How to 'defrag' your computer and improve its speed when it's operating slower than usual

  • Most contemporary Windows operating systems will defrag your computer automatically.
  • You can defrag your computer manually if you have Windows 7, 8, 10, or Vista.
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Defragmenting your computer helps organize the data in your hard drive and can improve its performance tremendously, especially in terms of speed. If your computer is running slower than usual, it might be due for a defrag.

How to defrag your computer automatically

If your computer's operating system is Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, or Windows Vista, it should have an automatic defragmentation feature that runs on its own periodically. This feature is automatically enabled, so you don't actually need to do anything extra to defrag your computer. But if you want to control when your computer runs its defragmentation processes, you can do that to an extent.

1. Press the Windows key or click the Start button on your desktop and locate the Control Panel. Once you've done so, click on the Control Panel to open it.

3. Underneath the Administrative Tools section of the menu, click on "Defragment and optimize your drives."

4. A window will open, listing your computer's various disk drives. Toward the bottom of the window, click on "Change settings."

5. A smaller window will appear. In this window, select the settings that best apply to how frequently you want your computer to defragment. When you're finished, click "OK."

How to defrag your computer manually

Like the previous defrag method, if your computer's operating system is Windows 7, 8, 10, or Vista, you can run its disk defragmentation manually when you think your computer is in need of one.

1. Open the Control Panel.

2. Click on "System and Security."

3. Underneath the Administrative Tools section of the menu, click on "Defragment and optimize your drives."

4. In the window that opens, click on the disk drive you want to defragment.

5. Click "Optimize" to defragment the disk drive.

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  • 7 easy ways to speed up your Windows 10 computer, from disabling unneeded effects to upgrading your hardware

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  • How to partition a hard drive in Windows 10, and keep your most important files separate from the rest

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