Microsoft Windows 10 runs scheduled maintenance tasks on a regular basis; one of the tasks optimizes any hard drive connected to the system at the time.
The operating system checks platter-based drives for fragmentation and will run defrag operations on the drives if fragmentation levels cross a certain threshold. Solid State Drives are treated with the TRIM command instead.
Windows 10 runs the the optimization task once a week by default. You may have noticed periods in which the operating system became less responsive, and that may have been caused by defrag operations running in the background.
The use of third-party programs to optimize drives is another reason for disabling automatic defrag or TRIM optimizations in Windows 10.
So, how do you get to the "Optimize Drives" interface shown on the screenshot above?
The Optimize Drives interface lists all connected drives that are mounted in the interface. You will notice that drives without drive letter are not listed in the interface even though they may be connected to the system.
Each drive is listed with its name and drive letter, its type, status, and the time and date optimizations were run on the drive.
Note that you cannot refresh the listing once it is open. If you connect a drive after opening Optimize Drives, you need to close and reopen the interface to find it listed under drives.
The type of drive determines which options are available to you. Optimize is available for all drive types; the type of optimization depends on the drive type with defragmentation being run on platter-based hard drives and TRIM operations on Solid State Drives.
Analyze is only available for platter-based drives. Analyze checks the drive's fragmentation status and updates it in the interface after the analysis completes.
Scheduled optimization information is displayed in the lower part of the interface. It highlights whether scheduled tasks are enabled and the task's interval.
A click on "change settings" opens a menu that you may use to disable automatic drive optimization or change other parameters of the maintenance task.
The following options are provided:
You may use the last option to turn off automatic maintenance of some drives; useful if you don't want certain drives to be included in the optimization.
You may disable the automatic inclusion of new drives in optimization tasks in the configuration menu as well.
While you can manage the optimize drives tasks using the configuration interface, you may also disable it using the Windows Task Scheduler.
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