How To Defrag Disk Windows 10


Is your hard drive slowing down? Are you experiencing issues with read and write speeds on your PC? Disk fragmentation can be a cause.

Let’s understand what disk fragmentation is and how you can defrag disk on Windows and troubleshoot speed problems and performance issues on a PC.

What is Hard Disk Fragmentation?

A Hard Disk Drive is a system storage device divided into different tracks on which data is stored in encoded form. Each track on the disk is further divided into different sectors, and as you perform different operations, it gets fragmented. This means instead of data being saved on contiguous space, it gets saved on the free space available.

The data written on the disk is read back using the head arm. While saving data, as the head arm moves through the surface of the hard disk and finds free space, the data is stored in a sequential or linear format. This means that when the data is read back, the head arm does not have to rotate too many times to locate the complete information.

However, the data is stored in bits and pieces on the hard disk without a suitable volume of free space. In such a scenario, while the information is read back, the head arm has to read the scattered information from various locations rotating more than once. This increases the data access time, consequently affecting speed and performance.

What Causes Disk Fragmentation?

Disk fragmentation occurs when data is stored in a disorganized and unsystematic manner. It also happens when there is a shortage of contiguous (continuous or linear) space.

Due to this, the system takes more time to read the fragmented data back from the hard disk.

Fragmentation is caused basically because of: –

  • Less free space

When sufficient free space is unavailable to store the entire information, it is stored in parts on the hard disk.

  • Frequent deletions

Often, unwanted data is deleted from the hard disk, leaving gaps and fragmenting the hard disk.

  • Extension of Files

Additions made to already-stored files may be stored in a different sequence on the hard disk with enough space. Usually, in such a case, the system creates an extension of the file and stores it elsewhere.

  • Moving of Data

There can be instances when data is moved to a new location, and there isn’t enough space to store it all. In these cases, the information is stored in pieces on the hard disk.

Must Read: Best PC Cleaner Software for Windows

Why Defragging Disk on Windows is Important?

The hard disk is constantly used as we work on the PC, save information, delete, and uninstall data. When data is deleted, small chunks of free space are left behind. These free spaces are spread throughout the hard disk, making contiguous space unavailable to store new files.

In such a scenario, the system saves the data on available small chunks of free space. This increases read time, and the system becomes unresponsive.

Important : Fragmentation causes system slowdown, slow startups and shutdowns, low hard disk storage efficiency, and declining performance.

To deal with this problem, Disk Optimizer is offered by Advanced System Optimizer. The tool helps remove fragments from the hard disk and puts together small chunks of free space.

This process is called disk defragmentation, and the free space is now available as continuous space, helping in efficient and better storage purposes. Also, the scattered data is brought together for faster access.

How To Defrag Disk Windows 10/11/8/7 (Manual and Automatic Way)

Multiple methods can help defragment your PC. There are both internal and external methods for performing defragmentation. Let’s look at all these features and enhance your PC’s performance.

Method 1 – Use Internal Degrafmenter (For Windows 7)

If you use Windows 7, you can fix fragmentation on your PC. All you have to do is –

Step 1 – Go to the Start menu and search for defragmenter.
Step 2 – Open the option that appears after searching. You may find the disks available for defragmentation. disk defragmenter option in windows 7Step 3 – Select the drive and run the process by clicking Defragment disk. Defragment disk in windows 7

Allow it to finish the process. Once it is over, restart your PC and check for a difference in the process’s completion. You may find enhanced read and write speeds. However, you may not understand the difference if the disk has been used for a long time.

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

Method 2 – Use Internal Defragmenter (Windows 10/11)

Try similar steps for the defragmentation on Windows 10/11. The only difference is that you can trigger the same using Windows Explorer.

Step 1 – Open File Explorer and navigate to This PC.
Step 2 – Select the partition that you want to defrag.
Step 3 – Right-click on the drive and open its properties.
Step 4 – You may find the tools tab to optimize the disk in properties. Click on Optimize to initiate the process.

tools tab in disk properties

Step 5 – Select the drive and start the Optimization.

Optimization drives

The tool works similarly to Windows 7. Hence, you can expect a decent performance boost. However, if you do not find enough change, maybe you need a dedicated tool that fixes issues with your disk and optimizes it instantly. Check out the next fix as it will help you fix the error.

Method 3 – Use Advanced System Optimizer for Defragmentation

To defragment the disk on Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, and 11, follow the instructions given below:

  1. Launch Advanced System Optimizer
  2. Click Disk Cleaner & Optimizers > Disk Optimizer

Advanced System Optimizer

This will open a new window simplified into 5 steps:

ASO Disk optimiser

1). Welcome

2). Scan

3). Results

4). Optimizing

5). Finish

Step1: Welcome

disk optimizer

On the Welcome screen, you will find a dropdown menu under the section “Select Hard Drive.” From here, select the drive to initiate scanning.

After this, click “Start Scan Now” to start the scan on the selected drive.

Direct Defrag

You may also ‘check’ this option to skip the disk analysis and directly start the defragmentation process for the selected drive. This will take you to the fourth step (Optimizing) without showing you the scan results and defrag the selected disk.

Step2: Scan

The next step shows the scanning progress of the selected drive.

Each drive comprises several sectors, and each sector is analyzed extensively by the Disk Optimizer. The graph shows the actual status of the hard disk. You may refer to the legend under the graph for a better understanding.

Explanation of terms used in Legend:

  • Free – Refers to the space on the hard disk, which stores no data and can be used for storage purposes. Disk Optimizer puts together all the scattered chunks of free space in one place on the disk.
  • Allocated – Refers to the space pre-designated by the system to store important files. Disk Optimizer detects fragments in the allocated space and removes them.
  • Defragmented – Refers to the data on the hard disk that is not scattered and is saved in one contiguous space.
  • Fragmented – Refers to the data stored in various locations on a hard disk, i.e., fragmented. Disk Optimizer defragments the data for faster data access.
  • MFT –Refers to the Master File Table in which the information of every file and directory is stored with its attributes. It is always good if the MFT is stored in the hard disk in a contiguous space. The search for any information or file will then be faster. Disk Optimizer defragments the scattered MFT.
  • MFT Zone – Since contiguous MFT on hard disk improves responsiveness and performance. For this, the pre-allocated space for MFT is not used during regular storage, and the cluster of this space remains non-fragmented, referred to as the MFT Zone. When the hard disk space is consumed, the MFT Zone is taken. When the MFT is expanded, it also gets fragmented. This becomes a serious area of concern as there is a direct impact on data access time and system performance. Disk Optimizer identifies fragments in the MFT Zone and removes them.
  • Directory – Refers to directories stored on hard disk space. The directory is where multiple files, folders, or information are stored. Disk Optimizer identifies the scattered portions of directories and brings them together.
  • Pagefile – Refers to a part of a hard disk wherein data not recently been used in RAM is stored out there. A page file is read faster as it is a contiguous chunk of data. The user can set the page file size per the requirements. Disk Optimizer will defragment the fragmented page file for faster data access.
  • Locked – Refers to those files, folders, and applications that are locked or made un-editable by the system to inhibit user interference. Some files currently in use cannot be included in defragmentation. Such files are also considered locked. Disk Optimizer will not be able to defragment the locked files.

To stop the scanning process, you may click on the “Stop” button any time during the process.

Step3: Results

disk fragmentation

Once the scanning is complete, a scan summary is displayed. Approximate figures for the volume of the hard disk found to be fragmented, several files found to be fragmented (non-optimized), and the current largest volume of contiguous space found on the hard disk are displayed. You will also be guided on whether defragging is needed.

Note : Defragging a hard disk is always recommended for better system performance.

On clicking the “Detailed Report,” the disk scanning report can be viewed in detail. The report is web-based and can be viewed only when connected to the internet.

disk optimizer scanning

Data fragmented on the hard disk adversely affects the system’s performance, so it should be fixed on time. Clicking the “Defrag” button will defrag the data on disk and improve data access time.

When clicking the “Cancel” button, you may return to the Welcome screen and scan another drive for fragmentation.

Step4: Optimizing

Disk Optimizer starts the actual process of defragmentation by clicking on the “Defrag” button.

The small chunks of free space are combined to create a larger chunk of free space for better and more efficient data storage.

Also, the scattered data is brought together and saved in one contiguous space on the disk. This process takes some time to complete.

The defragmentation process can be stopped anytime during the process by clicking on the “Stop Defrag” button in the lower right corner.

Step5: Finish

The last step shows the comparative analysis of the disk optimization process, i.e., disk fragmentation before and after optimization, data fragmentation before and after optimization, and the largest volume of contiguous space available for storage before and after optimization.

To view the complete details of the defragmentation process, click the “Display Report” button. This will open a web-based report showing all the minute details of the optimization.

To start the process of defragmentation for other drives, you may click on the “Finish” button and return to the Welcome screen.

Schedule Tab

ASO Schedule disk optimiser

Disk Optimization is regularly recommended. The scheduler facilitates scheduling the process of defragmentation for your hard disk. The scan starts automatically on the predefined day, date, and time. This is a helpful mechanism as we skip this important task quite often.

Set the scan time by using the various options given.

Options to schedule scan:

“Every Day” at a specified time


“Run Once” on a specified date (can be set using the calendar dropdown) and time


“Every Week” on specified days at a particular time (checkmark the days of the week for the automatic scan)


“Do Not Schedule” scan (undo the scheduled scans)

Every time you schedule a scan, it is necessary to click on the “Apply” button to save the changes.

The next scheduled scan is displayed at the bottom of the screen. You may also view all the scheduled scans by clicking the “All Scheduled Scans” link in the left panel.

With these methods, you can defragment the disk. Advanced System Optimizer is the ultimate choice for resolving disk errors, as you don’t have to follow the long manual route.

We hope you found this information helpful and have learned how to defrag Windows 10 hard disk. If you have any questions regarding this product, please contact our support team at


Why does my Windows 10 run so slow?

Over time as you use the PC and perform different operations, the hard disk gets fragmented. Due to this, your PC runs slowly and might take a long time to startup. Also, it might freeze or won't startup.

How long does it take to defrag Windows 10?

Depending on the size of the disk and degree of fragmentation, it might take several minutes to a few hours to finish defragmentation.

How often should I defrag?

When the disk is more than 10% fragmented, you should defrag it. To simplify this and avoid manual intervention, you can schedule disk fragmentation in Disk Optimizer.

Must Read: Is it Safe to Use a Third-Party PC Cleaning Software on Windows

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About The Author

Preeti Seth
Preeti Seth

A UX writer who loves explaining technical details in a clear, crisp, and concise manner. She loves writing about technical troubleshooting, How-To's, product reviews, etc. In her free time, she loves reading, meditating, and traveling.

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