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Defragmenting your system: How to do it & benefits

In today’s digital age, almost every individual uses a Mac or PC for storing and managing digital files, working, and performing numerous daily activities. Unfortunately, even though most computers come equipped with top-tier hardware and software, their performance may get slowed down after years of continued usage. Hence, every user, irrespective of whether they own a PC or Mac, should follow some methods to ensure their device stays healthy and robust in the long run. For instance, users could try keeping their Mac or PC’s hard drive clean and decluttered, scan it for viruses, etc. Similarly, another effective way to ensure that any system’s performance stays top-notch is defragmenting it. 

According to Wikipedia, Defragmentation refers to reorganizing a hard disk’s data. Also referred to as “defrag” as well as “defragging,” defragmentation puts back similar types of data together in a continuous manner. It facilitates users to put the data scattered throughout the system back in a neat and organized way. Fragmentation significantly enhances a system’s performance, and hence, every PC or Mac user should consider defragging their systems often. This article will cover some of the most common ways macOS and Windows users can defrag their systems and the benefits of defragging. Let us dive right into it:

Defragging Macs:

macOS is a highly polished operating system. It packs numerous features that facilitate users to manage the files and folders present on their Mac effectively. Besides this, the internal components of Macs are solid and top-tier, and hence, they, too, handle files in a very smart manager. Thus, the majority of modern Macs do not require disk fragmentation. Furthermore, Macs running on OS X and higher versions of macOS do not require separate defragmentation sessions since the OS effectively takes care of the job. 

Macs usually need to be defragged when the local storage is almost full. However, since defragmentation requires free space, it may become arduous for the Mac to defrag conveniently. For instance, if you are thinking about defragmenting MacBook whose storage is full and try it, it may take a long time to finish the job. Even though it is not a common practice to defrag Mac, you can do it by using a third-party macOS-compatible tool. However, you should not try defragging your Mac if it features an SSD since it maintains file systems automatically, does not feature physical parts and has a finite number of write cycles. 

If you wish to enhance your Mac’s performance, there are numerous other effective alternatives you could try. For instance, you could try manually deleting unnecessary files and uninstalling applications you no longer require. Besides this, you could also update to the latest version of macOS and apps to ensure that all features and databases are up-to-date. Moreover, you could also repair file permissions using disk utility. 

Defragging Windows PC:

Unlike Macs, defragmenting a Windows PC is simpler and more convenient. Using Windows’ native defragmentation tool allows users to optimize their PC’s performance conveniently. If you own a Windows PC which is running on Windows 10 and wish to enhance its performance by defragmenting the disk drives, here are the steps following which you can conveniently do so:

Step 1 – Open the taskbar’s search field and type “Defrag.”

Step 2 – From the search results, click on the “Defragment and Optimize Drives”

Step 3 – In the “Optimize Drives” dialog box, select the drives you wish to defrag or optimize

Step 4 – Confirm the action by clicking on the “Optimize” option. 

What Are the Benefits Of Defragmentation?

Now that you know how to defragment your Mac or Windows PC let us look at some of the benefits of defragmentation. Here are some of the most prominent ones:

  • It boosts the lifespan of HDDs since grouping data together prevents the mechanical parts of the storage component from straining themselves by traveling longer to access data. This, in turn, reduces the wear and tear of the hard disk drive and adds to its durability.
  • Viruses are a major threat to both Macs and Windows PC. Hence, most people use antivirus software to ensure the device stays safe from malware. However, scanning an entire system for viruses takes quite a lot of time. If the hard drives are defragmented, it takes the software less time to scan and detect viruses. Thus, defragmentation results in a more secure system. 
  • Defragmentation helps in identifying and fixing bad sectors of hard drives. The majority of the bad sectors present in the system damage files and data saved in the area. Since defragging resolves problems related to bad sectors, it helps minimize errors. 
  • Defragmentation significantly enhances the performance of native as well as third-party applications. Post defragmentation, apps function smoothly and work most efficiently, primarily because their data is stacked together, which makes it easier to access them. 

If your system is exhibiting a slow performance, you can defrag it by following the steps and tricks mentioned above.

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