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Defragment and Optimize Your Drive in Windows 8

Think of your hard drive like a large parking lot. Over time, the “cars” park in random parking spots throughout the lot. Defragmentation moves all the data closer together in one part of the hard drive, improving access times significantly and even gaining you back some space.

I covered defragmentation in Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. In Windows 8, the name of the utility has changed to Optimize Drives. Note that if you run this utility on a Solid State Drive (SSD), it will run a TRIM command on it rather than a defragmentation. TRIM is a similar, but different optimization technique that only works on SSDs — defragmentation has no effect on these types of drives.

To run Optimize Drives:

  1. Press the Windows Key to go to the Start Screen
  2. Open up the Charms Bar
  3. Click Search
  4. Click Settings
  5. Type Optimize in the box
  6. Click Defragment and Optimize Your Drives

  7. Look for the Defragment search result and click it.

  8. Choose a drive and click Optimize

You can see how long it’s been since you’ve optimized.

You can also schedule an optimization by clicking Change Settings, then choosing a frequency and drive choice and clicking OK.

Choose a frequency and drives.

Regular defragmentation will save you time and gain you space. It’s important to schedule or run a scan weekly.

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