest sign appears is very important so that further complications can be prevented and thankfully, Microsoft has developed a tool that will help you rearrange everything in your hard drive and organize all the clutter that can come as a result of everyday computer usage.
This tool is called “Disk Defragmenter” back in Window 7 but in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, it has been given a new name which is “Optimize Drives”. It has also some improvements in its inner-workings and the process has some changes compared to how it was done back in Windows 7but don’t worry because we will be demonstrating the whole process in this tutorial series but before anything else let’s first learn the different ways in launching the “Optimize Drives” tool in your Windows 8.1 machine.
When to Defragment Your Hard Drive
If your computer is running just fine then there is no need to optimize it or run the disk defragment tool however, if you see that there is a significant decrease in its performance then that’s the time that the disk defragment or the “Optimize Drives” tool should be run.
The slowing down is mainly caused by the disorganized packets of data that comes as a result of the repeated reading and writing process whenever you do several tasks on your computer. This happens especially on hard disk drives or HDDs. Defragmenting arranges all of these cluttered data into organized locations with all the related ones grouped together. This would then minimize the time that is required to read and write files as well as accessing them and eventually result to a faster Windows machine.
If your computer is using SSD or Solid State Drive, there would be no need for you to use the defragmenting tool that is built in with Windows. The same thing also applies to USB flash drives. Both SSDs and USB flash drives work differently in terms of allocating space for related data and other files. Both also have limited number of read and write process cycles before they stop working so defragmenting them would result to a decreased lifespan. Given the fast working speeds of SSDs and USB flash drives, there would be no need to run a disk defragment drive on it anyway.
Disk Defrag Windows 8
How to Access the Optimize Drives Tool
Just like most of the built-in Windows features and tools, the “Optimize Drives” tool in Windows 8.1 can also be accessed in many ways and in this tutorial, we will be showing two available methods in opening this tool in your computer.
Use the Search Feature
The first method is also the easiest one and in order to do this in your Windows 8.1 machine, all you need to do is open the Start Screen by pressing the Windows key or clicking on the Start Button. Once this screen opens, all you need to do is type “defragment and optimize drives” on your computer’s keyboard and after doing so the “Search” screen should slide-in from the right edge and show the search results as you can see on the screenshot below.
From these search results you can click on the link that says “Defragment and optimize your drives” and the “Optimize Drives” Window should open instantly. You can also press Windows + S to quickly open the Search screen and simply enter “defragment and optimize drives” into its input box then wait for the search results to appear where you need to click on the “Defragment and optimize your drives” shortcut in order to launch the “Optimize Drives” Window.
Access the Optimize Drives Tool from the “Apps View” Section
Another method in launching the “Optimize Drives” tool is by first accessing the “Apps view” screen. To get into this section on your Windows 8.1 computer, simply click on the Start Button or press on the Windows key and the Start Screen should open right away. On the Start Screen, simply hover the mouse pointer over it and a round button with an arrow-down icon in it will appear at the bottom-left portion as highlighted on the screenshot below. You will need to click this button in order to open the “Apps view” screen.
Now, on the “Apps view” screen, simply scroll towards the right until you see the “Administrative Tools” category and under it, you should be able to find the “Defragment and Optimize Drives” shortcut as shown below and you will need to simply click on it in order to open the “Optimize Drives” Window.
Launching Optimize Drives Using Command Prompt
Another method in accessing the “Optimize Drives” tool which can be less-known especially to novice Windows 8.1 users but is surely well-known to the more advanced ones is by using the Command Prompt Window. In fact, launching Command Promptalone can be a big challenge but don’t worry, we will help you get through it easily. First, you will simply need to access the WinX Menu by pressing the Windows + X keys on your machine’s keyboard. After doing so, you should be able to see the menu which will pop-out of the bottom-left portion of your screen as shown below.
From the WinX Menu, all you need to do is click on the link that says “Command Prompt (Admin)” as highlighted on the screenshot above and you should be able to launch the Command Prompt Window instantly. On this Window, you will need to enter “dfrgui.exe”(excluding the quotation marks) and after doing so, you will need to press the “Enter” key in order to execute the command and launch the “Optimize Drives” Window in an instant!
Use the Run Box Tool
Lastly, you can also open the “Optimize Drives” Window using a small but very useful tool called the “Run” box. But first, you will need to launch it simply by pressing the Windows + R keys simultaneously and after doing so, the tool will appear at the bottom-left portion of your computer screen as shown on the screenshot below.
Within this tool is an input box where you can type-in commands which can be executed. In order to launch “Optimize Drives” using this tool, all you need to do is type-in “dfrgui” into its input box then hit the “OK” button that is located at the bottom of the “Run” box and the “Optimize Drives” Window will launch right away.
Defrag Hard Drive Windows 10
A Simple Tool that Can Make a Big Difference!
How To Defragment And Optimize A Hard Drive In Windows 8.1
Accessing the new version of the “Disk Defragmenter” tool which is now called “Optimize Drives” in Windows 8.1 is pretty simple and with all the varied methods that we have shown above, it would surely be impossible for to get confused when trying to use it. It would also make a great difference especially when your computer is already starting to slow down in time. In our next tutorial, we will be showing the steps in using the “Optimize Drives” tool in your Windows 8.1 computer so be sure to stay tuned-in with us to learn even more about this awesome tool that is built within your Windows OS.