Have you noticed that your Mac’s performance is slower than it used to be? It’s known that every computer will slow down after a long period of time. However, if you’ve ever used a PC or know someone who uses it, you might’ve heard about defragging your hard disk to improve performance. This is an optimization technique used by Windows computers but it’s not found on any Macs.
What is defragging a hard disk? What are its benefits? Is it possible to defrag a Mac? What are the dos and don’ts of defragging a storage device? If you have these questions on your mind, then don’t worry, this article will answer all of them.
What Does Defragging a Hard Disk Drive Mean?
Defragmentation is used to improve the read/write performance of a hard disk drive by reorganizing the files stored in your storage device. Think of it this way: Finding something in an organized cabinet is much easier than doing that in a disorganized cabinet.
When a hard disk has low free storage, Windows splits a file into several clusters and stores it in the hard disk. This makes it harder for the OS to retrieve this file since it has to find all the clusters first and then give it to the user. This also creates gaps in the storage space where there’s nothing stored at all. Over time, this fragmentation can increase and make the computer slow down and increase boot time.
Defragging a device is done to eliminate all of this fragmentation. This way, the OS can have access to the file faster. Windows has supported defragmentation for a long time and it is now called “optimization”. Windows will optimize your hard disk on a weekly or a monthly basis. Now lets figure out if you can defrag a mac computer.
Can You/Should You Defrag a Mac?
The filesystems used by Macs and PCs are very different. HFS+ and APFS used by macOS will prevent the defragmentation if the file size is less than 20 MB or if there are more than 8 fragments. macOS will also perform automatic defragmentation when needed and this eliminates the need for a manual defragger. There is no third-party defragmentation software for macOS after High Sierra.
Newer computers now come with an SSD which is much faster than the traditional hard drive. However, you should never try to defrag an SSD since they can only do a limited number of read /write operations and defragging them will severely affect their longevity.
How To Improve Mac’s Performance?
We’ve told you that defragging a hard drive is unnecessary for a Mac, but that doesn’t solve the initial performance problem. The performance issues are most likely caused by other factors and not because of fragmentation. You can improve the performance of your computer by following these steps:
- Offload large files to an external storage device – Low free storage can impact your computer’s performance and slow it down to a crawl. Even an SSD would be turned into a slowpoke if more than 90% of its storage is full.
- Delete unnecessary files – For the reasons stated above, deleting files will also improve performance.
- Install more RAM – Installing more RAM will also help the performance of your computer drastically. It will also improve the gaming performance of your Mac.
- Repair Disk Permissions – Disk Utility will let you repair disk permissions. Do this after installing every app to optimize your Mac’s performance. This is only applicable to older Macs. Go to Utilities> Disk Utility and choose the system partition. Click verify to check for incorrect permissions and then click Repair disk permissions.
- Limit startup apps – Apps that are launched at startup can decrease the boot speed of your Mac.
These are all extremely helpful and they will optimize your Mac. But if you want a faster, more efficient way of clearing up storage to improve performance, try CleanMyMac X by MacPaw.
CleanMyMac X is an excellent optimizer for your Mac. Its smart-scan feature will quickly check your storage devices and find all of the unnecessary files on your device. You can delete these files with a single click. It will also clean up app trash bins and unnecessary mail to clean up space. It can also find large unused files and you can review them before deletion. This can potentially save you hundreds of GB worth of storage.
CleanMyMac X can also optimize performance by running maintenance scripts occasionally and you can also limit login apps. It will also report the status of the computer so you can always keep yourself informed. It also provides adequate protection against malware.
CleanMyMac X can be downloaded from the MacPaw website. Click on this link to visit the website.
That’s all you need to know about defragging your Macbook. I hope that this article helped you improve the computer’s performance. If you have any doubts about the methods or any more suggestions to defrag a mac, please let me know in the comments section down below.