Should You Defrag a SSD? – Err…

In Guides, Hardware Guides, PC Optimizationby Austin6 Comments

So you heard about “defragging” your computer. What exactly is this “defragging” and should you do it? Let me quickly explain. Defragging or defragmenting is a way of maintaining your systems speed by optimizing the files on it.

As time goes by all those snazzy little HD background photos, important files, and games you download begin to cluster and build up within your system’s hard drive.

But instead of instantly organizing all the files you download, your computer scatters them across the barren wastelands hidden within your HDD (hard disk drive).

While your files may appear to be organized in your eyes, the computer sees things a bit differently, (depending on what kind of drive you have.)

Every file you’ve downloaded is mixed up and your computer has to inefficiently run back and forth through miles of these wastelands to fetch your files for you, that is… If you are using a hard drive.

But there is a solution for your hard drive and that is to defragment it.

When you defrag your hard drive it turns that barren wasteland of scattered files into lush organized strands of data grasses, making the data a lot easier to reach and more accessible. But this only really applies to hard drives.

Modern forms of storage like SSD’s are different because they are better at organizing and accessing files without causing as much of a mess like HDD’s do.

Wait so if that really only applies to hard drives then should you defrag a SSD? I’ll get to that in a moment, first let’s take a quick glimpse at the computer drive who took steroids.

A Hero Is Born?

While SSD’s store files like your hard drive does, they function a lot differently from each other.

Yeah a SSD (Solid State Drive) basically stores things like a hard drive or HDD and they both have similar jobs, but instead of being a big metal rectangular prism with a disk spinning, a SSD stores data on flash memory chips.

This method of storage is a LOT faster than the ways of the hard drives, but it does come with a cost, and that cost usually being a significantly higher price than a HDD.

But like I said, a SSD is super fast at reading and writing compared to a hard drive and can do things like boost your computer’s loading times like a champ.

With Such Strength Comes A Weakness?

The problem with SSD’s is that they have a limited number of write cycles. So what does that mean?

This means that whenever you modify a file, download or even delete something (basically anything related to change) that it has an impact on the life of your SSD.

What makes SSD’s different from hard drives is that SSD’s have a limited amount of writes until game over, then they are dead. Goodbye SSD, it was nice knowing you. Now don’t leave… there’s still hope, keep on reading.

But if you are careful about how many files you write you can extend the life of your SSD and make it last longer. In the realm of SSD’s it’s read more and write less if you want to keep them lasting longer.

While this is technically true, is it something you should really worry about? With today’s SSD’s, not really.

So Should I?

That being said, now that you know the weaknesses of SSD’s we now can apply some of that knowledge to defragmenting. So should you defrag a SSD?

Like I said, SSD’s have a limited amount of writes, so when you defragment your SSD it reduces the life of it. But here’s where things are not what they seem.

Yes it reduces the life of the SSD and has an impact on it, but you only really need to worry about this if you are using older SSD’s. Newer SSD’s are a lot stronger and are capable of withstanding tons of writes when compared to older generations.

In fact, you’ll probably already have a new computer before your SSD dies from failure. Modern SSD’s can write so much data before failure, that you won’t likely utilize all the writing before it dies. Boom what a plot twist!

In addition, I have good news for you. You don’t even need to worry about defragmenting your SSD if you have Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 because Windows does all the work for you.

So don’t even bother with defragmenting your SSD!

The Verdict

So let’s summarize what we’ve learned:

  • HDD’s or hard disk drives like to scatter files that you add to your system, but defragmenting can organize these files for optimized speeds.
  • SSD’s or Solid State Drives are a lot faster than HDD’s.
  • SSD’s have a limited amount of writes.
  • Writes are anything related to changing the files such as deleting something.
  • Although writes have an impact on the life of your SSD, the impact is very little in modern SSD’s.
  • Modern SSD’s are capable of handling so much writing that you will probably have a couple new computer’s before it dies from too much writing.
  • Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 automatically configures the right SSD settings for you.
  • Don’t even think about defragmenting your SSD because Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 will automatically optimize it.

Wrapping Things Up

If you want to learn more about hard drive optimization and speeding up your computer be sure to check out this post. It’s definitely information worth your time and something you don’t want to miss.

Some people would even pay for this kind of information, so be sure to check it out! I don’t think my computer would even live without knowing this sort of information.

Well I think that’s everything I wanted to tell you for now. I hope you find this kind of information useful and as always, I encourage you to drop a comment.

Maybe you have some questions? Or perhaps you want to start a discussion and tell me what your thoughts are on this topic. Maybe offer your personal experience into this topic.

Whatever comments you may have, I would be more than happy to reply to them. Happy gaming!

Austin

Comments

  1. I absolutely love this insightful article because it is full of great information. This is fascinating and intriguing to me. You did an excellent job of providing the education and resources; The article was well written and easy to understand

    I have defragged HDD before now, but I don’t know much about SSD; Thanks for this information telling us not to defrag SSD.

    It’s indeed an eye opener for me

  2. Defragging is a term I have never heard of. However, I know it is necessary to always remove clusters of irrelevant files to prevent your system from crawling. I am aware my system hard drive is HDD, is there anyway I can upgrade this to SSD? 

    Expecting your feedback.

    Thanks for writing.

    1. Author

      Hey Louis, thank you for reading my post and commenting! Yes it’s possible to switch a HDD out with a SSD, just be careful not to lose any files or software licenses from the HDD when switching to a SSD. If you are using Windows 10 I know that it’s possible to migrate it from a HDD to the SSD with proper software. Most motherboards support SSD’s too these days, but always make sure it’s compatible. 

  3. Thank you for this valuable information. All my life I have been using windows 7 I am perfectly satisfied with it but I was apprehensive when you started off your discussion, until you hit the good news. I also checked out your other article ” Running Slower Than Normal? – Possible Solutions”  and I wish to commend you. 

    1. Author

      Hey Paschal, thank you for dropping a comment and reading my posts. I’m glad you enjoyed them and found them useful too. If there’s anything else on your mind feel free to let me know.

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