The good old Disk Defragmenter tool that suffered a series of changes in Windows 7 has been changed again in Windows 8.1. It has a new name – Optimize Drives – and some new inner-workings. As a result, defragmenting drives in Windows 8.1 is a little bit different from what it used to be in previous versions of Windows. Read on to learn how to defragment your disc drives in Windows 8.1.
When To Use Optimize Drives?
When defragmenting a disk partition, Windows rearranges the files stored on the disk so that they occupy contiguous storage locations. Doing this increases the access speed to your files by minimizing the time required to read and write files to/from the disk and by maximizing the transfer rate. You might also see improved startup times.
Defragmentation should be done especially when both your operating system and your most commonly used applications are installed on the same drive and the operating system gets slower over time.
Do not defragment SSDs or USB drives. These types of drives have a different way of allocating files and they have a limited number of read/write cycles before they stop working. Hence, defragmenting them will decrease their lifespan. Given the high read and write speeds provided by SSDs, you shouldn’t encounter slowdowns anyway, so there’s no reason to defragment them.