How to Defrag Windows 7 ( Step by Step )

Defrag Windows 7. Your system is getting slower? Files take forever to open? It may be the result of years without defragmenting your hard drive. Just as you store your home, your hard drive also needs to get everything back in order to work better. Gentside offers you a quick and easy guide to defragment a hard disk under Windows 7.

How to Defrag Windows 7

The fragmentation is a phenomenon that allows your hard drive to store information by distributing it in small blocks called ” clusters .” As and when using your computer, this distribution is rather archaic, that is to say that the hard drive seeks available clusters, but that these funds are not necessarily grouped in the same place .

Defrag Windows 7

The hard disk must then make the extra effort to look for clusters corresponding to a file on its entire storage area, which will drastically reduce the speed of execution of certain tasks.

defrag a hard drive under Windows 7 , here’s how:

– click on your workstation (Computer);

– select the hard drive to fragment;

– right click, and click on “Properties”;

– click on the “Tools” tab;

– then in the “Defragmentation” box, click on “Defragment Now”;

– choose the disk to defragment from the proposed list;

– click on “Defragment Disk”.

This operation may take several hours depending on the size of the data to be processed. It is therefore advisable to throw at night or before leaving for work. You can also program a clock for defragmentation to start automatically at this time. To do this, simply click on “configure scheduling” in the defragmentation prep window and choose a frequency, a date, a time, and the target hard disks.

What is fragmentation?

When you save a file to disk (the disk is empty at the base), all the information about that file is written one after the other. When you save a second file, it will register after the first one and so on.

However, when a file is deleted this generates an empty space on the disk. However, the following files will fill the “holes”, and will therefore be scattered in portions of files on the disk. This is especially true as the hard drive has a large capacity and has a large amount of files.

Thus, when the system accesses a file, the head of the disk will have to go through all the places where the pieces of the file are recorded in order to read it. This translates into a drop in performance .


To remedy this, there is a tool called defragmentation. It allows the hard disk to rearrange its surface by grouping busy clusters according to their usage and removing holes caused by file deletions. It’s a way of tidying up and optimizing disk space . Thus, when you launch an application, all clusters are grouped in one place, and the hard disk provides less effort to access them.

Tips for defragmentation

The defragmentation tool uses algorithms to best reorder the files on the disk. The pieces of files that are scattered on the disk are moved one by one into the available disk space (not used by files) temporarily and then placed back in a suitable place. This defragmentation is all the more easy as the available disk space is important (your disk must have at least 15% free space for a real efficiency of the operation).

On the other hand, if the data is changed during defragmentation, the tool must recalculate how to move the files to account for these new changes. It is therefore essential to close all open applications to start defragmentation. Or the operating system has processes running in the background and accessing the hard drive (especially when the amount of RAM present on the system is not sufficient because the system creates swap files).

Thus, it is strongly recommended for computers running Windows, to restart it in safe mode , that is to say a mode in which the minimal configuration items are loaded. To restart the computer in safe mode, simply press the F8 key just after the computer’s startup screen (RAM count and disk detection) and just before the Windows Startup message .

How to Defrag Windows 10/8/7

In Windows 10, click on the start menu and then enter ” defrag”,

Windows will automatically offer the defragmenter:

Choose the drive, then click Optimize:


As the use of a computer occurs on hard disks a phenomenon called fragmentation . To summarize very simply, the file writes are anarchic over the entire surface of the disk, in blocks also called clusters. From there, access to files is longer because the system must scan the entire surface of the disk to find them.

On the other hand, if we gather the files in one and the same zone, the system will only have this area to search to find the information sought and access will be faster. Deleting files also leaves “holes” between different locations in the hard drive.

The action of optimizing the space occupied is called defragmentation, and it can only be done in software. During a defragmentation, the information is sorted or sorted by the software.

How to Defrag windows?

1- In command line , ie by typing in a console (by the “Execute” function of the Start menu) the instructions given to your operating system. This method is rather reserved for advanced users, we will leave it for this article.

2- By using the defragmentation function integrated into Windows operating systems. The method is quite simple, you go to the workstation, you right click on the disk icon to defragment, then you select “Properties”. In the window that opens, click on the “Tools” tab to access the “Defragment Now” option, on which you click.

You are then offered to defragment directly or perform a disk scan. It is better to carry out the analysis, which will give you information on the fragmentation rate of your disk, and therefore the usefulness or not of performing the defragmentation.

Important, your disk must have at least 15% free spacefor a real efficiency of the operation. It is also possible to access the defragmentation function by following the following path from the Start menu: Start => Programs => Accessories => System Tools => Disk Defragmenter . On Windows 7, 8 and 8.1, you can also type “Disk Defragmenter” in the Window search.

3- You can also use a dedicated software , free or not. The Windows defragmenter is very correct, and you will not necessarily have a better result with this kind of software, but from personal experience, some, like Auslogics Disk Defrag , are faster and more efficient.

The other advantage is that they are more configurable, you can program interventions, select some hard drives and exclude others, indicate a fragmentation thresholdfrom which fragmentation must be started automatically. From Vista, the defragmentation options are however more complete under Windows.

Some of the most popular defragmentation tools are Diskeeper Lite and JK Defrag for free solutions, or PerfectDisk, Ashampoo Magical Defrag and O & O Defrag for paid software (non-exhaustive list).


– After installing large software or files on your computer ( video game type FPS , photo processing software, video High Definition …)

– The evening preferably , and in general when you do not use your post. The defragmentation can indeed be done in minutes or in several hours depending on the state of fragmentation of the disk but also depending on your configuration (size of the disk partition, processor speed, etc.).

–  After deleting a large number of files or software.

– When your hard drive seems noisier than usual, because it may be because it works harder to access information.

– If you notice a slowdown in your system. Fragmentation may have nothing to do with it, but running a defrag will only cost you time and can do a better job, so why not start with that?

Last, it is useless or even disadvised to defrag a storage disk type SSD . The access time to files is already very short, but also because this type of disk supports a limited number of write / erase. It would be a shame to reduce the life of your hard-earned drive, moreover for an unclear benefit.

What is the duration of a defragmentation?

The duration of the defragmentation varies from 2 minutes to a few hours. Depending on the size of the hard disk, the number of fragments scattered.

During defragmentation, you can continue to use your computer. However, it may run slower during defragmentation. So avoid running a defrag if you have something urgent and important to do on your PC.


How to Defrag Windows 7 ( Step by Step )
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