The disk inside your PC or laptop does an awful lot of hard work. In addition to storing all your files, folders, pictures, video and music it’s the home to all the Windows system files too. At first your files are stored in neat and organised blocks, but over time they can become fragmented making your disk drive work harder as it tries to piece all the bits together when they are needed.

Disk fragmentation has been an issue for as long as there have been disk drives and though it’s less of a problem nowadays you can still help to keep things organised on your hard disk.

To check and see if your hard disk is fragmented go to the search charm and type Defragment. In the Settings results click on Defragment and optimise your drives. When your list of hard drives appears click on them and then select Analyse. Once the scan has finished check the Current Status column to see if the disk needs optimising. Your drives should be set to automatically optimise themselves anyway, but if not click on Change Settings to see your defragmentation options.

One other tool you can use to reclaim disk space is the Disk Cleanup tool, this will scan your hard disk for unused old files that are no longer required, such as Windows update files and delete them. Go to the search charm and type Disk Cleanup and click on Free up disk space by deleting unnecessary files. When Disk Cleanup launches select your drive from the drop-down menu and click on OK. When the scan has completed Windows will show you exactly how much space can be saved, click OK to delete the files. 

Visit the Dell Tech Zone for more advice on family computing.