How to Defrag a Mac

You may be familiar with the concept of ‘defragmentation’. It is a technique used to re-organize files on a drive, so they can be accessed faster, thus boosting the system’s performance. This is commonly used by Windows users, but is it necessary in a Mac? Read on to learn more.

Is defragmentation necessary in a Mac?

Macs with OS version later than 10.2 have their own set of processes that prevent fragmentation in the first place. Meaning, Mac systems are designed in such a way that, defragmentation is not necessary. To understand this concept better, read the following techniques that are used by Mac:

  • Normally, new files are saved on recently freed up space on Windows systems. But Mac’s HFS+ file systems are designed to look for larger areas to save its files. This basic gesture in Mac’s avoids fragmentation
  • Secondly, Mac OS automatically groups small files from various areas on the disk and places them in one large area. By default, this process defragments small files in that group.
  • If a Mac identifies that a file is heavily fragmented (8 fragments or more), it will automatically defragment the file for you.

These automatic defragmentation techniques adopted by Mac are extremely beneficial to help keep the system in top performance. Thus, it is safe to say that your ‘Mac’s don’t need defragmentation’. But there is an exception to every rule and this is no different. The exception is that such automatic defragmentation routines cannot be performed when your hard drive has less than 10% free space.

How to defrag a Mac?

If you are a multimedia person creating large files on a regular basis, your disk may fill up quickly and you may fall into the exception category explained above. In such cases, a recommended option before defragging is to perform a disk clean-up. This can resolve performance issues in most cases.

However, if you are not satisfied with a disk clean-up, you can consider defragging using third party tools such as ‘DriveGenius’. But before you do, always make sure you have a backup of your data as a precaution.

Defragging SSD’s

Defragging is only safe on regular hard drives. On the other hand, if you’re using a fusion drive or an SSD, defragging can cause a lot of wear and tear and lead to failure of these drives. Hence, it should never be done.

General tips to boost Mac’s performance

  • Keep your Mac OS updated

Updates involve performance and security improvements; hence it should be done on a regular basis. This may help avoid slowdowns or sluggish behavior.

  • Free up space and keep your system clean

You can delete old and unnecessary files manually from ‘Trash’ and other areas of your system by browsing through them. If you find this time consuming, you can also use third-party tools such as ‘CleanMyMac’ to delete system junk and old files automatically. Before you use third party tools, understand the risk that some of your files that you don’t intend to delete may get deleted.

In cases, when you find that third-party tools have deleted important files and you need to recover them, data recovery tools such as Remo Recover can be used. It is a wonderful tool to recover deleted or lost files and also recover emptied Trash.

It is a simple tool that performs data recovery in a quick and efficient manner. It is designed to be compatible with all recent versions of Mac, so you’ll have no issues with compatibility.

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