How to Defrag in Vista

By Maryelser Kinmore

Your computer’s hard disk houses tons of files and folders, usually in one big place. When installing and deleting files, a gap appears within the computer's hard drive that makes it harder for files to be read and your computer to run slower. This means the files are fragmented. Disk fragmenting basically means cleaning up your hard disk. During the process the computer takes files and puts them in order by filling in the gaps, which helps the files to be read more quickly. Read below on how to manually defrag in Vista.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer

Step 1

Click your mouse on the "Start" button and then go to "All Programs".

Step 2

Scroll down and click on "Accessories file". This will take you to a list of programs and folders. Scroll down the list until you reach a folder named "System Tools" and click on it with the mouse.

Step 3

Find the "Disk Cleanup" icon and click on it. An options window will appear, asking if you want only certain files cleaned or all files on the computer. Click the option that meets your needs. Remember that opting to clean all files will clean each file and folder stored on your computer.

Step 4

Wait for "Disk Cleanup" to finish and then repeat steps 1 and 2. This time click on the "Disk Defragmenter" icon.

Step 5

Click on the "Defragment Now" tab and wait for the job to finish. This could take from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on when the last time your hard disk was defragmented and how fragmented it is.

Tips & Warnings

  • Vista employs a schedule so that you don’t have to remember to run it. It is usually scheduled for once a week, early in the morning. This isn’t a great time for some people since the computer has to be on for it to run. However, you can manually change the date and time for the scheduled defrag. Make sure you empty the recycle bin, because defrag won’t. Besides, the least amount of work it has to will make it go faster.
  • While you can still use your computer when it is in defrag mode, it may slow down internet use somewhat. When you defrag in Vista, you do not get to see the progress of the program in use. This is not one of the best features of this program because it is always good to be able to see how fragmented your hard disk is and how much has to be defragmented.