Filed Under: Mac

How to Defrag Mac | Step-By-Step Instructions of 2024


Written by Jack Lin

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How to Defrag Mac

If you have ever used a computer, you would have heard about the defragmenting device.

It consists of a set of instructions to improve your device’s performance. Microsoft Windows has this particular option for their customers to defrag their Mac devices.

But if you are a Mac user, you will not find any such utility on your device to improve performance. Maybe this is because the Mac is designed differently than the other devices, and it can also defrag the files. But the ability of this feature is somehow limited.

So, if you want to do better than that, you would help with some external tools. Therefore, if you are interested in how to defrag Mac, a detailed step-by-step guide is given below.

defrag mac

Here is a Basic Concept of Defrag

It is a process in which scattered files are put into order on your hard disk. This process will remove gaps between your recorded files by putting them back into a whole file.

It is the usual function of the defragging to force everything back in order & remove any blanks that have been created during the use.

So, after putting everything back in order, it will be easier for the computer to find any file you are looking for.

Why Do We Need Defragment on Mac?

Basically, you need to know how to defrag the Mac device to boost its performance. This will be done by putting the files back into the order on your device.

If you have an OS X lower than 10.2, then it would not be compulsory to begin the defragmentation procedure. Similarly, if you are using a lower version of Mac OS, it has built-in utilities to clean up the fragments. Then, in many cases, you wouldn’t have to use this tool as a built-in feature of your device will do it.

But having said that, you will need manual defragmentation for better performance. If you are installing applications, uninstalling them, and upgrading your phone, then you would need to know how to defrag Mac.

How Often is It Required to Defrag Mac?

First, check your hard drive to see if it is 90% full, and then there will be problems with your Mac’s automatic defragmentation program.

Mostly, this issue is faced by multimedia creators because it is part of their job to make large files via Photoshop or Adobe.

So, if your Mac is full of large files, then the only way is to delete these large files or defrag Mac hard drive.

And the defragmentation is very effective for improving the performance of your Mac, as it will improve the response time. So, you should know how to defrag Mac.

The Solution to Defrag a Mac:

As Mac has not been provided with any utility or built-in command to defrag it, there is only one way to do it: using a trusted third-party defragmentation tool.

It is a very time-consuming process to defragment. Then during this process, you cannot use Mac in any way; otherwise, the data will be destroyed.

You are strongly advised to back up all your data before you defragging the Mac. You must follow the instructions carefully and ensure it is compatible with the Mac device (Mac OS 10.2 is not compatible with most modern defragmentation tools).

PS: here, you will learn more about how to get text messages on Mac.

Other Possible Methods to Defragment a Mac:

Achieve more free space for your device and organizing files on the hard drive are the only purpose of defragmenting the Mac.

It is very clear from our above discussion; that it is difficult to defrag Mac. We should give it a try if there is a simple way to do it.

1. Utilization of an Easy & Powerful Software:

After deep research for software on the market that tells you how to defrag Mac, the most popular and highly suggested is MacKeeper.

This is specially designed for Mac management. If you wish to get more space for your Mac, it offers six main features.

  • Clean up your junk files
  • Delete your large files
  • Delete your duplicate files
  • Erase your private data
  • Speed up your Mac
  • Manage apps & extensions
advantages of umate mac cleaner

It can be used in the latest macOS 12. Let’s find out why it is the best alternate option and what features affect the performance directly.

Besides, if you are bothered by the macOS Big Sur slow issues, this tool can help you too.

2. Fixing up Disk Permissions:

Here is another method that will tell you how to defrag your Mac, and it is to repair your disk permissions. It is actually troubleshooting way on Mac.

The method is very easy. Let’s have a look.

1: Turn on your Mac & go to ‘Disk Utilities.’

2: First, choose ‘Startup Disk‘ and then ‘First Aid.’

3: Choose ‘Verify Disk Permissions‘ to check it.

4: Finally, choose ‘Repair Disk Permissions‘ to correct any irregular permission.

mac disk utility repair permissions

3. Update macOS Software:

If all methods fail, and you don’t know how to defrag Mac, then your final option is to update your MacOS software. The method is pretty simple.

1: Go to ‘Apple Menu‘ and choose ‘System Preferences.’

2: Then, choose ‘Software Update.’

If there are any updates, you will see them and then download these updates & install them.

macOS Software Update

A Brief Conclusion on How to Defrag Mac

Now, if you are wondering how to defrag Mac? Yes, it is possible and straightforward. Mac is designed to defrag your hard drive, but sometimes it does not.

In such cases, all you are required to do is to do it manually. Also, we have explained some other methods to fix your slow-running Mac. If you want to do it fast and effectively, the best option is using MacKeeper.

A Few Realities About Defragging Mac

If your Mac is having some problems with speed and you are thinking about how to defrag Mac, then you have to consider some facts about it. The following are a few facts you should know.

For people who have a problem with your Mac and would like to try defragging Mac, please learn more about the facts below:

  1. Always remember one thing that is only the hard drives need defragging. If there is any Solid State Drive in your Mac, there is no need for it.
  2. You don’t have to defrag Mac daily. The OS X adds small files at one time, so don’t waste your efforts on defragmentation.
  3. And the Hard drives work very fast when they are at the start, but then this slows down as data is written to the bottom. So, don’t use all that available space because it will create holes in the hard drive.
  4. After years of usage of Mac, your system will start slowing down due to the addition and deletion of the data. And that OS X upgrades also disorganize the data. Therefore, you will need to defrag your Mac.
  5. MacOS collects a bunch of small files and organizes them in a large space.
  6. Mac’s HFS + File system guarantees the space that is recently freed will not be utilized on that, so the system tries to find a larger free area that is present on your drive.
  7. Whenever you open a file, your Mac system first verifies whether those files are fragmented or not. And if they are fragmented, your Mac OS will defrag Mac files automatically.

Different Possible Methods to Defrag Mac

There are other possible methods instead of using the tools mentioned earlier if you face performance problems with your Mac and don’t know how to defrag Mac. The following are some ways that will make sure your Mac performs.

Method 1: Please Install the Latest Updated of the macOS:

Installing the latest updates of your macOS will offer stability, better security, and speed to your Mac.

This will not only update the installed tools, but you wouldn’t need any defragging software to improve its performance. So, you don’t have to worry about how to defrag Mac.

1. Go to the Open System Preferences and click on the update option to check for any updates.

2. If you find the update is visible, choose the Update Now option to install it.

macOS Software Update

After updating the software, be sure that the apps are also updated.

Method 2: Remove Large and Useless Files:

If you remove the large and unnecessary files, the performance of the Mac system will be improved. This is another method to avoid defragging the Mac drive. The following are the steps to delete those extra files.

1. Go to the drive and open the ‘Search Window.’

2. choose the “+” icon and select the file size you would like to search.

Search big files on mac

3. After getting the results from the search, you can choose the files you want to delete. You can delete the required files by moving them to the Trash Icon after right-clicking the file. And don’t forget to empty your trash too.

Delete Files on Mac

Method 3: Now, Boot Mac in Safe Mode:

The final method to get rid of performance issues and steer clear of defragmentation on Mac is to boot your system in Safe Mode. This way, there is no need to install any application, and it will also remove your cache files.

1. The first step is to restart the Mac, then press & hold the shift key immediately until your Apple Log becomes visible.

2. Once you see that login window, release the shift key. You will have to log in twice and unlock the startup disk; after that, please log in to the folder.

macOS Safe Mode

Safe mode will then remove the directory or cache issue when started up again. You will be requested to restart your Mac without pressing any key to go back to normal mode.

“Now, whenever someone asks you how to defrag Mac, you can answer that with all the necessary details and methods. After reading the above article, you have all the information to improve the performance issue on your Mac.

If, by any chance, the data is deleted, then Recoverit Data Recovery will be able to help you get back those deleted files. You can share this step-by-step guide with your family and friends so that they can improve their Mac performance easily.”


1. Do I need to defrag my Mac? Most Macs do not require defragmentation due to the way Mac OS handles file organization and the use of SSDs.

2. How often should I defrag my Mac? In general, you shouldn’t need to defrag a Mac. If you’re using an older Mac with an HDD and experiencing slow performance, consult a professional for advice.

3. What can I do instead of defragmenting my Mac? Keeping your hard drive clean, updating your operating system, and increasing your storage and memory are all effective alternatives to defragmentation.

4. Does updating my operating system improve my Mac’s performance? Yes, keeping your operating system up-to-date often includes optimizations that can improve the performance of your Mac.

5. Are third-party defragmentation applications safe? While there are reputable third-party applications, always do your research before choosing one. And remember, always back up your data before proceeding with any form of defragmentation.


While defragmenting a Mac is rarely necessary due to the way Mac OS and SSDs handle file storage, understanding what it is and why it can be helpful is crucial. However, by utilizing built-in tools, considering third-party applications, and exploring alternatives to defragmentation, you can ensure your Mac runs smoothly.


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