Defragging your computer can give it a performance boost by organizing the data on its hard drive in a more efficient way. It can also increases the lifespan of your hard drive by reducing the amount of physical movements the drive has to perform.
What Does Defragging Do?
When your computer writes data to its hard drive, it finds any free space and writes the data randomly where ever it can fit.
Over time, the files become fragmented which means the read/write head has to physically cover more “ground” to fetch the data as it is spread all over the disk. It’s a bit like an old vinyl record where instead of a song being one continuous groove, parts of the song are randomly spread across the record.
Windows Vs. Smart Defrag
Windows has had a defragmenting tool included since Windows 95, but it is only recently that Microsoft have included a new version called Disk Defragmenter.
Disk Defragmenter is an improvement over the older version because you are now able to schedule a defrag. For example, you can set it to run once a week. Even so, I still tend to recommend that you use Smart Defrag and here is why.
- It is much faster then it’s Windows equivalent.
- It truly is automatic (not just scheduled) and only defrags your hard drive when your PC is idle.
- “Boot Time Defrag” allows files normally locked by Windows to be defragmented during a system boot.
- And best of all – Its FREE!
Using Smart Defrag
This truly is a set and forget program and very easy to use.
- Download and install Smart Defrag from here.
- On first run you will be confronted with the programs main window. I always select “Defrag and Fully Optimize” option from the Defrag button and let it do its thing.
Smart Defrag will not only defrag your hard drive, it will also move all the most frequently used files to the start of the drive for increased performance.
- The next step is to make sure Smart Defrag is setup to run automatically in the background. Do this by clicking on the Automatic Defrag tab. By default, this is turned on but it’s worth just double checking just in case.
- And last but not least, click on the Boot Time Defrag tab. This setting in switched off by default so go ahead and activate by clicking on the Turn on button. You can change the setting if you want, but I find the recommended configuration of a boot scan every 7 days fine.
Defragging your Windows PC is highly recommended and becomes even easier using Smart Defrag, as once you have completed the initial setup, it happily runs in the background and you’ll never need to worry about defragging again.