PC Maintenance for Windows Users: Part 2
Defragment your hard drives with Defraggler
The first part of this series on proper system maintenance covered how to clear out junk files that collect on your system from normal use.
This cleared up space, but it likely left existing files spread across the drive, sometimes in multiple pieces. This walk-through will help you get as many of those files back together into contiguously allocated files as possible, speeding up access to them.
What you'll need:
Windows includes a defragmentation application, but it is very limited.
We'll use Defraggler instead. The standard version is free, includes the functions you need and then some, and can be downloaded by clicking on the logo to the right, or below if you're not reading this in a fullscreen window.
Install and configure Defraggler:
Once you've downloaded Defraggler, install it. Default settings during installation should be fine for most users. By default, SSDs are hidden by CrystalDiskInfo. This is for your protection. NEVER DEFRAG AN SSD.
Now, lets change some settings that weren't available during install:
1) Open Defraggler if you haven't already, and select the Settings menu.
2) Click the Defrag tab, and make sure the 'Move large files to end of drive during whole drive defrag' is checked.
3) Click the Advanced tab, and make sure the 'Show cleanup drive prompt before defrag' is unchecked, as well as checking the 'Disable Benchmark After Defrag' option. Click OK when finished.
4) Select your main hard drive, usually the C: drive.
Defragmentation can take several hours, so if this is your only drive, run the defrag overnight. Select the Settings menu again and select Shutdown after Defrag. This will let you start the defrag and have your system shutdown afterwards. No need to stay up and wait.
5) When you're ready, Click the button labeled Defrag near the bottom of the window.
If you have multiple drives, repeat steps 3 and 4 for each drive.