How to Defragment your Windows computer

Over time, the data stored on your computer’s hard drive will become fragmented which can start to slow things down, particularly if the disk is starting to run low on space and it’s been a while since any housekeeping was done.  This is where it becomes necessary to defragment the hard drive.  Think of your drive as a series locations where information is stored. Over time the data gets spread amongst many different locations rather than in the same place on the hard drive and every time the computer needs to access that data it has to go and find it in thes multiple locations which takes more time than if the data was simply stored in the same place. Defragging the drive simply tidies things up so that the data is stored in a way that makes it easier and quicker for the computer to read.

Windows XP, Vista and 7 all have inbuilt Defragmentation programs that will unjumble the data and make things work smoother.

Click on Start / All Programs / Accessories / System Tools / Disk Defragmenter to start it. Simply select the drive you want to tidy up and click on the Defragment button.

At this point you can go and have a cuppa because this can take several hours depending on  how badly fragmented your hard drive data is.  We recommend just leaving it to it and not trying to continue using anything as it can drastically slow things down.

Once it’s eventually finished defragmenting the drive you can carry on using what is now a quicker, more efficiently organised PC.

You might also like to try a third party piece of software called Defraggler from Piriform software.  There are basic free and a more advanced paid version available, but the free one is fine for most people.  It is a little easier to use and has a few more advanced options than the Windows included version.  If your system is particularly badly defragmented you might like the option that will shut down your PC when it’s finished defragging, which means you can set it going and then shuffle off to bed!