Home | Articles | Should You Defrag Your SSD?

Should You Defrag Your SSD?

Hard Drive defragging has become routine for many of us.  Through the years there have been a number of utilities that claimed to make accessing data quicker on your hard drives by placing it sequentially on your disk.  We have read many guides that suggested that we defrag our hard drives often and even Windows will suggest a schedule for defragmenting your hard drive.  This is all well and good for traditional hard drives, but does this apply for SSDs as well?

In Short…

Never defrag your SSD!!!

The Reason

Solid State Drives gain no performance benefits from defragmentation tools simply because there are no moving parts (like platters in a traditional hard drive); various areas of storage can be accessed simultaneously.  This is why we gain such speed benefits from switching to solid state storage in the first place.

CODNAS-7crucial-m4-128-20

In fact, defragging your SSD will hurt more than it will help!  SSDs have a limited life cycle.  Unlike traditional hard drives, an SSD’s lifespan is determined by the number of reads and writes it performs.  Defragmentation tools read data and determine placement then write that data to the location it thinks is best.  This large number of reads and writes can take a toll on your drive’s lifespan adding unnecessary wear.

Check and make sure that scheduled defrags aren’t taking place in Windows.  If they are on a schedule… disable it.

TRIM?

Your best bet is to ensure that TRIM is enabled.  TRIM has been designed to keep your SSD running at optimal performance over its lifespan.   TRIM deletes invalid data from the SSD to ensure that write operations can be performed at full speed.  TRIM works behind the scenes to pro-actively erase pages that contain invalid data allowing the drive to write data without have to erase data first.

Equating it to laundry… You have 10 shirts and you want to wear one of them…  You walk over, grab a clean shirt and put it on.  Imagine if you had a pile of dirty shirts and wash each one as you want to wear it.

See if TRIM is enabled:

  • open a command prompt as an administrator
  • Enter the following command:

fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify

There are two possible outcomes for this command; a 0 or a 1.  A zero indicates that TRIM is enabled and working properly.  A one means you need to read further down this page to enable TRIM (provided your SSD supports TRIM).

To enable TRIM (Windows 7 or Later):

  • Make sure your BIOS is set to AHCI
  • open a command prompt as an administrator
  • Enter the following command:

fsutil behavior set DisableDeleteNotify 0

About Joe DiFiglia

I have always had a passion for everything computing. In early 2000, I decided to take my passion to the web. Thus, C.O.D. was born. Through the years we have made many great friends at C.O.D. and hope to continue our journey for years to come.