How To Safely Defrag a Mac Hard Drive

When your Mac starts “rowing”, it takes longer than usual to open a file, a program, so it may be time to defrag your hard drive. You have to group all the scattered files. This article helps you defragment files saved on your Mac’s hard drive.

How to defrag Mac:

Step 1: Evaluate the need to defragment

OS X (10.2 and later) was designed to avoid fragmentation of files as much as possible. It operates, without you knowing it, a whole series of rewrites on the spaces left vacant. However, even with this management, it happens that the files fragment (multiple recordings, creation and destruction of close files etc.). As an example, here are some of the conditions that cause the OS to launch a defragmentation procedure:

  • The existence of files that are smaller than 20 MB,
  • The existence of files that are in addition to eight pieces,
  • The existence of files that do not serve.
  1. If you download “big” files, video type, lots of bytes left vacant, Mac then launches a defragmentation procedure.
  2. If your disk is more than 90% full, defragmentation is more than necessary.
  3. If your computer has none of these features, defragmentation is unlikely to change anything to your slowness problems. However, there is never any risk to defragment!
  4. For Mac running OS 9 (and older), considered today as completely obsolete, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to find a defragmentation software.

Step 2: Free up space on your hard drive

If you manage to defrag your hard drive, it may be time to consider installing an external hard drive on which you will store, for example, your movies or large files. You can also, for the same reasons, store these large files in a “cloud“, such as Apple’s iCloud or Microsoft’s SkyDrive.

SkyDrive, iCloud and similar services now offer, free of charge, 2 to 7 gigabytes of storage. If you need more, it will pay, but it does not exceed the tens of euros per month

If you buy an external hard drive, make sure it can connect to a Mac. Once back home, plug it into your computer, via a USB port and it will be immediately operational. No need for any formatting or installation software!

Step 3: Purchase a defragmentation software

In theory, Mac OS X, which have a Unix core, do not need to be defragmented. This is the reason why there is no defragmentation tool installed (Utilities folder). If you still want to defragment, you need third-party software. The best known of these is iDefrag from Coriolis Systems, which costs about $30. Alternatively, you can take Drive Genius 3 from Prosoft. Genius 3 manages both free space and fragmentation of hard drives. It displays a graph of your disk that tells you its degree of fragmentation. It also has some features that optimize the hard drive of your computer.

You can find other utilities on the Internet. Two precautions are necessary then: check on forums or in comments that this software is powerful, download it on a site worthy of confidence!

Unfortunately, for Macs running OS 9 (and older) considered today as completely obsolete, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to find a defragmentation software. However, some of them (like Norton Utilities or AlsoftPlusOptimizer) can be found among some older Mac collectors.

Step 4: Install and launch your defragmentation software

Nowadays, you can buy one online. So, you repatriate your compacted software, you unzip it and once installed, it only remains to double-click on its icon. You will see, they are so well made and explicit that you cannot go wrong. Choose the defragmentation operation you want (there are several types). Wait until the process is complete.

When you defragment a hard drive, you avoid moving the computer, because the read operations, rebuilding the files are very demanding heads of reading and any movement could endanger your drive. We advise you to start your defragmentation at night, for example.

Pro Tip: Defragmentation software offers the advantage of being fast and easy to use. Just let it go! On the other hand, if your disk is really fragmented, nothing is worth a total (reset) reset of the hard disk. You may be forced to do it!

Author: Emma Jones

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