What is disk fragmentation and how to solve it

Fragmentation occurs due to the continuous modification or deletion of files from the hard drive and causes computer slowdowns

Unusually computer users have found themselves repeatedly performing a hard drive defragmentation in an attempt to improve their machine's performance. The procedure is carried out when the storage unit of a PC has a high degree of fragmentation.

If after reading these short lines you feel dazed, rest assured, we will clear everything up. And you will see that it will be very easy to solve this problem and get your computer back on track. Let's start by explaining what fragmentation is. Fragmentation is caused by the continuous modification or deletion of files from the hard disk. A program, or even a document, consists of a sequence of data, which the computer crams into nearby sections of the hard disk. The reason is simple: the disk will take less time to search the sequence and open the file. The problem occurs when the storage unit starts to get full. Why?

Because Fragmentation Occurs

As we have seen, the computer stores file data as a matter of "convenience" within adjacent sections, which decrease as the available space on the hard drive shrinks. In these cases, the pc is forced to split the sequence and place the various file data in the free sectors of the hard disk. As a result, since the information in the file has been stored in non-contiguous "zones", the hard disk will be forced to exert more effort in reconstructing the sequence and therefore it will take longer to read the file. As a result, your computer's performance will drop.

How to fix fragmentation

That said, let's now move on to defragmentation. Again, it is useful to understand what this is all about. A file when deleted from the hard disk frees up space, which will then be occupied by another file. Defragmentation, in simple words, "brings the free spaces closer together" so that the computer can store the sequence of data in close sections.

Defragmenting the hard drive on Windows is very easy and does not require any major computer skills. You just need to implement a few quick actions. Let's see which ones.

The most immediate way to perform defragmentation is to type "Defragment and optimize drives" in the Windows 10 search bar. Once you've done that, all you'll have to do is press on "Analyze", to check if the hard disk (or one of the partitions) needs maintenance, and then on "Optimize " to defragment the drive. By clicking on "Change settings" you can also schedule the defragmentation: in this case the computer will perform it automatically.