1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

How to Defrag Your Computer

By

1 of 4

Prepare Your Computer for Defragmentation
Defrag your computer

Defrag a Computer

Before you defrag your computer there are a number of steps you must take first. Read this entire procedure before you use the defrag utility.

The Windows operating system places files and programs on a hard drive where there is space; one file will not necessarily be located in one physical place. Over time, a hard drive can become fragmented with hundreds of files broken up in many locations across the drive. Ultimately, this can slow down a computer’s response time because it takes longer for it to access information. That's why using a defrag program can play an important role in speeding up your computer

The process of defragmentation places all parts of a file together in the same place on the drive. It organizes all directories and files according to how you use your computer. After this process is complete, your computer will most likely run faster.

To begin this process, perform the following steps:

  1. Make sure your work is backed up to another media – copy or backup all work files, photos, email, etc., to another hard drive, CDROM, DVD or other type of media.

  2. Make sure the hard drive is healthy – use CHKDSK to scan and fix the drive.

  3. Close programs currently open – including virus scanners and other programs that have icons in the system tray (right hand side of the task bar)

  4. Assure your computer has a constant source of power – The important thing is to be able to stop the defragmentation process, if there is a power outage. If you have frequent power brown outs or other outages, you should not use a defragmentation program without a battery backup. Note: If your computer does shut off while defragmenting, it may crash the hard drive or corrupt the operating system, or both.


Defragment Your Hard Drive

To defragment your computer, follow the step-by-step instructions in this tutorial.

  1. About.com
  2. Technology
  3. Windows
  4. Maintain and Fix
  5. Defrag Your Computer - How to Step by Step Defragment Your Computer

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.