Should you Defrag your PC’s Hard Drive?

As long as your running Windows 7 or later the built-in Disk Defragmenter utility runs automatically at scheduled times, usually once per week. This happens by default, so chances are pretty good your PC’s hard drive is already defragged. And by most accounts, the utility compares favourably with third-party alternatives, so don’t spend money on another defragmenter utility unless you have very specific reasons for doing so.

The automatic Disk Defragmenter utility runs whenever you PC is idle but you do not have to leave your computer on overnight. If it isn’t able to run at 1 a.m., it will try again later.

You should never defragment a solid-state drive (SSD). Doing so can shorten its potential lifespan.

By the way, if you have an external hard drive, one that’s not always connected to your PC, it may not get the chance to benefit from Windows’ scheduled defragging. Therefore, you should run Disk Defragmenter on it manually every month or so.