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Windows 10 update may be damaging your SSD: Here's how to stop it

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While the latest Dev Channel update for Windows Insiders is bringing disk management features, an earlier Windows 10 update may do permanent damage to your laptop's SSD.

The May 2020 update to Windows 10 had a number of useful new additions, but it came with issues, too. As initially reported by Bleeping Computer, one of the more serious issues was a bug breaking the Drive Optimize tool and it is finally being addressed in the Windows 10 build currently available to Windows Insiders (via TechRadar).

How was the update damaging your SSD?

The issue is that Windows 10 version 2004 would not properly record when the drive was optimized. As a result, the Drive Optimize tool would keep running after a restart, which means your SSD was being defragged far more than often than is necessary or healthy for your SSD. 

Defragging, by nature, adds wear and tear to your SSD drive by writing and erasing, while not really improving performance as it would on a hard disk drive due to the non-sequential read capabilities of SSDs. 

At a minimum, the repeated defrags are reducing the lifespan of your SSD; these are typically carried out once a month and many will argue that an SSD should never actually be defragged as it reduces the lifespan of the drive.

What you should do to protect your SSD

As we mentioned at the outset, Microsoft finally has an update coming that will address this problem, but for now, it is only available to Windows Insiders. Hopefully, it will reach the general public soon, but in the meantime, you can protect yourself by simply disabling automatic defragging. 

Here's how to disable automatic defragging in Windows 10:

  • Open Settings
  • Select Storage
  • Scroll down and select "Optimize Drives"
  • Click the Change settings button
  • Uncheck the box for "Run on a schedule"