How many passes to Defrag in Windows 10?

Defragging a hard drive can help a PC run smoother, fix glitches, and speed up boot times. The term “Defrag” is short for “Defragment”, which is a routine maintenance task for personal computers. But just how many passes are required to Defrag in Windows 10? Microsoft does not specify an exact number, but this can be anywhere from 1 to 40 passes.

Disk Fragmentation

Fragmentation occurs when a file is split up into several pieces to fit on a disk. Although we visually see a file in one place, that file is made up of multiple slices on a hard drive. Since files are constantly changing in size and location, fragmentation is a natural occurrence. When a file is spread out over multiple locations, it takes longer to read and write, affecting a computers performance.

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How does Defragmentation work?

Imagine walking into a library, grabbing several books off of the shelf, and leaving them in different piles around the room. Eventually when you need to refer to specific books, they will be harder to find since there are more spots to check. Defragmentation is essentially putting books back on the shelf in the most organized way possible so you check as few places as possible to get what you are looking for. On a hard drive, defragmentation puts files close together and removes clutter, making it significantly quicker to access data.

How to Defrag and how many passes?

Windows 10 includes a built in optimization tool to defrag hard drives. Although there are third party applications, like defraggler, Microsoft’s built in tool is sufficient for most users. To optimize your hard drive:

1. Open the start menu and search the word “defrag”.
2. Select Defragment and Optimize Drives.

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3. Left click the disk drive that you want to Defrag, and select Optimize.

Once your Windows 10 computer begins defragging, it will cycle through several passes. Microsoft states…

The Disk Defragmenter might take from several minutes to a few hours to finish, depending on the size and degree of fragmentation of your hard disk. You can still use your computer during the defragmentation process.

In order to answer the question “How many passes to Defrag Windows 10?”, we must understand that each computer requires a different number of passes in order to be completely optimized. It is important to note that you can still use your personal computer during optimization, and should simply wait for the passes to finish.

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