Poster of Article Defrag Mac

Defrag Mac Hard Disk in 5 Easy Steps to Speed Up Your System

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Poster of Article Defrag Mac

Has your Mac become really sluggish and takes ages to open anything at all? We have all been to that place where we’re trying to open a single file but our Mac cannot even manage to do that. If you’ve ever been a Windows user, you’d think about performing Defragmentation on your hard drive, right? Windows has a built-in Defragging software but Mac does not and there is a good reason for that. So, do you really want to Defrag Mac Hard drive? Let’s find out.

What is Defragmentation?

The process of Defragmentation is reorganizing different parts of large files and storing them side by side. As the parts of those files are closer now, they can now act as a single whole part. As a result, it is easier for the Hard drive to access all the parts of those files. Therefore, it ends up in speeding up your computer in most cases. Let’s see if and when we should Defrag Mac hard drive.

Image Explaining Defrag Mac

Should You Defrag Mac Hard Disk?

Windows uses the classic FAT or the NTFS file systems which do not have an automatic defragmentation ability. Therefore, you need to defrag your Windows hard drive.
On the other hand, Apple uses the HFS+ (Hierarchical File System) that basically prevents fragmentation of your hard disk automatically. Furthermore, newer Macs have Solid State Drives inside that do not need defragmentation at all because of their design and algorithm. They use a process called TRIM that debugs everything on the SSD.

Images of Different Hard Disks

So, in most cases, we do not need to defrag Mac hard drive. The operating system usually does the defragmentation process on its own. But, there is one case where you might need to actually defrag Mac hard drive on your device.

When to Defrag Mac Hard Disk?

We should only worry about having to defrag Mac hard disk when you have an old Mac which has an old hard drive inside it (Not an SSD). However, it should be noted that defragmentation would be effective if the old hard disk is full of large audio and video files. Like, UHD movies, Photoshop projects or Final Cut/Premier projects that can take a lot of space. Usually, these relatively bigger files need to be defragmented manually.

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How to Defrag Mac Hard Disk?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a built-in tool in the Mac operating system that can defrag Mac hard drive. You can, however, install a third party software like iDefrag to defrag your Mac hard disk. Here is how:

  1. Download iDefrag from the official website and install it.
  2. Launch the app and choose the disk you wish to defrag on the left.
  3. Enter your Mac’s password if you have any. iDefrag will now examine your disk.
  4. After it finishes, click the first Drop-Down Menu and select how you want to Defrag Mac Hard drive.
  5. You can choose ‘Full Defrag’ if you wish to defrag Mac completely. After this selection, just click the “>” (Play) button to begin the defragmentation.

Once it is finished, it will notify you. It would potentially speed up your Mac if your Mac meets the criteria stated above.

Screenshot De-fragmentation of Mac

Also, make sure you NEVER try to defrag Mac with an SSD. This could possibly end up with you damaging your SSD or system.

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Another harder but cleaner way to defrag Mac hard drive is to just backup using Time Machine and then reinstalling your operating system.
So the conclusion is, you shouldn’t need to defrag Mac in most cases. Even though it is rare but sometimes, you might have to. And, by using this guide, you can easily Defrag Mac hard drive of yours. Hope that helps.


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