You Probably Don't Need To Optimise Your SSD Anymore

When solid state drives were first becoming commonplace, most sites (our own included) suggested ways to optimise your SSD. With the exception of very rare cases, this just isn't necessary any more. Photo by Laineema.

As tips site How-To Geek points out, most SSD optimisations involve reducing the number of writes you make to your drive. SSDs have a limited number of writes, so the more you use it, the more likely it is to fail. However, most modern SSDs have such a high write capacity that you'll likely never reach that point before you need an upgrade anyway. As Tech Report puts it after an 18 month long stress test:

Over the past 18 months, we've watched modern SSDs easily write far more data than most consumers will ever need. Errors didn't strike the Samsung 840 Series until after 300TB of writes, and it took over 700TB to induce the first failures. The fact that the 840 Pro exceeded 2.4PB is nothing short of amazing, even if that achievement is also kind of academic.

The one optimisation that truly matters, enabling TRIM, is automatically handled by most modern versions of Windows, as well. If you're running Windows 7 and up, the OS should automatically detect your SSD and enable TRIM. If you want to be absolutely sure, you can check out our guide here. However, it's very unlikely that this won't be enabled. If you're using an SSD on anything older than Windows 7, TRIM isn't supported and you should probably upgrade anyway. In short, most of the downsides to using an SSD aren't as bad as they used to be and you don't really need to stress if you never "optimised" your drive. It's already pretty optimal. Check out more info at How-To Geek's post below.

Don't Waste Time Optimising Your SSD, Windows Knows What Its Doing [How-To Geek]


    Huh? Ever since I installed my first SSD, there have been warnings that optimising/defragmenting them will basically shorten their lifespan. They also pointed out that as there was no physical head movement, data retrieval times didn't degrade with fragmented files.

    I can't remember ever seeing advice that you should defrag them. Even the Giz/LH link says "Don't Defragment Your SSD" (and that was 2012).

    Trim - Yes
    Defrag - NO!

      Optimising in this context means turning off certain services and functions SSDs don't need or use in order to minimise writes. Indexing can be turned off because of random writes, hibernation can be turned off so it doesn't have to create hiberfile.sys, disabling prefetch, etc.

      The simple reason why you don't need to bother with defragmenting an SSD is because an SSD can access all of the data it holds equally fast. Fragmented data on a mechanical HDD means the head has to seek around to find all of the data to access a file, this doesn't apply to an SSD.

    In the old days, Windows made no distinction between SSDs and rotating media.

    And if you're stuck using that awful apple OS, you're SOL :)

      Start Terminal, run 'trimforce'
      Or did you mean something else?

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