Tidying Up

One of the most nagging problems for computer users is the way their system slows down over time. One of the main causes of this slow down is the clutter on the hard disk. “Tidying up” the clutter can have dramatic effects on the performance of your computer.
The way Windows handles files is by breaking them into chunks to store on the hard drive. When all of those chunks are grouped together, the time required to access them is much faster. Unfortunately, Windows does not automatically put all of those chunks together. In fact, the default behavior of Windows is to NOT put the chunks together. Fortunately there are programs available that will tidy up your system by putting all those chunks together. Windows even comes with its own utility for doing this.
The chunks are called file fragments so the utility is called a defragmenter although a dechunker sounds cooler. Anyway, depending on when, if ever, your computer was last defragmented, the first time you run it, it could take a while. We’re talking hours. Before you can run it, you need to make sure that your computer has at least 15% of the drive to be defragmented free.
Then, once you’ve run it, the next time you start to run the defragmenter, you’ll likely be told that the drive doesn’t need to be defragmented. Run it anyway. If you wait until Windows thinks you need it, it will take longer and performance will be an issue. Best frequency for running defragmenter? Most computers will maintain best performance (at least as far as file fragmentation goes) if you defragment once a month.
The Windows defragmenter can be found in the Program Files – Accessories – System Tools menu.