What Happened to Disk Defragmenter in Windows 8?

In Windows 8, the name for a lot of features in Windows 7 has changed. For example, Windows Anytime Upgrade is now called Add Features to Windows 8. Disk Defragmenter has now been changed to Optimize Drives. ¬†Not really sure why the name changes were necessary, but if you’re looking for something in Windows 8 and can’t find it, it’s probably because the name has changed.

In Windows 8, you can open the Charms bar and search for Optimize Drives. Luckily, you can still search disk defragmenter and it will load the correct feature.

optimize drives

You can also get to the Optimize Drives feature by going to My Computer, selecting a drive, clicking on the Manage tab and then clicking on the Optimize button.

defragment drive

This will bring up the Optimize Drives dialog box where you will see a list of your drives and their current status (% fragmented).

percent fragmented

In Windows 8, the drives are automatically scheduled for optimization on a weekly basis. You can manually optimize or defragment a drive in Windows 8 by selecting it and then clicking on the Optimize button.

manual defrag

This will start the defrag process manually and you’ll see that Windows 8 does two passes to relocate fragmented data on the hard drive. You can also click the Analyze button to quickly update the percent fragmented value.

If you want to change the automatic optimize schedule, click on Change settings.

change schedule

You can either remove the schedule so that automatic defragmentation is turned off or you can change it from weekly to daily or monthly. You can also choose all drives or a specific drive to change the schedule for. Lastly, if you click the Choose button, you can change whether you want new drives to automatically be scheduled for optimization also or not.

optimize new drives

That’s about all there is to defragmenting disks in Windows 8. For most people, the automatic schedule should work fine, but if you have a third party tool or simply don’t find defragmenting useful, you can always turn it off in the settings. Enjoy!

Comments [8]

  1. thanks for you guide. i thought that Microsoft is missed this in their operating system, but now only i know they changed to this name,before i went for another app instead of finding this, :(

  2. Seriously Microsoft? You still didn’t include an automatic defragmentation tool in your new Windows 8, you still use scheduled tasks? How about defragmenting whenever the PC is idle or on the go in some certain cases?

    You’d better have a meeting with the guys from Diskepeer, that’s my advice!

  3. How about just make a better filing system. Take lessons from ext4. Meh.

  4. My brand new Sony laptop with Windows 8pro; i73632QM processor; 16gb RAM; Radeon HD 7670 2gb gpu; has had lots of problems…. First the cpu fan ran at full speed until I found that the Graphic card had issues and I uninstalled and re-installed the driver… problem solved. Then, while navigating and getting used to the new operating system I installed some softeware (Adobe Lightroom, Canon utilities. After that installation I saw that the hard drive was fragmented by 5%. I selected “Optimize” and ran the program. It ran… pass 1…. then came back and said ok 9% fragmented. I tried running it again and it ran… pass 1…. said ok 10% fragmented. After multiple hours working with Sony (and once with MicroSoft) Sony declared the hard drive is working perfectly… but it still shows 10% fragmented.

    Is it possible that Windows 8 will not defragment under a certain percentage? Is there a problem here? I cannot get a straight answer. I painstakingly choose this pc because the attributes met my needs (nice display, Quad-core processor, lots of RAM, decent graphic card)… but now think it was a mistake. It seemed like a good deal at under $1,000 but as they say “if it seems like it is too good to be true, it usually is”…

    Does anyone have any knowledge of how the new “Optimize” hard drive works? My other laptop at work (similar in specs) has never been even 1% fragmented I push the limits with that with all kinds of demanding programs (photo editing, 3D graphic design etc). This laptop is brand new!!!!! !@)(&*!@)$(&*$ (sorry)


  5. Thanks for this helpful article. I have a question that I am the only user of my PC at home, so is it good to Defragmenter drives every week or I turn it off?

  6. I put in optimize drives in my search box and got no results. Also, clicking on My Computer I found system tools but I didn’t see anything about optimizing, defragging or cleaning.

  7. Tried that It analyzes, says 15% fragmented, needs optimizing, then stops. Message: Pass 1: 0% relocated

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