Disk Defragmenter on Windows 7 Not Working – Here’s What to do!


Disk defragmenter on Windows is a hard drive maintenance tool that helps optimize the hard drive and reshuffle the data fragments to ensure smooth performance. Recently, it has been reported that this Disk Defragmenter on Windows 7 often stops working.

If you are a Windows 7 user facing a similar issue, this blog is certainly for you.  In this one, we will address the common factors causing the defrag error and talk about potential fixes.

Make sure you read this post till the end, as you will also learn about Advanced System Optimizer, a PC cleanup tool that can help you defrag the disk  & fixing hundreds of other common PC errors.

Without further ado, let’s begin!

What Causes the Disk Defragmenter to Stop Working in Windows 7?

The Disk Defragmenter is a remedy for a slowed-down PC and hard drive.  However, it is not error-free. It requires certain conditions to be fulfilled else it might stop working. Listed below are the common issues that make the defragmenter stop working and how you can fix those errors. Check them out!

  1. Low Disk Space
  2. Missing Disk Defragmenter service
  3. Third-party applications or antivirus are blocking or conflicting with the service.
  4. Corrupt system files.
  5. Errors on the hard drive.

Ways to Fix Windows 7 Disk Defragmenter Now Working

Method 1 – Disk Overused (Low Free Space)

When trying to defrag your hard drive, make sure you have at least 20% of your disk drive unused else; the defragmentation can not take place. It is a prerequisite for the Windows defragmenter to work.

low disk space

Here are a few things you can do to ensure that your hard drive has free space

  • Remove clutter from your drive by deleting the files that are no longer in use.
  • Move data from one partition to another, so the current drive becomes vacant. The idea is simple; you have to clear your drive so that the defragmenter has room to do its job.
  • Free up space on your hard drive quickly by removing duplicate files on your drive. There are multiple tools available to make the step easy for you.

If the defragmenter is not running on your Windows 7 PC, implement the above steps to clean  up unnecessary data. There should be a minimum of 20% capacity free on your storage drive.

Once you have done that, try running the defragmenter. If it still does not work, move on to the following technique.

Method 2 – Corrupt Disk Defragmenter

If you have not updated your PC for a while, there may be a possibility that your disk defragmenter is corrupt. It can happen with internal tools and applications if they are not updated or used for a long time.  Since the defragmenter is not something you regularly use, you may not even realize what’s wrong.

There are three ways to approach this issue and resolve it –

  • Restore the PC to a stable version of Windows where the defragmenter was working fine using restore points.
  • Remove and reinstall the defragmenter. Though possible, it is tedious.
  • Repair your current system with a third-party optimization tool.

If you opt for ways 1 and 2, you will require a lot of time and expertise. Also, there is no surety that the defragmenter will work after replacing the application or restoring your operating system. However, you could use a third-party application like Advanced System Optimizer to simplify things.

advanced system optimizer

How? Well, for starters, the defragmenter gets corrupt due to broken registry files or corrupt system files, both of which can be optimized by a quick scan through the tool. The tool features an advanced defragmenter in itself, which means even if your native defragmenter is not working, you can use the one provided by the system. Lastly, you can create backup files and restore points on your PC that can help restore the system quickly!

To give you a perspective, here’s how the tool works –

  • Download the Advanced System Optimizer application from the button below.
  • Run the application on your PC. If you want to perform a quick PC cleanup and optimization, run Smart PC Care.

Advanced System Optimizer

  • However, if you want to run the defrag the disk, look at the left side panel of the tool. You will see multiple tools.
  • To defrag your hard drive, choose the Disk Cleaner and Optimizers option from the panel.

disk cleaner and optimizer

  • Click on the Disk Optimizer option in the center of the app interface.

disk optimizer start

  • Click Start Scan Now after selecting the drive you want to optimize.

Note : The images used are just to give you an example. Make sure you do not start defragging your system drive as it might affect your PC. Always start defragmentation with the disk that holds no system files.

windows scanning

  • Let the process finish. It might take time, considering the size of your drive.
  • Once the process is completed, your hard drive will be clean and optimized.

With the ease of just a few clicks, you can not only defrag your hard drive on Windows 7 but can also resolve hundreds of system issues by running a Smart PC Scan in the tool.

Review: Advanced System Optimizer – A Must-Have App For Your Windows PC

Method 3 – Heavily Loaded Hard Disk Issue

Another crucial reason for the defragmenter not working on Windows 7 can be a damaged hard disk. What is meant by damage? Well, if you have experienced the following in your usage, your disk might be damaged –

  • Screeching sounds while processing heavy data.
  • Painfully low read and write speeds,
  • Excessive heat from the hard drive.
  • Degraded hard drive health.

In case you face these problems, you may be required to release the load on your hard drive. You can achieve that by trying to run the defragmentation process in safe mode.

To switch your boot to safe mode, all you have to do is –

  • Close all the processes from your hard drive. Kill all the tasks and shut down all the files.
  • Restart your PC and press F8 while it is booting up.
  • Pressing F8  will take you to Advanced boot options available on Windows 7
  • Select the Safe Mode option using the arrow keys.

advanced boot option

  • In Safe  Mode, once the PC is on, go to My Computer and initiate the defragmenter.

If it still does not work, it is likely a hardware issue, and you may need to restore the PC for the final solution.


You might find tons of hit and trial methods, but there’s one sure thing, if these three solutions can not resolve the issue, you might need to reinstall the operating system.

If carrying out all the solutions is a challenging task for you, I suggest you start with installing the Advanced System Optimizer on your PC, as that can help with the issues related to your disk and defragmenter. Moreover, it can also assist you in maintaining efficiency on your PC, leading to a smoother user experience.

Leave your comments below to help others about which solution worked the best for you; looking forward to hearing from you.


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About The Author

Dishank Sharma
Dishank Sharma

A creative tech-writer who loves to explore latest tech-trends & convey them to his readers in the simplest way possible. He loves to blend the crispness of technology with a pinch of creativity while curating best practices for the readers. In his free time, he likes to scribble poetry, listen to rap & travel.

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