How to Defrag a Mac Computer

By Ty Arthur

You may notice a slight decrease in your Mac's performance over time as you rename files or move them between folders because these files become fragmented with each change. You can optimize your Mac's performance by defragmenting your hard drive. While the newest version of the Mac operation system, called Mac OS X, automatically defragments most files, you may still need to run a defragmenting program from time to time to check over all of the files on your hard drive.

Things You'll Need

  • Apple computerInternet connection

Step 1

Shut down and then restart your Mac before attempting the defragmentation. Simply restarting your machine from time to time can take care of many minor performance problems.

Step 2

Download a third party defragmeting program, as the Mac operating system does not come with a software program that allows you to run a defragmentation. Choose a program that offers extra options such as a thorough description of which files were modified during the defragmentation. You can find a variety of programs online that offer these sort of features, such as iFrag, Drive Genius, or Speed Tools.

Step 3

Follow the software program's installation instructions to install it onto your Mac's hard drive.

Step 4

Open the new program and navigate through it's options to find the defragment option.

Step 5

Run the defragmentation, which could take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours depending on the size of your hard drive and how many files need to be repaired.

Step 6

Check your important files after the defragmentation is complete to ensure that they were not deleted or corrupted and are still able to be opened normally.

Tips & Warnings

  • Transfer any files that you absolutely need to an external device such as a jump drive or external hard drive before attempting to defragment, just in case something goes wrong and you accidentally lose the files.
  • Your Mac is much more likely to lose important data during the deframgentation process because the files are being actively modified, so make sure that you have a surge protector or backup power supply attached to your Mac before starting the process in case a loss of power or blackout occurs.

References & Resources