In last week’s post on keeping your PC in good working order, we showed you how to Empty the Recycle Bin on your PC’s desktop, and how to empty the Deleted Items folder in Microsoft Outlook. This week we’re taking a look at ‘defragging’ the hard disk on your computer, another good way to speed things up if your computer’s grindingly slow.

Defrag the disk every three months

The ‘disk’ is where documents and files are stored on your computer. When your PC begins to ‘write’ a file to the disk, it has no idea how big the file is and it puts in anywhere on the disk it can find space.
And if the space that it chooses isn’t big enough, it goes and finds another one, and carries on writing. The file stays in one piece, but it can be spread or ‘fragmented’ around the disk. Over time, this slows things down as the PC has to collect fragments of files whenever you want to use them.

‘Defraging’ the disk cleans things up, brings files together again, and generally speeds your PC up.

Here’s how to defrag a computer:

This brings up a panel with a number of options on it. Defragging your
disk can take a little while so it may be best to do it whilst you’re away
from your desk. Some versions of Windows allow you to schedule a defrag,
so you could, for example schedule it to run at night.

Coming up next time: clearing your browser history in Internet Explorer