How to Defrag a Computer that is Sluggish

The easiest, most common and often the most affordable way to speed up a slow computer is to run it through the defragging process. This process rearranges all the files stored on you hard drive so that they are neat and in order. Non-techies may be wondering how to defrag a computer and what they are actually doing.

Why Defrag a Computer

A fragmented hard drive is the most common reason for errors and slowness. When a computer is in use it is continually saving files and utilizing whatever space can be found. The available space is often broken into small chunks of free space that may be spread randomly around the hard drive. Large files may be saved into several chunks that may not be next to each other.

Fragmentation also occurs when adding new programs and not completely removing old ones. Defragging takes spread out chunks of space and moves them so that they are next to each other and in order. This enables the computer to find space, files and programs much faster.

To put it in layman’s terms let’s use an analogy. Most people have a garage full of sports equipment, lawn and garden tools, kids toys, bikes and possibly some woodworking tools. Every time they get some new tool or toy they have to find a place for it. The more stuff one has the longer it takes to find a place for the new item and just as long to find where an old item is.

How to defrag a computer is much the same as cleaning and organizing a garage to make more space for new stuff and at the same time making it easier to find the old stuff. The defragging tool searches through the hard drive and locates files, moves them all together, in order and frees up tons of space for new files.

A defrag tool or disk defragmenter, is utility software that has been created to chronologically arrange the data on the hard disk drive. Instead of all the files being scattered throughout the drive, they are placed together. This allows the disk reader to locate and access data faster.

To use the Windows defrag tool simply go to “My Computer” and click on your hard drive. Select “Properties” then “Tools” and click on the “Defragment Now” button. This process could take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or more. To keep a computer running at top speed regular maintenance such as utilizing the defrag tool should be done at least once a week.

There are several utility software tools available online that will not only defrag your hard drive, but correct registry errors, remove malicious spyware and viruses. Utilizing these types of tools is highly recommended for all computers it doesn’t matter if the computers are used for work, school or at home they all need regular maintenance.