Why you shouldn’t defrag your Mac

Disk Fragmentation is a serious problem that Windows users have to cope with and resolve if they want to get the best performance out of their computers and also assure the longest possible life span for their hard drives. So if you are used to defragging your partitions regularly and recently just changed from a PC to a MAC it is normal to ask yourself if you need to continue with this habit. Well, the short answer is NO, and here are some valid reasons why.
First of all, the guys at Apple hint us that we don’t have to defrag our drives by not including any Disk Defragmenter application in within the Disk Utility features. The reason for overlooking this is that any MAC equipped with OS X starting with the 10.2 version and beyond comes with built-in features that automatically prevent file fragmentation.
Probably the simplest way OS X prevents file fragmentation is the smart management of free space by the HFS+ file system. Whenever you store information on your MAC, the operating system avoids writing data in parts of the disk that have been recently freed. What it does is actually look for larger, contiguous parts of volume space thereby making sure that files aren’t broken up and stored randomly on the disk.
Another thing that is possible when using the HFS+ file system is the dynamic gathering of data contained in smaller files and merging them into larger parts of your drive. This feature of OS X that runs automatically can actually be viewed as a mini Disk Defragmenter that runs all the time without affecting your machine’s performance.
A second great feature of OS X that also runs automatically is the Hot File Clustering. It marks and remembers files that are read only and also used more to later move them to a special part of your hard disk where the read/write head has the fastest access. While moving them, all the files are defragged by OS X.
If this wasn’t enough, every time you access a file, the operating system runs a check to see if it suffers from fragmentation, meaning being split into more than 8 parts, and immediately takes action if it is.
Actually, the only time when your hard disk could need a defrag is if it has less than ten percent free volume space. In this situation, the operating system can’t use all its automatic safeguards and the best thing you should do is deleting files or getting more volume space.

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