Full Fix: Disk Defragmenter Won’t Run in Windows 10, 8.1 and 7

By: Ivan Jenic
7 minute read

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Performing a disk defragmentation is always useful, especially in Windows 10 Technical Preview. Because you get new updates almost every day, and you should use a disk defragmentation to keep your disk optimized. But what if you’re unable to run a disk defragmenter in Windows 10 for some reason? Don’t worry we have a solution for that issue.

Disk Defragmenter won’t run on Windows 10? Here’s how to fix that

Many users frequently defragment their drive in order to achieve maximum performance, however sometimes issues with Disk Defragmenter can occur. Speaking of issues, these are some of the most common problems with Disk Defragmenter:

  • Disk Defragmenter service missing Windows 10 – Many users reported that Disk Defragmenter service is missing on Windows 10. If that’s the case, try running Disk Defragmenter from Safe Mode or from a different user account.
  • Windows 10 defrag optimization not available – This is another problem that can appear on Windows 10. However, you should be able to fix it by using one of our solutions.
  • Windows Disk Defragmenter not working – Many users reported that Disk Defragmenter isn’t working at all. This can be due to corrupted files, but you can fix that with SFC or DISM scan.
  • Defrag won’t run in Safe Mode – Several users reported that they can’t defrag their drive in Safe Mode. This usually happens if your installation is corrupted. If SFC or DISM scan can fix this problem, you might have to reinstall Windows 10.
  • Defrag won’t launch, work, open – There are various problems with defrag tool that can occur on your PC, and if you’re having any of these problems, you should be able to fix them using one of our solutions.

This issue might occur because of the corrupt installation of third-party defragmenter, or because the defragmenter isn’t compatible with Windows 10. To solve this problem, try some of the following solutions from this article.


Solution 1 – Perform sfc/scannow

Sfc/scannow is useful Windows’ command which scans your computer for errors and provides you with appropriate solution. Performing this command could also solve the defragmentation problem. To perform sfc/scannow command, do the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu. Choose Command Prompt (Admin). If Command Prompt isn’t available, you can also use PowerShell (Admin).
    Disk Defragmenter service missing Windows 10
  2. When Command Prompt starts, enter sfc/scannow and press Enter to run it.
    Windows Disk Defragmenter not working
  3. SFC scan will now start. The scan can take up to 15 minutes, sometimes more, so don’t interrupt it.

Once the SFC scan is finished, check if the issue still persists. If you were unable to run SFC scan or if SFC scan didn’t fix the problem, you need to run DISM scan as well. To do that, just follow these steps:

  1. Start Command Prompt as administrator.
  2. When Command Prompt starts, enter DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth and press Enter to run it.
    Windows 10 defrag optimization not available
  3. DISM scan will now start. Keep in mind that this scan can take up to 20 minutes or more, so don’t cancel it.

Once the DISM scan is finished, check if the problem still persists. If the issue is still present, or if you were unable to run SFC scan before, try running it again. Once the SFC scan is finished, the issue should be resolved.

Several users reported that DISM scan fixed the problem on their PC, so feel free to try it out.


Solution 2 – Check if Disk Defragmenter service is running properly

Maybe your Disk Defragmenter service is not running properly. This service is required for performing disk defragmentation, and if it’s disable, you won’t be able to run a defrag tool. Follow these steps to make sure that the Disk Defragmenter service is running properly:

  1. Go to Search, type services.msc and hit Enter.
    Disk Defragmenter service missing Windows 10
  2. Make sure that Disk Defragmenter service is set to Manual
  3. Also, make sure that following services are set to Automatic:
    • Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
    • DCOM Server Process Launcher
    • RPC Endpoint Mapper

After making these changes, check if the problem is resolved.


Solution 3 – Check your antivirus

If your Disk Defragmenter won’t run on your PC, the problem might be your antivirus. Some antivirus tools can interfere with Windows components and prevent applications such as Disk Defragmenter from running. To fix this problem, it’s advised to check your antivirus configuration and try disabling features that might interfere with Disk Defragmenter.

If that doesn’t work, you might want to try disabling your antivirus software completely. In last case scenario, you can try removing your antivirus and check if that resolves the problem.

If removing the antivirus fixes the issue, you might want to consider switching to a different antivirus solution. There are many great antivirus tools that you can use, and if you’re looking for a new antivirus that won’t interfere with Disk Defragmenter, we suggest you try Bitdefender, BullGuard or Panda Antivirus.


Solution 4 – Try using Safe Mode

If Disk Defragmenter won’t run on Windows 10, you might be able to fix the issue by running it from Safe Mode. If you’re not familiar, Safe Mode is a segment of Windows that runs with default settings and drivers, so it’s perfect for troubleshooting.

Sometimes certain applications, such as Disk Defragmenter, won’t work because your settings or third-party applications are interfering with it. To circumvent the problem, you need to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode. This is rather simple and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Open the Start Menu, click the Power button, press and hold the Shift key and choose Restart from the menu.
    Defrag won't launch
  2. Select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings. Now click the Restart button.
  3. When your PC restarts, you’ll be presented with a list of options. Select any version of Safe Mode by pressing the appropriate key on your keyboard.

Once you enter the Safe Mode, start Disk Defragmenter again and it should work without any problems. Keep in mind that this is just a workaround, and if Disk Defragmenter won’t work on Windows 10, you’ll always have to start it using this method.


Solution 5 – Make sure that other applications aren’t running

If you’re unable to run Disk Defragmenter, the problem might be other applications that are running in the background. Many applications can interfere with Disk Defragmenter causing certain issues to appear.

In order to prevent any potential problems, it’s advised that you disable all third-party applications that can interfere with Disk Defragmenter. You can manually close these applications, but if you want to do it faster, you can try using Task Manager. To do that, just follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to start Task Manager.
  2. When Task Manager starts, go to Processes tab, locate the application you want to close, right click it and choose End task from the menu.
    Defrag won't run in Safe Mode
  3. Repeat the previous step for all running applications.

After doing that, try running Disk Defragmenter and check if it works properly.


Solution 6 – Create a new user profile

Sometimes Disk Defragmenter won’t run on your PC if your user profile is corrupted. To fix this problem, you can create a new user profile and check if Disk Defragmenter works there. To create a new user profile, do the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. When Settings app opens, navigate to Accounts section.
    Windows 10 defrag optimization not available
  3. In the left pane select Family & other people. In the right pane, choose Add someone else to this PC.
    Windows 10 defrag optimization not available
  4. Select I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.
    Windows Disk Defragmenter not working
  5. Choose Add a user without a Microsoft account.
    Defrag won't run in Safe Mode
  6. Enter the desired user name and click Next.
    Defrag won't work

After creating a new user account, switch to it and check if Disk Defragmenter works. If it works on a new profile, the issue is caused by your old profile.


Solution 7 – Use chkdsk

If you can’t run Disk Defragmenter, the issue might be caused by corrupted files on your hard drive. In order to fix that problem, first you need to try to repair those files. This is rather simple and you can do it using the chkdsk command. To use chkdsk, you need to do the following:

  1. Start Command Prompt as administrator.
  2. When Command Prompt opens, enter chkdsk /f X: and press Enter. Keep in mind that you need to replace X with the letter that represents your drive. If you choose to scan the C drive, be sure to press Y to schedule a restart and restart your PC.
    Disk Defragmenter service missing Windows 10
  3. Chkdsk scan should now start. Keep in mind that chkdsk scan can take 20 minutes or more, depending on the size of your partition.

After chkdsk is finished scanning your drive, try to defragment that drive again.


Solution 8 – Use third-party tools

If you still can’t run Disk Defragmenter on Windows 10, you might want to consider using a third-party tool. Disk Defragmenter is a solid application, but it offers limited features compared to other tools. If you need access to advanced features, you might want to consider using a third-party solution.

Applications such as Smart Defrag and O&O Defrag both offer simple user interface and various features, so if Disk Defragmenter application isn’t working for you, feel free to try any of these tools.

That would be all, if none of these solutions worked, you can try to change your defrag tool. Maybe our list of top five defrag tools for Windows 10 can help you. I hope at least one of these solutions helped you. If you have any comments suggestions, or maybe other solutions, please share it with us in the comments below.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2015 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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