Q:

How do you defragment a Mac?

A:

Quick Answer

To defragment a Mac, make sure the operating system is up to date, download a defragmenting utility, restart the computer and run the defragmenting utility. If that does not fix the problem, run Disk Utility or back up and reinstall the most recent operating system.

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Full Answer

Unlike Windows, Mac OS X does not tend to fragment the hard drive over time. This means that most Mac users do not have to defragment their disks to keep their computers in good working order. In addition, many newer Mac models include SSD hard drives, which never require defragmenting.

Although Mac computers do not usually need to be defragmented, some users may benefit from the process. Users who create a lot of digital media, such as video, audio and photos, may have a lot of large files located on different parts of the hard drive, which can result in fragmentation over time. In addition, users who have low disk space may find that defragmenting the drive frees up some storage. To defragment OS X, run through the following steps.

  1. Update the operating system
  2. Some performance issues result from out-of-date OS X software as of 2015. Before defragmenting the computer, update the software to see if that solves the problem.

  3. Download a defragmenting utility
  4. Unlike Windows, Mac OS X does not include a built-in defragmenting utility. However, there are plenty of utilities available such as iDefrag, Drive Genius and SuperDuper.

  5. Reboot the computer
  6. Rebooting the computer frees memory space and clears out the cache.

  7. Run the utility
  8. Run the defragmenting utility according to the program's instructions.

If defragmenting does not solve the problem or the Mac has an SSD drive, run through the following steps.

  1. Run Disk Utility
  2. If defragmenting failed to fix the performance issues, the problem may result from a disk problem. Run Disk Utility to troubleshoot failing drives and repair them.

  3. Reinstall OS X
  4. If Disk Utility does not repair the problem, back up the data on the hard drive on an external drive, reformat the disk and reinstall Mac OS X.

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