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Clean up and defragment your hard drive in Windows

SOLVEDby TurboTaxTurboTax Windows50Updated July 27, 2021

Your Windows computer will perform more efficiently if you periodically remove unnecessary files from your hard disk and consolidate disk space.

You can use Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter to perform these maintenance tasks.

The Disk Cleanup utility frees up space on your hard disk by finding files you can safely delete. You can decide which files you want to delete.

The method for using the Disk Cleanup utility depends on your version of Windows:

The Disk Defragmenter utility consolidates files so they occupy space more efficiently. The end result is that files are accessed faster, improving your computer's overall performance.

Defragmenting can take an hour or more, so it's best to do this when you don't need to use your computer.

  1. Select Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and Disk Defragmenter.
  2. Select the hard drive to be defragmented (usually the C drive).
  3. Select the Defragment or Defragment disk button. If a User Account Control message appears, select Yes.

If you have multiple hard drives, repeat these steps for each drive.

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