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Add Optimize to Context Menu of Drives in Windows 11

Optimizing your drives can help your PC run smoother and boot up faster.

Windows 11 includes Optimize Drives that will automatically retrim a SSD or defrag a HDD as needed.

  • Retrim = Generates TRIM and Unmap hints for all currently unused sectors of the SSD or NVMe volume, notifying the underlying storage that the sectors are no longer needed and can be purged. This can recover unused capacity on thinly provisioned drives.
  • Defrag = Locates and consolidates fragmented files on local HDD volumes to improve system performance.

Optimize Drives runs automatically on a weekly schedule at the time set in automatic maintenance. You can also manually run Optimize Drives on demand as needed.

This tutorial will show you how to add Optimize to the context menu of drives in Windows 10 and Windows 11 to make it easier to optimize and defrag drives on demand.

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Optimize and Defragment Drives in Windows 11

Optimizing your drives can help your PC run smoother and boot up faster.

Windows 11 includes Optimize Drives that will automatically retrim a SSD or defrag a HDD as needed.

  • Retrim = Generates TRIM and Unmap hints for all currently unused sectors of the SSD or NVMe volume, notifying the underlying storage that the sectors are no longer needed and can be purged. This can recover unused capacity on thinly provisioned drives.
  • Defrag = Locates and consolidates fragmented files on local HDD volumes to improve system performance.

Optimize Drives runs automatically on a weekly schedule at the time set in automatic maintenance. You can also manually run Optimize Drives on demand as needed.

This tutorial will show you how to optimize and defragment drives in Windows 11.

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Add or Remove Duplicate Drives in Navigation Pane of File Explorer in Windows 11

Removable drives are shown as separate groups in the navigation pane of File Explorer by default in addition to being shown under the This PC group in the navigation pane.

OS drives and fixed drives (ex: internal drives) will only be shown under This PC, and not separately in the navigation pane.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove the drives showing twice in the navigation pane of File Explorer for all users in Windows 11.

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Change Template of Drive, Folder, or Library in Windows 11 File Explorer

Windows 11 includes the default General items, Documents, Pictures, Music, and Videos templates used to optimize the layout and view of every drive, folder, or library.

Windows 11 uses Automatic Folder Type Discovery to detect the contents of a folder and automatically optimize the folder for the proper template. If a folder contains a mixture of file types, Windows will use the General items template. If there is an overwhelming number of files with the same file type in a folder, Windows will automatically optimize the folder with the proper template to match the majority.

A template is just a default layout and view, you can customize the layout and view of a folder to how you like in File Explorer.

This tutorial will show you how to manually change the template of a drive, folder, or library for your account in Windows 11.

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S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology; often written as SMART) is a monitoring system included in computer hard disk drives (HDDs), solid-state drives (SSDs), and eMMC drives. Its primary function is to detect and report various indicators of drive reliability with the intent of anticipating imminent hardware failures.

When S.M.A.R.T. data indicates a possible imminent drive failure, software running on the host system may notify the user so preventive action can be taken to prevent data loss, and the failing drive can be replaced and data integrity maintained.

Hard disk and other storage drives are subject to failures which can be classified within two basic classes:

  • Predictable failures which result from slow processes such as mechanical wear and gradual degradation of storage surfaces. Monitoring can determine when such failures are becoming more likely.
  • Unpredictable failures which occur without warning due to anything from electronic components becoming defective to a sudden mechanical failure, including failures related to improper handling.

This tutorial will show you how to check the health and SMART status of all connected local drives to see if they are failing in Windows 10.

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How to Add or Remove Quota tab in Drive Properties in Windows 10

You can right click or press and hold on a drive in Windows, and click/tap on Properties to see more details about the drive’s properties.

The Quota tab in the properties page window of drives allow you to manage quota settings for the drive.

Disk quotas track and control disk space usage for NTFS file system volumes, allowing administrators to control the amount of data that each user can store on a specific NTFS volume. Administrators can optionally configure the system to log an event when users are near their quota, and to deny further disk space to users who exceed their quota. Administrators can also generate reports, and use the event monitor to track quota issues.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove the Quota tab on the Properties page of drives for all users in Windows 10.

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How to Add or Remove Hardware tab in Drive Properties in Windows 10

You can right click or press and hold on a drive in Windows, and click/tap on Properties to see more details about the drive’s properties.

The Hardware tab in the properties page window of drives allow you to see device properties for the drive.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove the Hardware tab on the Properties page of drives for all users in Windows 10.

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How to Mount and Unmount a Drive or Volume in Windows

When you add or connect a new volume (disk or drive), Windows will automatically mount it with an assigned drive letter by default.

Each drive (volume or partition) will have an unique Volume GUID assigned to it by Windows. This ensures Windows can always uniquely identify a volume, even though its drive letter has changed. On systems with a lot of storage you will often run out of drive letters for your partitions and volumes.

Whenever you reconnect a drive to the computer, it will always use the same drive letter it was last assigned or changed to.

If you unmount a drive, Windows removes the volume mount point from the specified directory, dismounts the volume, and makes the volume not mountable. This means the specific drive (volume or partition) will have its drive letter removed and no longer be automatically mounted and assigned a drive letter whenever connected to the computer until you manually mount it again. This can be handy if you no longer want a disk or drive (volume or partition) to be assigned a drive letter when connected until you want to manually mount it.

When you manually mount an unmounted drive, you make the volume mountable again by creating a volume mount point with an assigned drive letter. This will allow Windows to automatically mount the drive with its last used drive letter each time the drive is connected to the computer.

This tutorial will show you how to manually mount and unmount a drive or volume in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

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How to Mount a Drive to a Folder in Windows 10

You can assign a mount point folder path to a drive to have the drive appear as a normal folder located where you want.

With you mount an internal or external drive to an empty folder, you will be able to access the contents of the drive from the folder path. The contents of the drive will still physically be located on the drive. Anything you save into this folder will actually be saved to the drive.

You can mount a drive with or without a drive letter to an empty folder.

This tutorial will show you how to assign a mount point folder path to a drive to link the folder and drive in Windows 10.

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How to Use Emoji in Drive, File, and Folder Names in Windows 10

When you rename a drive, file, and folder in Windows, the name cannot contain any of the following characters: \ / : * ? ” < > |

In Windows 10, you can use the Emoji Panel to include an Emoji in the name of a drive, file, and folder.

Emoji are ideograms and smileys used in electronic messages and Web pages. Emoji are used much like emoticons and exist in various genres, including facial expressions, common objects, places and types of weather, and animals.

When you use an emoji in a drive, file, or folder name, the emoji will be a basic black and white version.

Any drive, file, or folder that includes an emoji in its name, you will not be able to link to it in a command prompt or when mapping or sharing over a network. If this is an issue for you, then do not include an emoji in the name. Otherwise, using an emoji in the name could help make it less accessible to unwanted sources.

This tutorial will show you how to use the Emoji Panel to include an emoji in drive, file, and folder names in Windows 10.

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