Do You Need to Defragment a Mac’s Hard Drive?

Apple resources a available utility for running with tough drives known as Disk Utility. If you open up Disk Utility, you’ll word that it doesn’t include a device for defragmenting any of the drives connected in your Mac. The reason for this perceived oversight is that a Mac running any model of OS X later than 10.2 does no longer need to be defragmented. OS X, in addition to macOS, have their very own integrated safeguards that prevent files from turning into fragmented inside the first place.


The Mac’s HFS+ report machine attempts not to apply these days freed document space on a disk. Instead, it looks for larger free areas already present on the pressure, thereby keeping off fragmenting files just to fit them into available space.
The Mac OS dynamically gathers corporations of small files and combines them into larger areas for your disk robotically. The technique of writing the files to a brand new larger region defragments all the files inside the institution.
OS X and MacOS put in force Hot File Adaptive Clustering, which monitors often-accessed documents that do not get changed (read-most effective), after which actions those regularly-accessed files to a unique warm zone at the startup pressure. In the system of transferring those files, OS X defragments them and then stores them in the area of the pressure that has the quickest get right of entry to.
When you open a document, the Mac checks to look if it is tremendously fragmented (more than eight fragments). If it’s miles, the running gadget will robotically defragment the file.
The end result of some of these safeguards is that the Mac not often, if ever, needs to have its disk area defragmented. The simplest actual exception to that is whilst your tough pressure has less than 10 percentage unfastened space. At that factor, the Mac working system is unable to carry out its automated defragmentation exercises, and also you need to take into account either removing files or expanding your disk garage size.


Question: Is There Any Reason Not to Defragment My Mac’s Drive?
As we cited above, you likely don’t need to defragment your drives, because your Mac looks after that for you. However, there are a few styles of duties that could gain from defragmented drives; specially, while working with actual-time or close to actual-time records acquisition or manipulation. Think video or audio recording and enhancing, complex clinical information acquisition, or working with time-sensitive statistics.

This handiest applies to traditional hard drives. If you’re using an SSD, or a Fusion drive, its statistics need to by no means be defragmented, as doing so can cause writing amplification, a commonplace reason of untimely failure of the SSD. SSDs have a finite variety of writes that may be carried out. You can think of it as the memory location inside the SSD turning into brittle with age. Each write to a reminiscence place will increase the age of the mobile.

Because flash-based totally storage requires the memory locations to be erased earlier than new facts may be written to them, the system of defragging an SSD can result in more than one write cycles, causing immoderate wear on the SSD.

Question: Will Defragmenting Harm My Drive?
As we cited, defragmenting an SSD or any flash-primarily based garage device (this consists of Fusion-based totally drives that use a small SSD/flash tool along with a fashionable tough power) can lead to untimely failure by means of growing the amount of wear and tear (writing and analyzing of storage cells).

In the case of a hard pressure, one that uses a mechanical rotating platter, there may be no widespread danger of damage to the tough force, or to your Mac, honestly by acting a defrag. The simplest poor comes inside the time it takes to perform the defragmentation.

What If I Decide That I Do Indeed Need to Defragment?
There are 1/3-party utilities to be had that could defragment your Mac’s drives. One of my favorites for this venture is:

Drive Genius 4: Tom’s Mac Software Pick

Drive Genius 4 does loads more than offer the capacity to defragment a Mac’s force; it consists of the ability to screen power health in addition to restore maximum pressure problems.