If you’ve ever owned a traditional hard disk drive (HDD), then you've probably defragged it at some stage. This is because defragging an HDD is necessary due to the way it's built.
In recent years, many people have been replacing their HDDs with SSDs due to the impressive technology and additional benefits.
Those of us used to defragging our hard disk drives may wonder if it is necessary to defrag an SSD. We answer that question below.
The short answer is this: you don't need to defrag an SSD.
Defragging re-arranges large files so they are stored in one continuous area of a hard disk drive (HDD). This means that the file can be read in one go, which is faster.
HDDs are mechanical drives, with a relatively long seek time of approximately 15 milliseconds (ms), so every time a file is fragmented you lose 15ms finding the next one. This really adds up when reading lots of different files split into lots of different fragment
SSDs are designed to access file fragments without delay using flash memory, with an average seek times in the region of 0.1ms. So you won’t really notice the benefit of defragged files — which means there is no performance advantage to defragging an SSD.
And since SSDs often move data to temporary positions as part of its normal operation, defragging will actually take up more of your solid state drive's limited rewrite capability.
Defragmenting is not recommended for solid state drives.
At best, it won't do anything to help get a faster SSD drive, at worst, it will use up write cycles.
If you have already defragged your SSD a few times, it won’t harm your SSD. However, it’s not a practice you should continue..
There are other ways to clean up and increase speed on your computer. There are even reasons for formatting an SSD, encrypting SSDs, and ways to increase storage space on a SSD. They all serve a purpose — there just isn’t a reason to defrag an SSD.
There are two types of consumer SSDs: SATA and NVMe. Not all SSDs are compatible with every computer, so it’s important to know the type, form factor and interface of any drive you may buy.