How to defrag a Mac? Do You Need To Defrag Mac (Complete Guide)

If you’re a new Mac user and you’ve bumped into the term ‘disk defragmentation’ somewhere, and now you’re curious what it means. Well, let me tell you that you’re in the right place because, in this article, we’ll explain about what disk defragmentation is when to defrag a Mac and how to defrag a Mac.


How to Defrag a Mac

The Mac operating system does not offer any procedure for defragmenting your disk storage; you’ll have to use third-party apps to defrag your Mac. The macOS only provides a complete backup of your data, formatting the hard drive, reinstalling the operating system, and recovering those files. If you still want to defrag your Mac, here are some of the best apps that’ll help you defrag your Mac quickly.

1. iDefrag

iDefrag is one of the best apps to defrag your disk storage. It offers a free trial period, and then this app costs $32 to use.

2. Drive Genius

The Drive Genius is another app to defrag your Mac; this app offers a more range of processes like working with hard drive partitions and restoring your data. This app costs you $99.

3. TechTool Pro 5

The TechTool Pro 5 app is made to optimize your Mac; besides, it also provides an option to defrag your Mac. The TechTool app costs $98. All of these tools are third-party apps, which means you have to be careful when using them. You cannot get Apple’s support for these tools; also, you have to make sure that you’re not using them on a Mac with an SSD because it can damage your system and disk.

How to do a disk cleanup on a Mac

If your Mac is running slow, or you’re noticing any sluggish performance, it is better to perform a thorough disk cleanup of your Mac. Your system needs a particular amount of free space to provide you with the expected performance. It needs to carry out its operations and save momentary data. Follow these steps to perform a disk cleanup on your Mac and speed up its performance.

  1. Don’t run several heavy applications simultaneously; it may occupy a significant part of your RAM and slow down your system.
  2. Reboot your system now and then to delete all the temporary data in your RAM and speed up your system. You can even take help from the Memory Cleaner app that’ll help you clean up all the useless data from your Mac.
  3. Keep your Operating system and Applications up to date.

Replace your HDD with an SSD or upgrade your RAM to improve the performance of your system.

What is disk defragmentation?

You need to learn about two separate terms here fragmentation and defragmentation. Fragmentation is a process of breaking down a large file into fragments. These fragments of a large file are written to different parts of the hard disk. This process takes place whenever there is some free space on your disk in the form of small fragments, this free space in the form of fragments makes it impossible to save large files on it. That is why; a large file is broken down into smaller chunks to save it on your disk.

This process has its limitations, the most major of them is that your computer takes more time to find and read the data saved on your disk because it is distributed in different areas on your hard disk.  This process also wears down your disk faster because of accessing different areas on your disk for a single file instead of one particular segment.

The second, defragmentation, is a process of organizing all the distributed parts of a single file into one place on your disk. All the data is organized in a manner that one large file is stored in one place on your disk, removing the distance between the different parts as in fragmentation. When all the data of individual files are stored in one particular area on your disk, it takes less time to find and read the data making your computer ultra-fast.

Do you need to defragment a Mac?

The Microsoft operating systems do not offer any built-in course of action to fight fragmentation; the Microsoft system uses the FAT and NTFS, which needs defragmentation every once in a while because of no procedure to avoid fragmentation.

In contrast, the Apple system uses the Hierarchical File System or the HFS+ that sole purpose is to prevent fragmentation. It offers a particular course of action known as the Hot File Adaptive Clustering that makes sure that no fragmentation occurs on your disk.

On the other hand, Apple computers feature an SSD hard drive with an exclusive algorithm to avoid fragmentation. These drives perform their procedures in the SSD to eliminate any fragmentation in your disk storage.

From the above discussion, it is quite evident that your Mac does not need any defragmentation; their operating system has its exclusive procedures to avoid fragmentation. But, there is one situation where you might consider defragmenting your Mac;

If you own an out-dated Mac, and you also have an out-dated hard drive, and you use this Mac for your professional work that concerns video and audio files. There is a possibility that your out-dated hard drive is congested with many audio and video files of different programs.

Programs like Photoshop, Logic Pro, and Final Cut Pro have specific files that are more prone to fragmentation and are difficult to remove by your operating system. Even if these files get fragmented in your disk storage, your Mac maintains the same performance, which eliminates the possibility of adding defragmenters in the regular set of Apple utilities.


You need to clean up your system every once in a while, rebooting your system frequently can free up a lot of space on your RAM. Regular clean up your system will make sure there is no fragmentation on your disk. If you want to perform defragmentation on your disk, it is recommended to backup your data and reinstall your operating system. This process is easy and free of cost.

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Nick Miller

It's Nick Miller a 25 year old tech enthusiast and senior editor at Flexgate, i try to make tech simple for the everyday person. You will find review about tech, tools and Computer hardware here.

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