How Often Should You Defragment Your Computers at Work?

Computers & Technology

  • Author Chad Ostreicher
  • Published November 11, 2020
  • Word count 709

Remember back in the day when you had to defragment your hard drive regularly? This was pretty common back when Windows Vista and Windows XP were heavily used. Unfortunately enough, many companies still use these operating systems (which don’t even have support anymore from Microsoft), and your file systems can become cluttered. When your computers have heavy traffic, increasing file adding and removal can cause fragmentation of files, and the more fragmented a hard drive gets, the slower your system’s going to get. Windows 10 does this automatically, but the main problem is that many users don’t even have their computers on when their devices are supposed to do regular maintenance. Not only that but how often you’re supposed to do it varies greatly on performance as well. So the question remains – how often should a business actually defragment their files?

Traffic and File Management

Regularly, many companies have a server or shared devices that are networked to their systems, even in business. This means that your employees are regularly adding data to the system, saving files to it regularly, and much more. However, if you have remote solutions set up so that you have networked backups or even do regular maintenance to keep free space as much as possible (often a result of sending data to networked cloud space, then deleting the files off of local hard drives) regularly, then you are increasing the fragmentation that happens to your system. In the past, it used to be believed that the larger the files that you were deleting, the more fragmentation that’s going to occur. This ends up causing more damage to your hard drive and even your processor because it has to work harder to process data.

You’ll notice that your files take longer to open when you need to defragment your drive, and more importantly, that it takes a lot longer to open your programs – even if you open and run them on a normal basis. One important thing that you need to do, though, is to be sure that you utilize Windows’ disk cleanup service first, as this can help get rid of the bulk of temporary files used up by programs first (and free up more free space).

What Affects How Often I Need to Defragment?

In today’s day and age, media is an extremely heavily used factor in terms of whether or not you end up needing to defrag. If you are a graphic designer and have many high-resolution files at your company, you will probably add and remove large files regularly. The same goes for media creation companies that create a lot of video and audio media. For these businesses, it may be necessary to clean up and optimize your hard drives every week. Of course, you can have your IT support team set up regular automated maintenance to do this for you on your systems. Otherwise, some programs can help you even further on your own.

Defrag is Not the Same

In the olden Windows days, everyone remembers the block-like graphics and simple UI of the defrag program, but with Windows 10, it’s hard to see how much fragmentation is on your drives. More importantly, Windows isn’t always accurate in terms of figuring this out. That’s where an alternate defragmenting program may come into play. One of these top-rated programs is the Auslogics Disk Defrag. It still has the same old user interface as the older one, and it’s more accurate in terms of detailed information of fragmentation. More importantly, if you have the Pro version or an older version of the software, you can optimize your hard drives, SSD drives, and more.

The Final Take

No matter what kind of business you run, it’s important that you defragment your virtual machines and even hard drives at least once a month. If you are continuously saving and removing data, you’re going to want to possibly defrag once every other week. If you’re dealing with large files regularly, then definitely once a week is a good idea. This will help to produce even more productivity and keep your system fresh and optimized for maximum workload so your employees can work smoothly.

As a young boy, I dreamed of one-day writing tech articles for a small managed services firm. That dream came true in 2016 when I started working at my dream job. I'm an avid chef, foodie, sports lover, cinephile, melomaniac, and world traveler.

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