MacMost Now 373: Do You Need to Defrag Your Mac?

Defragmentation was a common technique among Mac-using professionals in the 1990s. But with Mac OS X and today's hardware, do you still need to run defragmentation software?

Comments: 16 Responses to “MacMost Now 373: Do You Need to Defrag Your Mac?”

    Dan
    9 years ago

    No

    forkboy1965
    9 years ago

    Thanks for explaining the particulars of why one doesn’t need to defrag a modern Apple computer. I was aware of some of them, but not all the ones you brought to our attention.

    Ken
    9 years ago

    Excellent video Gary! This is so true for me especially I can’t even fill 500GB. Currently I have 460GB free space. The rest is store on a central location. Nice tip regarding backing the hard drive twice. Thanks for letting me know I wasted my money on iDefrag. :P

    How about a video on the firewall when you have the time? Seem very similar to Windows. Thanks Gary.

    Chris Wanja
    9 years ago

    Gary, I have to disagree in the fact that it “takes a while ‘one hour to one to two days'”. I regularly defrag my hard-drive using an OS installed on a LaCie and boot to that using FireWire 800 cables. Then I run DriveGenius 2 and defrag it.

    It has never taken more than an hour or an hour and a half. And in my experience, it has only FAILED once. I would say that is a major risk, and keep a backup before hand.

    Even though you linked to an Apple KB article that suggests you should not need to defrag, Apple’s ProCare service (http://www.apple.com/retail/procare/) will still do a defrag when you bring it in for a “yearly tune-up”. They may not say it in so many words on the paper work or on the website, but as an ex-employee and Genius – it is a standard to do a defrag when they come in.

    Ken S
    9 years ago

    Hi Gary, as always great video. I understand everything in the video and have read the many opinions on defragging mac drives but I still run DriveGenius2 every couple of months on my 4 machines and swear that the mac now runs faster and with way fewer beach balls. Yes, I run the repair disk permissions utility but typically don’t see any difference and realize its limited to apple installer packages. I have never had an issue with DriveGenius2 and none of the drives are even close to full. My biggest concern is that the process might cause the drive to fail sooner (in the future) due to all the heavy processing during the defrag? Perhaps its like taking your car through the carwash and you just feel like it “runs” better afterwards… Thanks for all the great videos and tips.

    Ken S
    9 years ago

    This was an amazing video. Thanks so much for all of the details.! You are THE MOST helpful of any guy out there. Thanks for being here.

    Ed F
    9 years ago

    Great as usual Gary for someone who has recently switched to Mac you are a god send thanks for being there

    Ed F
    9 years ago

    Great video Gary for someone who has recently switched to Mac from PC your videos are very informative thanks for being there Ed

    Richard Stelloh
    9 years ago

    6 minutes and 47 seconds? Answer No.

    sami elias
    8 years ago

    Does restoring from time machine will require reinstalling third party softwares?
    Like do I need to reinstall all updates , mac office . etc etc
    Thanks your time and your usual amazing info
    sami

      8 years ago

      If you are doing a full backup to TM (default) and you do a full restore, you should have everything back, applications an all. But the worse case is you have to re-install things like Office from the original discs.

    chris
    7 years ago

    Excellent explanation!

    EdB
    7 years ago

    In the video you state that a good alternative to defrag would be a reformat of your startup drive then a restore from time machine. I would love to see the steps you would recommend to get that done. I am on an older imac which HD has been filled/emptied many times and is not running very well these days. Locking up a lot. I would guess I would startup from another OSX disk, reformat the drive, but what I don’t know is how to do the full restore from my time machine backup. Thanks a lot!

      7 years ago

      The only reason I would do a defrag is if you need to install a windows partition with Boot Camp and it won’t let you until you do a defrag. If your Mac is not running well, I’d try to figure out why — a defrag or starting from scratch is a pretty extreme move.
      But, if you want to do it, the procedure depends on which version of OS X you are using. With Lion, you boot from the restore partition and it is an option there.

        EdB
        7 years ago

        I have 10.6.8. It is an older mac and some of the free demo software has told me that my mac is 65% fragmented. Sounds like it is about due to me… Thanks for your help.

          7 years ago

          Don’t know what you are using to tell you that. But fragmentation isn’t an issue with modern OS X (Snow Leopard is OK) and modern HDs. I just don’t see the need for this.

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