What Is the Purpose of a Disk Defragmenter?

By Gregory Hamel

If your computer system seems to be running sluggishly, then you might find that using this simple utility could make a big difference. A hard disk defragmenter is a software tool which reorganizes a hard drive files to optimize system performance.


As files are used on a hard drive, they become cluttered and fall out of order, which is known as fragmentation. Deleting and installing new files constantly will increase fragmentation, as will using a hard drive with little free space left.


When files are aligned linearly, they can be accessed faster, which is how disk defragmentation speeds up hard drives.

Future Installs

Defragmentation also helps new programs run better since they can be installed on large open areas of the hard disk, rather than in between fragmented pieces of other files.


Defragmentation is important to maintaining a hard drive over time. Letting a drive go too long without deframenting will make any attempt to defragment take much longer, and the drive may not perform as well.

Time Frame

Defragmentation can take several hours to complete since a hard drive must scan and move around a large amount of data. It is usually best to begin defragmetnation at night, so that it will be complete by the next morning.

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