Disk defragmenter will not run or start in Windows 10/8/7

The Disk Defragmenter in Windows is automatically scheduled to run at 1.00 am, by default, which means that you don’t really need to run it manually. But if you find that you are unable to manually run the Windows 10/8/7 in-built defragmenter utility and you maybe, get error messages like Disk defragmenter could not start or Failed to initialize  or Optimization not available  or your Analyze and Defrag buttons may be grayed out.

Disk defragmenter could not start or Failed to initialize

Here are a few steps you may want to try.

This may happen if you have un-installed a 3rd party defragmenter, and the uninstallation may not have gone correctly or may have been incomplete. You may try these suggestions in any order you wish; these are just some options you may want to try.

1. Click Start > Search Menu Bar > cmd > right-click on the result > Run As Administrator > Type  sfc /scannow > Hit Enter. This will run the System File Checker. This will examine all your system files and replace them if any are found to have been corrupted.

2. Type services.msc in start search and hit Enter.

defrag service in windows 7

In Windows 10/8/7 ensure that:

Disk Defragmenter service is not Disabled but set to Manual.



This service, defragsvc, is new starting from Windows 7 and is used to defragment disks on a schedule. It does not run at start-up but starts & stops, as required on its own.

Also, ensure that the following services are running and set to Automatic.

  • Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
  • DCOM Server Process Launcher
  • RPC Endpoint Mapper

3. Run chkdsk /r on the drive you plan to defragment. The /r switch identifies bad Sectors and attempts recovery of information.

4. Verify that the Page File isn’t turned off.

page file windows 7

To do so, right-click Computer > Properties > Advanced system settings >  Advanced tab > Performance > Settings > Performance Options > Virtual Memory > Change > Ensure that Automatically manage Paging file size for all drives is checked. Make sure that No paging file is NOT selected.

5. Try a System Restore.

Hope something helps!

This post on Best free defragmentation software for Windows may also interest you.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com and a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows for the period 2006-16. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.