Should You Really Defrag Your Mac?
Hey there, dear Mac users!
You may remember the process of defragmentation from your PC days. So, is there any similar utility for Mac? What if there are some performance issues? I'll tell you how to deal with them.
Well, unfortunately, there are no built-in utilities for doing that on Mac. The cause for it is the fact that macOS is designed in a different way than Windows OS. It defragments its files by itself, automatically. Still, there can be some situations when you have to perform the defrag process on your Mac once in several years.
In this article, I'll share all my knowledge regarding defragmentation on Mac, its advantages and minuses, as well as what alternatives for this process are out there.
Do Mac Users Need to Defrag It?
This procedure is aimed at improving the machine's performance with reorganizing the data on your drive. Related bits of information are gathered together, so files an programs loading takes less time. So, all messed parts are put in order, and a slow system can work faster.
Nevertheless, Mac systems that came out later than the 10.2 version, don't need any defragments. The reason for that is built-in utilities that cope with the problem of defragmented files. It allows Mac users to forget about regular defragmentations. But as for every rule, there is an exception for this one.
When should a Mac be defraged?
If your drive is full for more than 90%, the system may have some problems with automatic defrag. If you often work with multimedia applications such as Adobe Photoshop and Premiere, or Final cut, this issue may be common for you. A plenty of large files eats free space of your Mac too quickly. So, if you have lots of weighty files (1 Gb or more), better store them on an external drive. Or, as an alternative, defrag your Mac.
If you choose the first way, there is a great app that will clean your working machine in a couple of minutes, so you'll be able to enjoy the fast efficient work. I'm talking about the CleanMyMac X application. As my experience shows, it can find nearly 75 Gb of junk files on every Mac. I often get surprised when I look at such numbers, but it's true. These are old large files, leftovers of applications, system clutter. So, it removes such files and Mac's performance becomes better. It's a nice alternative for defragmentation.
But if you still want to do it, let's proceed, as I've prepared a step-by-step guide on defragmenting your Mac!
How to Perform Defragmentation on Mac?
A trusted third party app is the safest and user-friendly way to do that. But before starting the defragmentation process, back up your personal data from the Mac. This way, you'll have all your files saved in some other place, if something goes wrong. You can use iCloud, DropBox, Time Machine, an external hard drive or any other service you like for this purpose.
Pay a great attention to the requirements to the compatibility while choosing an app. Macs systems older than 10.2 don't work with the freshest defrag software, so please find a relevant application.
After you've chosen and installed the utility, launch it and give it some time to end the process. Don't use or move your Mac during defragmentation, cause this may cause errors. Let it work and restart after it finishes.
Can defrag harm a HDD?
No worries here. OS X defragmentation won't harm your hard disk. On the contrary, it will speed up your HDD as all the data that was stored in various locations will be stored in one place. It's simply the arranging of your data, nothing harmful at all. Anyway, perform the defrag procedure carefully, don't interfere it until it ends.
Why is it not necessary to defrag a SSD?
This process works only for hard disk drives. Don't interfere the SSD working with defragmentation, if your Mac comes with a solid state drive. The cause for it is the fact that the SSD concept is strongly different from the HDD one. So, the process can even harm your SSD.
Are There Some Alternatives?
You know, it's not always necessary to defrag your Mac, if it works slowly. Sometimes, the problem is not in the HDD at all. So, trying some other methods to boost your system's speed makes sense! Here are some of them.
Repair disk permissions
This is some sort of usual troubleshooting tip for Macs. These permissions are special file settings that influence the opportunity of reading, writing and executing a file. If they set incorrectly, it may cause troubles for a Mac user.
Disk Utility is the way of fixing permissions in OS X Yosemite an earlier versions.
How to repair the startup disk? Here are the main points of optimizing that:
- Launch 'Disk Utility'. It can be found in the 'Applications' folder and the 'Utilities' subfolder.
- Choose the startup disk.
- Click the tab called 'First aid'.
- Choose 'Verify disk permissions' for checking them.
- Tap on 'Repair disk permissions' to deal with the problem.
But there is an easier way to do that, if you are too lazy to fix permissions manually. I've mentioned it above already, this app is called CleanMyMac X. Its special Maintenance module will optimize your Mac and repair disk permissions for you. So, your system will work properly.
Also, try the disk cleanup to boost Mac's speed before launching the defrag process. It will take just a couple of minutes.
Useful speedup tips!
Here are some bonus tricks on speeding up your computer!
- Update all macOS software
Try to do it, choose the latest versions, as they are designed especially for increasing the Mac's performance. Moreover, updates often include bug fixes that may cause slowdowns.
- Delete files you don't need any more
Always make sure that there is more than 10% of free space left on your Mac. The lack of free space is a usual cause for a slow work. Once again, you can clean your machine with the CleanMyMac X app and free gigabytes of space!
- Don't allow programs launch automatically
When you turn on your Mac, tons of applications turn on by themselves and run in the background later. You can stop them. Go to 'System preferences', then to 'Users&Groups', and choose 'Login items' there. It will show you the full list of apps that launch automatically. Click a 'minus' button near those ones that you need to turn off.
But if you don't want to do all those things manually, try some maintenance software. I use CleanMyMac X and it optimizes Mac's performance quickly and safely. Moreover, it's user-friendly and easy to understand.
I hope that my article was useful and your Mac is working much faster now! Please don't forget to like & share! ;)