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Should you defrag a solid state drive?

The short answer is NO.

Files are stored on your solid state drives differently from how they are stored on a conventional hard drive. When a file is deleted, it leaves a space there. When another file comes along, that is bigger than that space, Windows stores part of it in the smaller space and the rest somewhere else. This “fragments” the file. Over time, your files can become so fragmented that your hard drive has to jump all over the place just to read a single file.

 

Your SSD has no moving parts, so there is no jumping around. Having fragmented files does not affect the performance of the drive. In fact, the SSD manages the locations of the files on the drive so they are spread out evenly to balance the load. This maximizes the life of the drive. Each part of your SSD has a finite lifespan, with a finite number of read/write operations.

 

Running defrag on your SSD will accomplish the following:

  1. You will wear your SSD out much faster than the expected lifespan.
  2. You will have a false sense of security by seeing the “0% fragmented” status reported by Windows.
  3. Your files will still be fragmented, on purpose, to balance the load on the drive.