Cleaning and defragmenting a disk in Windows 7 and 10

While writing files to the hard disk, the “smart” system algorithm breaks them into fragments, for the sake of rational use of space. Unfortunately, when reading files consisting of many small fragments, computer performance inevitably decreases and Windows begins to slow down. Add problems and thousands of old system and user files. But there is a solution – regular cleaning and defragmentation of the system disk will help to avoid a drop in performance.

Settings for Windows 10 | Windows 8 | Windows 7

We do not recommend defragmentation on SSDs. This can lead to errors and disruptions in their work. Defragmentation SSD does not lead to improved performance. However, cleaning the disk from unnecessary files will still not be superfluous.

The number of fragments into which only a single file is broken can amount to hundreds and even thousands. Of course, such fragmentation does not at all contribute to the fast operation of the hard disk and the computer as a whole. Especially often laptops are susceptible to this problem, which are often embedded very thoughtful hard drives.

To speed up the reading of data it is necessary to collect all small fragments of files into one. For these purposes, very effective programs for defragmenting files were created. Regular execution of defragmentation leads to an increase in the speed of access and reading of data from the hard disk.

However, do not immediately take up the defragmentation of the disk. To achieve the maximum effect of defragmentation, you must first carry out a full cleaning of the computer from various “file debris”, the size of which on most computers can reach many gigabytes! And we are talking not only about old and unnecessary user data, but also about various system junk: temporary files, outdated shortcuts, remnants of previously deleted programs, etc. Without pre-cleaning the computer from garbage, defragmentation loses all meaning.

To effectively clean the hard disk of the computer and optimize the performance of the entire system, we recommend using one of the best programs in its class – CCleaner, just before defragmentation. After cleaning the system of garbage files, defragmentation should be trusted to another high-end free program of this developer – Defraggler.

Step One: Install Defraggler and CCleaner

Defraggler and CCleaner work in versions of Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10 × 86 and x64 (32 and 64-bit).

For advanced users, paid versions of CCleaner Professional or Defraggler Professional are available.

The Defraggler and CCleaner programs have full-featured free versions, which, however, does not prevent the creators from regularly updating and supplementing the programs with new features and settings.

Fresh versions of Defraggler and CCleaner are fully optimized to work in all current Windows OS, including Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Both programs are designed to optimize the work of computers and laptops and are developed by one team of developers. You can download them on the official website of In order not to waste time on studying the site, you can download them in one click: Defraggler and CCleaner directly from this page.

After installing CCleaner and Deffragler, you can proceed directly to cleaning the hard disk of the computer from the accumulated load of unnecessary files.

Step two: cleaning the PC from various debris

First of all, let us surrender to the clever algorithm of CCleaner, which will painlessly remove a huge number of unnecessary old files from Windows – these can be various obsolete temporary files, program cache, clipboard, site history and other file junk. You will be surprised, but all together they can take up to several gigabytes on your hard disk! This is especially true for owners of SSD, where every gigabyte worth its weight in gold.

For this purpose, a tool with an unambiguous name “Cleaning” has been created in the CCleaner program – it is designed to find and delete various system garbage and unnecessary temporary files. By default, all utility settings are made in such a way that the user does not experience any inconvenience after cleaning. However, we recommend reviewing the parameters and only then proceed with the analysis (so that authorization on websites and social networks does not fly off, disable the cleaning of cookies).

So, to efficiently clean the system, just click on the “Analysis” button, after which CCleaner will perform a full disk check for various file junk. During the analysis, the program will ask you to close the browsers if they are open – for example, Google Chrome or Opera.

After the analysis is complete, all you have to do is click on the “Clean” button. Finish – the disc is “lost” on thousands of unnecessary files. Now, let’s move on to cleaning up larger user files.

To begin with, we recommend to make a thorough revision of all user data on the hard disk. We are ready to bet that there are a lot of unnecessary video files, audio tracks and images on your hard drive. We’re glad to make you happy – thanks to CCleaner, you won’t have to do all this manually!

Open the “Service” tab, then “Disk Analysis”. Here, select the disk you want to clean your computer (the system disk is always indicated as “C:”) or check everything at once. Select the same type of files you want to search. Music, video, documents and images occupy the most space, so they must be included necessarily.

After completing the analysis, the program will provide you with a list of the largest files that are on your hard drives. The list is formed in descending order – at the very top are the most “overall” files. If the file name does not tell you anything, right-click on it and select the “Open folder” menu item. Browse the files in the folder and, if necessary, delete them. You can also select all files of the same type (for example, video in .mkv format) and delete them at once – to do this, select the file in the list, right-click and select the menu item “Select by type”, then “Delete selected” .

Thus, once, I cleared the SSD drive of my 70 GB laptop, which was not enough to install Photoshop Lightroom and GTA V from Steam. But be careful when deleting, so as not to accidentally erase the necessary data.

It is equally important to remove all unnecessary programs from the system. I talked about this in detail in a separate article, Removing programs from Windows, but I will not bypass here either. Go to the “Service” section and the “Uninstall programs” subsection, as shown in the screenshot. CCleaner will generate a complete list of all programs installed on your computer.

Remove old programs

Carefully study the list of programs, and remove unnecessary applications one by one by highlighting in the list and clicking on the Uninstall button (but not the Uninstall button). When you uninstall some programs, you may have to restart the computer. We recommend to make it immediately, without starting to remove other applications.

Now that the computer is free of unnecessary files, programs and other debris, you can safely proceed directly to defragmenting the hard disk on your Windows computer.

Step Three: Defragment the Hard Drive

Run the Defraggler program as an administrator. In the top window of the program, select the hard disk that you want to defragment, click the right mouse button and select the item “Defragment the disk” in the context menu. To select multiple disks, hold down the Ctrl key and select the desired disks. The program will start the disk analysis and start defragmentation.

Disk Defragmenter with Deffraggler

Using the program, you can defragment the registry and Windows system files. Defraggler allows you to view comprehensive information about the progress of defragmentation and fragmented files. One of the undeniable advantages of the program is the ability to defragment individual files by opening the “File List” tab.

The first time defragmentation can take a lot of time. In the process of defragmentation, you can use a computer, however, we recommend not to do this to speed up the task. In the settings of the program, you can mark the item “Turn off the PC after defragmentation”, which allows you to carry it out, say, before leaving for work.

Rid yourself of routine tasks by setting the defragmentation schedule by going to Settings> Schedule. After completing all the recommended operations, restart the computer and enjoy a substantial increase in the speed of launching Windows 7 and software. Significantly increase the overall system performance. Especially noticeable effect will be on computers where defragmentation has not been performed for a long time.

You can reduce the number of accesses to the paging file and speed up the work of the hard disk using ReadyBoost proprietary technology with a compatible flash drive.

To fully unlock the full potential of your computer, proceed to the next section of the Express System Optimization course. And do not rush to remove the program CCleaner – it will come in handy for us again and again!

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