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Defrag software programs are tools that arrange the bits of data that make up the files on your computer so they’re stored closer together. This allows your hard drive to access files more quickly. Defragmentation, in other words, can help improve your computer’s performance by making the reading of files more efficient, thanks to the fact that all the tiny pieces that make up a single file are right next to each other.
Still confused? All versions of Windows include a built-in defrag program, which we’ve ranked in this list. However, in most cases, a dedicated program, like any of the other free defrag software programs listed here, will do a better job.
We’ve only included freeware defrag software in this list. In other words, only completely free defragmentation programs—no shareware , trialware, etc. If one of these free defrag programs has started charging, please let us know. Piriform’s Defraggler tool is easily the best free defrag software program out there. It can defrag the data or just the free space of an internal or external drive.
You also have the option of defragmenting specific files or folders and nothing more. Defraggler can run a boot time defrag, check a drive for errors, empty the Recycle Bin before defragging, exclude certain files from a defrag, run an idle defrag, and selectively move lesser-used files to the end of the drive to speed up disk access. Defraggler is also available in a portable version for flash drives.
If the Piriform company sounds familiar, you may already be familiar with their very popular free CCleaner system cleaning or Recuva data recovery software. During setup, uncheck Try Google Chrome before installing Defraggler if you don’t want to install the Chrome browser along with this program.
Smart Defrag is great when it comes to scheduling an automatic defrag since there are some very specific advanced settings. It supports running a defrag on a schedule as well as using boot time defrags to remove fragments from locked files. Also included is a feature which removes junk files in Windows and Internet Explorer.
It also clears cache files in other parts of Windows that could help speed up a defrag. With Auslogics Disk Defrag, system files , which are normally commonly used files, can be configured to be moved to faster areas of a disk to improve launch times and general system performance.
It works with Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP. Puran Defrag features a custom optimizer called Puran Intelligent Optimizer PIOZR to intelligently move common files to the outer edge of a disk to speed up access to those files.
There are very specific scheduling options available in Puran Defrag like running an automatic defrag every so many hours, when the system goes idle, or when the screensaver starts. Particular schedules can also be set up for boot time defrags like running it on the first computer boot up of the day, on the first of the week, or the first time your computer boots up every month.
One thing we don’t like about this tool is that it tries to install additional programs during setup. Disk SpeedUp is another free defrag program that can defrag not only whole hard drives but also individual files and folders. You can also run an automatic defrag when the system has been idle for a particular number of minutes. This program has very specific settings. For example, you can disable defrags if files have fragments that are smaller than 10 MB, have more than three fragments, and are larger than MB.
All of these values can be customized. Disk SpeedUp might try to install other Glarysoft programs during setup, but you can easily uncheck anything you don’t want. Toolwiz Smart Defrag is a small program that installs quickly and has a really clean, minimal interface.
It claims to be 10 times quicker than the default defrag tool included in Windows and can place archive files to a different part of the drive to speed up access to regular files. You’re able to see the number of fragmented files from an analysis and run a defrag really quickly, though you can’t see the level of fragmentation that exists on a drive, nor can you schedule defragments to run at a later date.
Though it’s nice to have a program that isn’t packed full of buttons and other toolbars, it’s also sometimes unfortunate. For instance, there are zero features that you can customize. If you’re looking for a program that’s super simple to use and isn’t bogged down with confusing settings or buttons, this program is absolutely perfect. This program works in Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP. The really large system restore point files are moved to slower parts of the disk to increase performance for other files.
It supports common features found in similar defrag software, like optimizing a drive, viewing a list of all the fragmented files, and checking a drive for errors. You can optionally run through a Quick configuration wizard to easily set up scheduling or immediately optimize a drive. We tested the most recent version of both Windows 10 and Windows 8 but wasn’t able to get it up and running. UltraDefrag can be used for novice and advanced users alike — there are common features that everyone can use but also advanced options if you need to make specific changes to the program.
Common functions like repairing, defragging, and optimizing drives are as simple as any of these other programs. However, if you wish to make changes to the program in general or to the boot time defrag option, you have to know how to maneuver around a BAT file.
MyDefrag formerly JkDefrag can be both a simple and a rather complex defrag program depending on your needs. It works be loading and running scripts on one or more drives. Several scripts are included when you first install it, like to defrag on a schedule, analyze a drive, and consolidate free space. The default install is just fine for regular users. More advanced users can build their own custom scripts, which can actually be very detailed to deeply customize the way MyDefrag works.
Information about creating scripts can be found in the online manual. However, it still works with the newer versions of Windows like Windows 10 and Windows 8. Depending on the defrag option you choose, all of your open programs and files will promptly shut down.
SpeeDefrag isn’t actually a defrag program in and of itself. Instead, it shuts down everything you’re using except for the built-in defragmenting program provided by Windows listed below. By shutting down unnecessary programs, it can utilize more system resources to make the defrag tool run quicker.
After installing SpeeDefrag, you’re given a few options for how you want the task to run. For instance, you can choose to restart and run a defrag and then restart again automatically, or just to run a defrag and then shutdown the computer. Some features are only available in operating systems prior to Windows 7, such as restarting before a defrag and shutting down open programs.
Disk Defragmenter is the defrag program that already exists in Windows, which means you don’t need to download anything to use it. You can set schedules and defragment both internal and external hard drives.
Many of the other defrag programs from this list have many advantages over Disk Defragmenter, such as boot time defrags and optimization features. If using this program, we suggest you couple it with the SpeeDefrag program from above.
Disk Defragmenter is also available from the command line with the defrag command. While it’s quick and super easy to use, it doesn’t provide any custom or advanced features like scheduling or boot time defrags. After analyzing one or more drives, you can select all of them at once so it will defragment the first one, then the second, and so on.
Wise Care is a collection of system utilities that scans for privacy issues and junk files. One of the tools, in the System Tuneup tab, is used for defragmenting a hard drive. Select the drive to defragment and then choose Defragment, Full Optimization or Analyze.
You can optionally shut down the computer after the defrag has finished. Scheduling defrags with Wise Care is not supported. A portable version is available from within the program this is explained in the review. Something we don’t like is that a small advertisement about the full version of the program is always displayed in Wise Care Also, some of the features and options are only available in the professional version. Actively scan device characteristics for identification. Use precise geolocation data.
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