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

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • The disk defragmenter is a vital component of any Windows PC.
  • It allows you to rearrange memory clusters for faster access to data on your disk.
  • To read more about various Windows 10 functions, head over to our dedicated Windows 10 Hub.
  • However, if tech support is what you need, we also have a dedicated Troubleshooting section too.
disk defrag doesn't work

Performing 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.


How do I fix a Disk Defragmenter that won’t run on Windows 10?

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.


Looking for the best defragmentation tool? Here are the best options.


1. 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 the 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.

On that note, we recommend that you give Bitdefender a shot. Not only has it been rated as the best antivirus tool in the world, but the system impact registered while using it is minimal, next to nonexistent.

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus

If you need an antivirus that won't prevent you from performing basic tasks like defrags, use Bitdefender!

2. Use third-party tools

If you still can’t run Disk >nnotation”>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.

One great example of such a tool is IObit Smart Defrag 6, a dedicated tool made to rearrange the memory on your PC to improve its speed and responsivenes.

It boasts a simplistic UI, being very familiar with Windows 10’s native defrag tool, but with plenty of other features.

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.

IObit Smart Defrag 6 Pro

IObit Smart Defrag 6 Pro

If you need to defrag your PC in order to make your memory clusters more efficient, then IObit Smart Defrag 6 Pro is what you need!

2. 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).
  2. If Command Prompt isn’t available, you can also use PowerShell (Admin).
    Disk Defragmenter service missing Windows 10
  3. When Command Prompt starts, enter sfc/scannow and press Enter to run it.
    Windows Disk Defragmenter not working
  4. 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  this line, and then press Enter to run it:
    • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
      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.


Epic guide alert! Everything you need to know about System File Checker!


3. Check if 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

Maybe your Disk Defragmenter service is not running properly. This service is required for performing disk defragmentation, and if it’s disabled, you won’t be able to run a defrag tool.

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


 


4. Try using Safe Mode

  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.

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.

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.


Can’t boot into Safe Mode? No fear! Solve the issue quickly with this handy guide!


5. Make sure that other applications aren’t running

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to start Task Manager.
  2. When Task Manager starts, go to the 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.

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.

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


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 opens, navigate to Accounts section.
    Windows 10 defrag optimization not available
  • In the left pane select Family & other people. In the right pane, choose to Add someone else to this PC.
    Windows 10 defrag optimization not available
  • Select I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.
    Windows Disk Defragmenter not working
  • Choose Add a user without a Microsoft account.
    Defrag won't run in Safe Mode
  • 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.


Windows won’t let you create a new user account? Use this guide to solve the problem!


7. Use chkdsk

  1. Start Command Prompt as <strong>administrator.</stron
  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 restation of 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.

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


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in September 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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  • I’d like to add, if anyone messes with their privacy settings on Windows 10, make sure you allow access to ‘Apps Diagnostics’, otherwise defrag won’t work either.