12 Replies Latest reply: Sep 6, 2015 9:10 AM by Phil0124
chuckfromtexas Level 1 (0 points)

I was wondering if defragmenting the iPad is safe to perform. Some say it will speed it up, some say it will cut the devices lifespan in half. Who is right? I want an answer from a person with experience.

Thank You for your time.


iPad, iOS 5.0.1
  • vazandrew Level 6 (17,981 points)

    No need to defrag an iPad

  • Mysterious Enoch Level 1 (0 points)

    iPad uses Flash Drive but not HDD as its second storage device.  A traditional HDD needs defragmentation because it uses mechanical read/write heads to read or write data.  The HDD, in fact, stores data on scattered sectors.  That is, the read/write heads need to move here and there searching for data and it's very slow.  So, ya need to defrag it to gather the data from a single file to one place to speed up the computer.  But as iPad is using a Flash Drive, though the data is still scattered, the time for searching is greatly reduced since no mechanical movements are involved -- only electrical searching, which is extremely fast.  Also, defragging the flash drive DOES shorten its life span as this would erase the record of the frequency of which sectors are used.  The Flash Drive might be always using the same part of the Drive, and shortens the life span of its.

     

    Hope this helps.

  • johng1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi all,

    I have an ipad3. I also have Perfectdisk defrag program for the PC. They say not to defrag a SSD flash drive. But to do a consolidation of free space. So would this be the case for the ipad and how would I perform this function?

     

    John

  • Phil0124 Level 7 (20,946 points)

    No need, and no way really to do this.

     

    The iPad handles its free space on its own in the most efficient way automatically.  You don't need to do any of this, and no real way to do it, as any Apps would not have direct access to the storage media to perform said function. This is because the OS secures these functions and allows no access to its core from other Apps.

     

    Forget about it. Its not something you should be worrying about with an iPad.

  • tonefox Level 6 (9,160 points)

    Seconded. The storage of an iPad is solid state memory similar to RAM. Have you ever felt the need to defrag RAM?  Enoch is right - the defragging of hard disks is purely to speed up the mechanical side of accessing data. There is no mechanical side to accessing iPad storage.

  • JetStream90 Level 1 (0 points)

    There needs to be some way to use an Apple-developed software feature that's included in the OS for file reorganization and optimization (not necessarily defrag) on iPads.  I've had my iPad Air 64GB +cell for only about 3 months and its definitely gradually getting slower (mainly on loading whole apps or parts inside an app).  The time it takes during loading now vs. newly loaded is about 3:1 sometimes.

     

    What seems to be the culprit is updates for a large number of different apps.  I don't think its actually the accessing of the RAM directly that's the issue.  It seems to be that as the apps update over-and-over, the CPU takes longer to find the app's individual pieces.  Yes the RAM doesn't have any moving parts to require files to be near each other, but if they are organized, then the CPU (speed-limiting factor here) has an easier time finding the files to begin with.

     

    I've heard that the only option is to start from scratch, but with half of the storage space filled with large regulatory .pdf documents and excel, xps, and other files that have been carefully allocated to various apps, starting over would take an entire weekend to do. I'm not kidding either.  I'm a pilot, so time is valuable.  Its best spent Not waiting for an app to display information, or, for that matter, wasting a weekend reloading files that should never need to be removed in the first place.  iPad speed-optimize = 1 day, PC = couple hours. Why?

  • JetStream90 Level 1 (0 points)

    Even RAM needs to be optimized occasionally, even though its not as much as a disk.  For example, equate a disk hard drive to a paper filing cabinet with droors and such and equate RAM to a scanned-in computer filing system with folders and files.  Everyone agrees that the computer mechanically is light-years faster than a filing cabinet, of course it is!  However, if you have a horribly organized folder structure on the computer, it can take the "User" just as much time to find the file as with the "old-fasioned" filing cabinet.  As stated in my previous post, Apple's iPad seems to have a slow file stucture as update-after-update is applied to installed apps.  This results in the CPU taking longer to find the file, Not the RAM taking longer to give the CPU what it asked for.

     

    No optimization software means the slow death of ANY computer system, RAM or disk.  If you know that new operating systems are just fancy facades and overlays on DOS, you know that no computer stays optimized for long.  That's why they invented the defragment programs in the beginning!  No offence, but perhaps everyone here and at Apple should go back to computer basics 101.  Just Bing or Google fragmentation or defragmenter and you'll find the basics behind why it exists.  Another thing to note is, its the programs that tell the disk or RAM where to put things that causes fragmentation, not the device itself.  The device does what the program (software or firmware) tells it to do.  Sure, RAM doesn't have outwardly-growing rings of data like a disk to deal with, but it can still be fragmented.

  • D.Duck Level 1 (0 points)

    Just loading your backup from itunes might be the idea?!

  • dwwatson Level 1 (0 points)

    JEtstream. MACs are Unix based, not dos.MAybe you are reaching the storage limit? Even a hand system slows down if all the space is used and you need to cram sonething in.

  • DonCVABch Level 1 (0 points)

    all file systems need defragmentation at some point.  mechanical or solid state is not the issue.  it's the storage, or aptly the deletion, of files over time.  microsoft tried pulling that "we don't need no defrag" crap in (I think) '98 and quickly had to add a defrag utility.

     

    someone comment RAM needs optimizing.  ridiculous.  RAM is volitile.  it gets wiped at every power off.  STORAGE is what needs defrag.

  • DonCVABch Level 1 (0 points)

    all file systems need defragmentation at some point.  mechanical or solid state is not the issue.  it's the storage, or aptly the deletion, of files over time.  microsoft tried pulling that "we don't need no defrag" crap in (I think) '98 and quickly had to add a defrag utility.

     

    someone comment RAM needs optimizing.  ridiculous.  RAM is volitile.  it gets wiped at every power off.  STORAGE is what needs defrag.

     

    Don't confuse memory with storage. I hear people do it every day and just shows me they don't understand the tech they think they know.   Be it Flash or other Solid State doen't make it Memory.

     

    in the case of Apple, a factory reset may in fact be the only way to optimize storage.  I don't know that for sure.  But even systems with traditional defrag and other storage utilities need a fresh load periodically to maintain performance.

  • Phil0124 Level 7 (20,946 points)

    No. The reason mechanical drives needed defragmentation was to speed up file access.

     

    When saving and deleting files on a hard drive, you start getting broken up files in different areas of the hard drive due to how files are saved. When reading a file a mechanical drive needs to move to all the locations on the platters to get the completed file. Over time, files may get split up more and more, and farther and farther. This means the needle needs to travel more to get a completed file. This is what creates the slowness.

     

    Defragmenting simply tries to put the file parts together as much as possible so the needle does not need to go around reading parts of file. Its all on the same place, so reading is done continuously, and quicker.

     

    On an SSD, this is not an issue. The files still can get broken into parts, and scattered, but access to the files does not take longer or shorter. Access on a SSD is exactly the same to any part of the drive. So accessing 5 parts of a file will take the same amount of time whether they are together or not.

     

    There is no point in defragmenting an SSD, and in fact it can lead to shorten life span of an SSD, since you are using write cycles on it.

     

    Again, Do not Defragment a solid state drive. either on an iPad or on a computer.

     

    Rebooting the iPad will clear memory, and other OS temp files. but will do nothing to the file structure on its internal storage.