Defrag Pagefile and Registry in Windows XP

Even though you really should not be using Windows XP anymore, there are still a lot of people running the ancient operating system. If you are forced to use Windows XP because of some corporate policy, then you may as well optimize the performance of the operating system.

If you’ve run the default defragmenter program in Windows XP recently, you may have not realized that the program cannot defrag any file that is currently open, which includes all system files, the Windows page file, and the Windows registry.

However, if you truly want to optimize the speed and performance of your computer, defragmenting those three aspects of the operating system is very important! If you think about it, Windows is constantly accessing the system files, the page file and the registry in order to complete any task.

If Windows does not allow you to defrag these areas, then how do you go about doing it? Well, Microsoft had a free product called PageDefrag that would defrag your computer during the system boot up and thereby avoid any files locked by Windows.


Unfortunately, Microsoft discontinued the program a couple of years ago once they ended support Windows XP. However, many freeware sites continue to host the original version. You can download PageDefrag from Major Geeks, Softpedia, or Softonic.

The program will even defrag your event logs! The list shows how fragmented the paging file and various registry hives (SAM, Software, System, etc) are.

Choose Defragment at next boot and then restart your computer. First CHKDSK will make sure there are no errors on your hard drive and then the defragment process will begin.

defragment paging file

Overall, the program is very useful for increasing the smoothness and speed of your Windows XP computer. I would recommend only running it once every month or two, not on every boot. Too much defragmenting can actually cause more problems.

Outside of Windows XP, you really don’t need any third-party software for defragmenting hard drives. Windows does a great job reducing defragmentation on Windows 7, 8 and 10. If you have any questions, feel free to post a comment. Enjoy!

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