How to Defragment Hard Drives in Windows 11

This post shows students and new users how to defragment the system disk in Windows 11 to improve performance.

If files on your system’s disk are fragmented, you should run Windows; built-in defragmenting tool to help organize and consolidate the systems’ files. This should be done regularly to help speed up accessing files and data that are needed to operate Windows 11.

Defragmenting your system drive may take a while especially if the drive is large and has lots of data on it. You should schedule a time, preferably overnight when no one is using the computer. The best way to handle this is to schedule a daily or weekly run instead of manually running it when needed.

The new Windows 11, when released generally to everyone, will come with many new features and enhancements that will work great for some while adding some learning challenges for others. Some things and settings have changed so much that folks will have to learn new ways to work with and manage Windows 11.

Defragmenting system’s drive is a legacy feature that’s also available in Windows 11. This feature has ben part of Windows since XP, and now in Windows 11 as well.

To get started defragmenting Windows 11 systems drive, follow the steps below:

How to defrag Windows 11 system drive

As mentioned above, defragmenting is the processing of organizing and consolidating files and data on the system’s drive to improve performance. Fragmented or scattered data creates access problem since it provides inefficient way to access the data across the disk.

To optimize your system’s disk, use the guide below:

Windows 11 has a centralized location for majority of its settings. From system configurations to creating new users and updating Windows, all can be done from the System Settings pane.

To get to System Settings, you can use the Windows key + i shortcut or click on Start ==> Settings as shown in the image below:

windows 11 start settings

Alternatively, you can use the search box on the taskbar and search for Settings. Then select to open it.

Windows Settings pane should look similar to the image below. In Windows Settings, click System, and select Storage on the right pane of your screen shown in the image below.

windows 11 system storage

On the Storage settings pane, click Advanced storage settings.

advanced storage settings

On the Advanced storage settings expanded pane, select Drive optimization as highlighted below.

windows 11 drive optimization

On the Optimize Drives settings pane, you’ll see details of the status, including last analyzed, schedules and other optimization details.

windows 11 defragmention off

Since we want to schedule Windows 11 to run the defragmentation tool at a specific time, make sure that Schedule optimization is turned Off. If it’s on, click the Change settings button and disable the scheduled optimization.

How to schedule disk defragment in Windows 11

Windows will schedule disk defragment daily or weekly, but not a specific time. If you want Windows to handle the scheduling then turn on the default weekly schedule and forget it.

For those who want to schedule run as a specific time, they can turn off the schedule above and run a Task scheduler instead.

Search for Task Scheduler and select the app as highlighted below.

windows 11 task scheduler app

When Task Scheduler app opens, open the Task Scheduler Library ==> Microsoft ==> Windows ==> Defrag.

Then select double-click the selected defrag schedule or click Properties on the right.

task scheduler defrag

When the Properties opens, click the Triggers tab and click New.

windows 11 defragment task schedule triggers

Then select the options and settings that’s best for you. You can choose the time, how often it should run and for how long.

windows schedule defrag triggers

When you’re done, click OK and enable the schedule.

Finally, right-click on the scheduled task and enable it.

windows 11 enable schedule task defrag

That should do it!


This post showed you how to defragment Windows 11 system disk. If you find any error above, please use the comment form below to report.

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