How often should you defrag an SSD?

This is how Windows 10 optimizes your SSD

Thomas Rau

Windows 10 can also optimize SSDs. However, it uses different functions for this than with a hard drive. We'll show you what to do.

EnlargeWindows 10 also optimizes SSDs. But in a different way than normal hard drives.

Defragmenting hard disks is one of the basic tasks: Windows cleans up the magnetic storage so that related files are close together on the disk. This increases the speed of the hard disk, especially when reading and writing large files, since the read / write heads do not have to travel long distances.

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Windows 10 also offers a function to defragment and optimize drives - even with SSDs. However, defragmenting flash memory is counter-productive: if Windows were to re-sort files, it would have to write to the SSD every time. However, since SSDs cannot withstand an unlimited number of write operations, defragmenting them would shorten their lifespan.

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This is why Windows 10 switches off defragmentation as soon as it detects an SSD in the system. Nevertheless, you will also find the drive optimization function with an SSD - is Windows 10 killing your SSD step by step?

No. Because the operating system optimizes SSDs differently than hard drives. In addition to defragmenting, the optimization includes numerous other options that are intended to increase the storage speed. Windows 10 does not defragment an SSD. Instead, it improves the SSD speed using the TRIM command. Windows shows the SSD which files the operating system has deleted. The SSD controller then no longer has to copy this when it clears up the flash memory: The write speed of the SSD increases. The TRIM command thus establishes the connection between the file system in which Windows organizes the storage content and the block structure with which the SSD manages the storage space.

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So as long as Windows recognizes the flash memory used as an SSD, the operating system applies the appropriate optimization for the memory. To do this, it sends an ATA command to the SSD, which it uses to query the rotational speed of the disk, among other things. If the SSD gives the correct answer, which identifies it as a non-rotating storage medium, Windows knows that there is a flash memory in the system. If you have installed an SSD that Windows incorrectly recognizes as a hard drive, you should update the SSD's firmware.