9 Best Defrag Software for 2022
Updated: August 02,2022
Disk fragmentation is one of the hassles of being a PC owner.
The more you overlook it, the harder it is to ignore. Eventually, it’ll noticeably slow down your computer. So, you ought to keep the right tool handy to address the inevitable when it happens.
In this piece, we’ll:
- Discuss the strengths of the best defrag software for specific users.
- Flesh out the features and the pricing models of our top picks.
- Explain what a disk defragmenter really is.
- Highlight what to consider when comparing defraggers.
- Answer the most common questions asked about disk defragmentation.
Let’s get started!
The Best Defrag Software for 2022
- •Auslogics Disk Defrag - Best for power users.
- •Glarysoft Disk SpeedUp - Best for users looking for a free defragment software.
- •O&O Defrag - Best for enterprises.
- •Defraggler - Best for small and midsize organizations.
- •IObit Smart Defrag - Best for gamers.
- •Systweak Disk Speedup - Best for heavy PC users.
- •Raxco PerfectDisk Pro - Best for families.
- •UltraDefrag - Best for teams.
- •Microsoft Drive Optimizer - Best for casual PC users.
1. Auslogics Disk Defrag
Wide-ranging optimization algorithms
Disk Defrag is a robust defragmentation app with remarkable features but limited customer support. Although it has no lifetime licenses yet, its subscriptions are fully refundable and can be discounted.
This disk defragmenter has multiple smart algorithms, giving you considerable latitude in defragging your PC systems.
The basics are: Optimize by Access Time, Optimize by Prefetch Layout, Optimize by Change Time, and Optimize by Disk Zone.
Because of these standard algorithms, you can:
- Focus on frequently used files.
- Concentrate on accelerating system loading and app startup.
- Mitigate file fragmentation.
- And target specific files or folders instead of entire mechanical hard disk drives (HDDs).
In addition, this tool has a special SSD optimization algorithm that significantly reduces write operations during optimization. Plus, it’s engineered with specialized algorithms for Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS)–enabled drives.
To help you choose the right disk optimization option, leverage the Disk Defrag’s Defragmentation Wizard.
To avoid defragging junk files and prevent data loss, it can carry out disk cleanup and checkup beforehand. This popular disk defragger for Windows 10 can also wipe any evidence of previously deleted files for your privacy.
Through resource management, you can minimize the defragmentation process’s impact on your system. You can choose from preset resource usage profiles or create your own.
Resource management is particularly useful when you enable Auto Defragmentation. Apart from scheduling defragging at specified times, you can use this mode to fix fragmentation as it happens. With the right usage restrictions in place, real-time defragmentation doesn’t interfere with your ongoing activity.
For post-analysis, this software can list and locate file fragments. This lets you choose which items to optimize or ignore.
Likewise, Disk Defrag is capable of optimizing the system files normally rendered inaccessible during Windows’ run time. Setting this disk defragmenter for Windows 10 in motion during startup can bring down your PC’s fragmentation degree to 0%.
To help keep your data organized moving forward, this tool ensures that existing files have room for new data in the same location.
Disk Defrag has three editions: Free, Pro, and Ultimate.
Here’s what you can expect from each of them:
- Compatible with Windows 10 (32- and 64-bit systems)
- Four-algorithm defragmentation engine
- Free space consolidation
- Individual file or folder defragmentation
- Disk error check and repair
- One inquiry to Auslogics experts
- All Free features
- Special SSD algorithm
- Pre-defrag disk cleanup
- Free-space wiping on hard drives
- Auto Defragmentation mode
- Boot-time or offline hard disk defragmentation
- 3 inquiries to Auslogics experts
- Compatible with:
- Windows 10, 8.1, and 7 (32- and 64-bit systems)
- Windows Server 2016, 2012, and 2008
- All Pro features except:
- Free-space wiping on hard drives
- Inquiries to Auslogics experts
- Defragmentation Wizard
- Fragmented file listing
- Fragmentation prevention
- Resource management
- Performance reports and charts
- Algorithms for VSS-enabled drives
Auslogics accepts PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. Initially, you may receive a 15% discount.
Disk Defrag’s annual subscriptions are refundable within 30 days and are subject to auto-renewal. To avoid getting billed for this hard drive optimization tool again, you can email Auslogics at any time.
Disk Defrag is superbly powerful, conveniently flexible, and surprisingly affordable. Now we know why it’s widely popular among ardent PC enthusiasts.
2. Glarysoft Disk SpeedUp
Flexible defrag settings
Inclusion in the Glary Utilities Pro bundle
As one of the best free defrag programs, Disk SpeedUp does the essentials well and places a premium on customization. For a fee, it can work in tandem with its sibling utilities and expand the boundaries of PC optimization.
Disk SpeedUp can do quick disk scans, counting the total amount of fragmented data and fragmentation rate.
This Windows tool illustrates its findings in color-coded grids. These visuals show how fragmented your drives are at a glance.
If you want to skip the analysis part, you can go straight to defragmentation. This Windows tool lets you defrag by drive, folder, or file.
Thanks to auto defrag, you don’t have to do things manually. You can trigger it by system inactivity, anywhere from 1 to 50 minutes of idle time.
To avoid bogging down your PC, Disk SpeedUp can pause when your disk or CPU usage goes over 10%.
Furthermore, you can run this fast defrag tool on a schedule. You have daily, weekly, and monthly frequency options at your disposal. And you can set the precise time.
You can also dictate what your computer does after hard drive defragmentation. You can set it to shut down, restart, sleep, or hibernate.
When it comes to optimization, it’s fairly customizable too. You can specify the minimum size of the large files you intend to move to the end of the drive.
Plus, you can target Recycle Bin data and files you didn’t touch in the last month. You can also optimize all file types under certain categories like Archives and Disk Images.
If you want Disk SpeedUp to never defrag particular data types, you can easily create exclusions.
Considering how time-consuming optimization is, Glarysoft lets you put it off during manual or auto defragmentation.
Despite being free defrag software, Disk SpeedUp has an Upgrade to Pro link. If you click it, you’ll end up on the landing page for Glary Utilities Pro.
Glary Utilities Pro is an all-in-one PC care bundle combining 20+ premium tools. In addition to Disk SpeedUp, it includes Absolute Uninstaller, Glary Undelete, Quick Startup, Registry Repair, and Security Process Explorer.
Originally priced at $39.95, you may be able to buy a Glary Utilities Pro license for only $19.97/year. And you may continue enjoying a 50% discount when you renew it.
Good for 3 PCs, this annual subscription comes with a generous 90-day money-back guarantee.
To place your order, you can pay with your Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, and PayPal. Alternatively, you can send a check or a money order, do a wire transfer, or use cash via PayNearMe.
Glarysoft’s Disk Speedup has everything you could wish for in a free defragment program. There’s no doubt it’s an upgrade from Windows’ native utility.
3. O&O Defrag
Windows 11 support
Centralized management functionalities
Remote installation and configuration capability
O&O Defrag is a powerful utility with enviable drive optimization options for individuals and enterprises. Its premium editions don’t support 32-bit systems, but they can work on Windows 11.
O&O Defrag 25, the latest version, is designed for optimizing both HDDs and solid-state drives (SSDs). It sports a Windows 10–integrated system file compression feature and S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology). The latter is an indicator of the health status of HDDs, SSDs, and Redundant Array of Independent Disks.
If you enable zone filing, you’ll be able to tap the newest hard drive defragmentation and SSD optimization options.
The default method is Optimize, which pieces file fragments together across the three zones of your chosen drive. The alternative is the Solid method, which aims to eliminate excessive usage of SSD memory cells for reading and writing.
Either way, you can do quick and complete scans.
If you disable zone filing, you’ll be able to unlock the older standard defragmentation options available in previous software versions. They are the Space, Stealth, Complete/Name, Complete/Modified, and Complete/Access methods.
Moreover, automatic background defragmentation makes it easy to run O&O Defrag 25 without impacting your PC’s performance.
At the sniff of a certain level of fragmentation, you can set it to launch on autopilot. And if you wish, you can configure it to start computer defragging on a schedule. Plus, you can switch it to Screen Saver mode so it can work its magic while your system is idle.
Like every defragger worth its salt, the O&O Defrag 25 app has Boot-Time defragmentation in its arsenal. In addition, it offers complimentary tools, including O&O DiskCleaner.
Everything we discussed so far is part of the O&O Defrag Professional edition. The other one is Server, which ensures centralized control over enterprise-wide defragmentation.
Regardless of edition, this tool needs no further configuration post-installation. Since it can pick and execute the apt defragmentation method for your system, it’s ready to go after setup.
Check out the highlights of O&O Defrag’s Professional and Server editions below.
- Compatible with Windows 11, 10, 8.1, and 8 (64-bit systems only)
- Wide range of fast and comprehensive defragmentation methods
- Zone filing
- S.M.A.R.T. functionality
- Defragmentation of single files and folders
- Automatic background hard disk defragmentation
- Simultaneous multi-drive defragmentation
- Boot-Time defragmentation
- Defragmentation comparison
- Status view
- O&O DiskCleaner
- O&O ClusterView
- O&O ActivityMonitor
$29.95/perpetual license for 1 PC
$49.90/perpetual license for 5 PCs
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Compatible with:
- Windows 11, 10, 8.1, and 8 (64-bit systems only)
- Windows Server 2019, 2016, 2012 R2, and 2012 (64-bit systems only)
- All Professional features
- Central network management
- Central management console for multiple products
- Remote installation and configuration
- Comprehensive log functions
$199/perpetual license for 1 Windows server
Another way to own an O&O Defrag Professional license is to go with the O&O PowerPack. For only $59.95, you can get a lifetime license of 4 products for 1 PC.
If neither edition satisfies your organization’s system requirements, you may tailor this disk defragmenter software to your unique needs. Accordingly, you’ll receive a custom quote.
In terms of payment options, you can use credit cards powered by Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and JCB. You can send funds through PayPal or using wire transfers too.
If you’re a license holder of an older O&O Defrag version, you’ll have to pay for the latest one. Only minor upgrades are free of charge. So, you’ll have to request a personal offer from O&O Software GmbH.
Due to its network management capability, it’s a must-have for every IT team tasked with optimizing desktop and server systems.
Drive error checking
Inclusion in CCleaner business plans
Defraggler has decent capabilities with lax system requirements. It uses a tiered pricing model, but the free version of this defragger for Windows 10 is far from restrictive. Its inclusion in multiple CCleaner packages can also bring a ton of value to your money.
Defraggler supports HDDs and SDDs along with New Technology File System (NTFS) and the FAT32 (File Allocation Table32) file systems. It can defrag USB drives formatted as exFAT. It’s an efficient program with no minimum hard drive or memory requirements.
Like many other major-league defragmentation apps, it can optimize entire drives, individual folders, and single files. To help reduce the occurrence of fragmentation, you can also do free space defrag.
If you need immediate relief from slow PC performance, you can do a quick scan. If you have more time and want to experience more noticeable system improvement, go with the full defragmentation option instead.
Using Defraggler’s scheduler, you can set automatic hard drive and SSD optimization sessions daily, weekly, or monthly. You can do it at startup or logon too.
For even deeper system optimization, leverage the tool’s Boot-Time defragmentation. When enabled, you can set this feature to come into effect once, or every single time your PC starts up.
One of its few advanced functionalities is drive error checking, which identifies bad sectors and corrects potential issues.
When it comes to usability, its Drive Map uses grids as visual representations of various drive contents like fragmented files. Time-based statistics about defragmentation are always available too.
Plus, this software displays an overview of your system’s health. You can immediately see whether everything’s going well or not.
Defraggler is a freemium tool. The Free and Professional editions of this defrag software hardly have differences, though.
- Compatible with:
- Windows 10, 8.1, 8, Vista, and XP (32- and 64-bit systems)
- Windows Server 2008 and 2003 (all editions)
- Defragmentation of hard drives, folders, files, and free space and optimization of SSDs
- Scheduled defragmentation
- Boot-Time defragmentation
- Drive error checker
- All Free features
- Automatic software updates
- Premium customer support
To purchase a Professional license, you can use your Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, or PayPal.
This annual subscription is fully refundable within 30 days and auto-renews by default with an opt-out option. This money-back guarantee applies to renewals too.
Piriform Software may amend Defraggler Professional’s End User License Agreement at any time. If the changes don’t sit well with you, you may cancel your service and get a prorated refund.
Also, Defraggler Professional is part of the four-product CCleaner Professional Plus bundle. Regularly priced at $44.95/year, its license is good for three PCs.
Apparently, Defraggler Business is no longer sold à la carte. But you can buy this elusive disk defragmenter software edition for $24.95 as an add-on. Signing up with CCleaner Business for $29.95 is the prerequisite.
Defraggler is included in CCleaner Cloud, a diverse computer cleaning plan for IT teams who manage multiple PCs within organizations. This top-tier business plan is quote-based. But it’s available for trial use for 14 days.
It’s a shame that it’s impossible to buy Defraggler Business alone. But it’s certainly among the key reasons why CCleaner Cloud is such a compelling subscription for small and midsize businesses.
5. IObit Smart Defrag
Windows 11 support
Specialized game defragmentation method
Smart Defrag has established itself as the best hard drive defragmenter and SSD optimizer for gamers. Its most recent enhancements are proof of that. Plus, its versatile OS support makes it one of the most operable tools of its kind.
Smart Defrag’s seventh version boasts a new Defrag Engine capable of multithreading, which promises super speedy, efficient, and stable optimization.
Unlike its older incarnations, it can intelligently select appropriate defragmentation methods for different disks. For instance, Game Optimize enables you to defrag specific games to accelerate their load times.
Smart Defrag 7 can also reassemble large fragmented files to boost read and write speeds and improve disk durability. With real-time disk monitoring, it can tell you how your system is doing by tracking its usage, temperature, and more.
If you’re no stranger to Smart Defrag, you can still expect its tried-and-true capabilities. Its standard features include automatic, scheduled, and boot-time HDD defrag options.
Besides excluding individual folders and files, it can also do just free space defrag and set an automatic shutdown afterward.
Further, Smart Defrag is optimized for SSD trimming. By eliminating the unnecessary erasing and rewriting of data, it can help slow down the natural wear of flash memory chips. As a result, your SSDs can last longer.
Its Disk Cleanup can rid your system of junk beforehand to avoid wasting time when organizing file fragments properly.
Smart Defrag’s unmistakably sleek interface and intuitive controls make it a pleasure to use. Even if it’s your first time, you won’t get lost navigating it.
Suitable for defragging Windows Vista, XP, 7, 8, 8.1, 10, and 11, it can be your PC’s default defragmenter.
Smart Defrag 7 is freemium software. Its PRO edition license costs $19.99/year and is good for 3 PCs.
So, which features are premium and which aren’t?
Smart Defrag’s Free edition hides no functions. So, all inaccessible functionalities will become available once you upgrade.
IObit covers Smart Defrag 7 purchases with a reassuring 60-day money-back guarantee.
The payment methods you can use depend on your region. But this software provider generally accepts major credit cards, PayPal, and wire transfers. Skrill and WebMoney may also be included in your options. This vendor supports a myriad of currencies too.
By default, this annual subscription is set for auto-renewal. But you can easily turn it off during checkout.
For an extra $4.99, you can insure your purchase. You can also order an IObit backup CD for just $9.99.
IObit’s decision to equip this Win7 defragmenter with game-centric optimization features is a testimony to its commitment to gamers.
6. Systweak Disk Speedup
Multi-dimensional PC optimization
60-day money-back guarantee
Free lifetime Systweak PhotoStudio license
Systweak’s Disk Speedup is a defragger, disk cleaner, duplicate file deleter, and disk error fixer rolled into one. This utility suite is a freemium product with a bonus offering and lengthy protection against buyer’s remorse.
Disk Speedup works on Windows versions XP to 10. You can defrag your HDD, declutter your system, remove duplicate files, and find and repair disk issues.
The program’s System Cleaner, Duplicate File Remover, and Disk Doctor have customizable settings. Among others, you can define the parameters of your scans, create exclusions, and establish benchmarks.
The number of things you can tweak would have been overwhelming if not for Disk Speedup’s well-thought-out interface.
Unlike other defragmenter tools, Disk Speedup offers no way to bypass analysis. So, you have to sit through its entire scanning procedure, which could take longer than Systweak’s estimation of two minutes.
But in many cases, its scans can be lightning-fast. And its recommendations are usually reliable too.
Disk Speedup’s developers have misused icons, though. The program’s Disk Optimizer displays warning symbols even when it finds nothing wrong post-analysis.
Premium features like Direct Defrag and Schedule are visible in the Free edition of this defragger for Windows 10. But you’ll get a popup message whenever you click any of them.
If you live in the right part of the world, Disk Speedup is painless to download.
If you try to save it to your PC without success, you may have to obscure your location. Using a virtual private network (VPN) is an effective workaround.
Three of Disk Speedup’s utilities come with a 24-hour free trial; the outlier is Disk Doctor.
The clock doesn’t begin when you download the tool or initiate a scan. It starts when you execute its recommendations, like deleting junk files.
The caveat is that any changes it makes are fleeting.
You ought to register a premium copy of Disk Speedup before the defragmenter software free trial is up. Otherwise, everything goes back to the way it was.
To register and experience Disk Speedup at full strength, upgrade to the paid edition.
Originally priced at $69.95/year before tax, it may be available for sale at 43% less. Although this annual subscription auto-renews, the discounted price of $39.95 doesn’t apply for future billing.
Systweak throws in a lifetime license for PhotoStudio to add more value for your money. This freebie is usually worth $49.95.
To place your order, you can use PayPal or any Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or JCB card. If you prefer to pay with a currency other than USD, you can. You may request a full refund within 60 days after purchase.
Judging by its dazzling versatility, Systweak’s Disk Speedup is definitely the Swiss Army knife for heavy PC users.
7. Raxco PerfectDisk Pro
Windows 11 support
30-day free trial
Support and maintenance add-on
The 14th version of PerfectDisk Pro has functionalities that are as cool-sounding as they’re effective. It’s designed for defragging Windows Vista, XP, and all later versions, and its pricing model is among the most reasonable out there.
PerfectDisk Pro 14 optimizes disks using its patented SmartPlacement technology. This innovation allows the program to defrag your disks based on your distinct usage patterns. As a result, it can achieve three objectives:
- Consolidate free space
- Prevent fragmentation
- Decrease its build-up rate
The SmartPlacement optimization strategy can’t stop fragmentation on its own. That’s why PerfectDisk Pro 14 also uses OptiWrite® to preemptively stop files from splitting.
OptiWrite can anticipate when Windows is about to break up files. Then, it instinctively puts the brakes on this process through intelligent input/output (I/O) redirection.
Through advanced boot-time defrag, it can reorganize file fragments normally locked during regular Windows operation.
This defrag tool can work unattended too. Its StealthPatrol™ sets automatic optimization when your PC is idle or when its screensaver is active. It gives you the flexibility to halt defragmentation when a particular app is running or during busy periods.
With customizable scheduling options, you can pick a date and time when to execute the optimization method of your choosing.
For maximum resource usage conservation, PerfectDisk Pro 14 employs I/O and CPU throttling techniques while in action.
To detect hardware problems in their infancy, take advantage of this software’s enhanced S.M.A.R.T. monitoring capabilities.
This defrag utility can also spot and remove file duplicates to regain disk space.
Despite its name, Recycler is designed to declutter your Recycle Bin and permanently remove your temporary files. Its so-called Space Reports can help you keep tabs on your file usage and allocation through compelling graphics.
This software’s interface isn’t exactly modern-looking, but it does tick all other boxes.
Costing $39.99, the regular PerfectDisk Pro 14 license covers up to 3 PCs. To install the product on up to 5 Windows-powered computers, go with PerfectDisk Pro Total Home instead for $59.99.
If you have an old PerfectDisk Pro iteration, you can upgrade your tool for just $20.
To save money when a new version rolls out, sign up for PerfectDisk Pro Maintenance. This annual subscription will set you back $8 or $12 for 3 or 5 PCs, respectively.
Apart from free automatic defragment software updates and upgrades, it entitles you to tech support access via phone.
This Support and Upgrade Protection add-on is available only when you buy PerfectDisk Pro 14. In other words, you can’t purchase it separately later on.
To back up your purchase, you can get a copy of the software for $10. You should receive this backup CD in the mail within 5–7 business days.
If you want to take PerfectDisk Pro 14 for a spin, you can enjoy its free trial for 30 days. It’s not totally free, though, since you need to provide an email address in exchange for the download link.
If you like to keep this defragmenting program, you buy it with your Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or JCB card. Raxco accepts PayPal payments and wire transfers too.
Thankfully, you don’t have to pay in USD if you don’t want to, for this vendor supports dozens of currencies.
Backed by a 30-day guarantee, you can claim a refund if you change your mind.
Considering PerfectDisk Pro’s awesome computer optimization repertoire, owning a five-PC license of this tool for sixty bucks is a steal.
Preferences dialog box
No PC limit
UltraDefrag’s ninth version can do the basics of what the industry’s best disk defragmenter options do and then some. Usability is its strongest suit, but this premium product can be a risky purchase.
Based on Microsoft’s standard defragmentation API, UltraDefrag 9 supports a host of file systems:
Currently, it can run on Windows versions XP to 10. And it can only work with Windows Server 2019, 2016, 2012, 2008, and 2003 iterations. However, it’s compatible with both 32- and 64-bit computers.
This utility has workable default settings. But if you’re big on configurability, especially when optimizing SSDs, you’ll love its preferences dialog box. As an innovation of the latest software version, it will delight power users who love to tinker with everything.
UltraDefrag 9 can not only reassemble file fragments but also fully optimize disks. It can give your PCs a noticeable boost by moving data to the fastest disk tracks.
Apart from regular files, this disk defrag software for Windows 10 can sort out hidden and locked data. It can defrag metafiles and data streams. Additionally, it can rearrange normally inaccessible files during Windows boot time.
Likewise, UltraDefrag 9 has multiple automatic hard drive defrag options. You can program it to scan your system when it’s idle or run on your specified schedule. It can instruct your computer to shut down, sleep, or hibernate after it finishes the job.
You don’t have to launch this tool beforehand to defrag individual files or folders. Just right-click the item in Windows Explorer and choose Defragment with UltraDefrag to start the process.
UltraDefrag 9 has an intuitive graphical interface. But if you like to automate complex defragmentation tasks, you can do it through the command line too.
What’s more, it has a portable edition. You can extract and save it to a USB stick, enabling you to do computer defragging without installation.
Originally released under the GNU General Public License, UltraDefrag is no longer free.Green Gate Systems, LLC took over this project in 2018 and has been rolling out software versions with enhanced functionality.
Despite being a premium tool now, you only need to pay once to get the license for its best iteration yet. Other than full functionality access, this perpetual license grants you unlimited defragment software updates for free, plus round-the-clock tech support.
Moreover, Green Gate Systems sells UltraDefrag 9 in two plans. The first is Standard, which costs $19.99 and permits installation on up to 3 computers. The second is Enterprise, which removes the computer use limit for $39.99.
You can pay with a credit or debit card, PayPal, or Amazon Pay. You can do wire transfers too.
If your order pushes through, you can no longer cancel it or ask for a refund afterward.
Being nonrefundable, buying UltraDefrag is risky. That said, it doesn’t take a leap of faith to believe that it’s worth the expense.
9. Microsoft Drive Optimizer
This defrag software natively resides in the Windows system, including version 11. Although Microsoft developers have bestowed new features on it in recent years, its functionality has remained limited.
Also called Defragment and Optimize Drives (or just Optimize Drives), this tool supports both HDDs and SSDs.
Microsoft Drive Optimizer can only straighten out inefficient drives as a whole. That’s why you can’t focus on single files or folders with it.
Nevertheless, you can launch it through the File Explorer by opening the Properties tab of your chosen drive.
This popular utility has a clean, plain-looking user interface. Right off the bat, it displays all drives on your computer. It also shows key details like media types, last run, and current status.
This defrag program has two main buttons: Analyze and Optimize. You click the former to find out how much work your chosen drive needs. And you hit the latter to fix it.
To optimize your drives regularly, turn on the scheduled defragmentation. You can set it to run daily, weekly, or monthly. But you can’t pick a specific time, nor can you program it to instantly launch while your PC is booting.
What you can do, however, is declare this task a priority. If you do so, this defrag tool will run no matter what after missing three scheduled scans.
One of its few fresh capabilities is the Advanced View.
Introduced in build 20241, this checkbox gives you the option to glance at the status of all of your volumes. If one of them isn’t available for defragmentation, you’ll see a more detailed status like “File system not supported”.
Unlike past versions, you can now refresh the optimization status of your drives by pressing F5.
Despite its simplicity, you can geeky with it by running defrag commands. This option comes in handy when maximizing its functionality by conducting boot optimization.
This tool is built into Windows, so you don’t have to download it. And you don’t have to pay extra to get a hold of it either.
Microsoft’s own utility isn’t the best defrag tool for Windows 7, 10, or any OS version for that matter. Otherwise, there would be no need for third-party defraggers. Nevertheless, it’s still reliable enough to keep your computer performance acceptable if you only use your PC occasionally.
What Is Disk Defragmenter?
A disk defragmenter is a tool that continuously rearranges scattered file fragments on a drive.
Files saved on a computer become more fragmented over time because of the way hard drives store them. The more spread out the data bits are over multiple locations, the more inefficiently a computer system runs.
Reassembling disorganized bits and keeping file fragments orderly is key for improving hardware performance. More importantly, you ought to prevent disk fragmentation from happening in the first place. This way, you can greatly reduce the time needed for your computer to read and write files to the hard drive.
Before, the term disk defragmenter was synonymous with the old name of the Windows utility Microsoft Drive Optimizer. Now, it can refer to any tool specifically designed to address the naturally occurring phenomenon of file fragmentation.
How to Choose the Right Software For You?
Using the right defragger can not only help your apps run faster. It can also prolong your hard drive’s life, boost antivirus efficiency, and avoid harmful storage areas.
Here are the most important factors you should consider when comparing tools:
Answer these two key questions:
- How often do you use your computer?
- And what do you use it for?
If you are a casual PC user, you can get by with a built-in defrag program. Freeware would suffice if you only need to optimize your hardware occasionally.
But if you depend on your computer for things like work or gaming, strongly consider a premium tool. Solutions with advanced capabilities can be a godsend to frequent PC users.
Medium and large organizations have more demanding defragging needs. If you manage lots of hardware for business use, you need an enterprise-grade program. Such sophisticated software can handle entire complex computer systems.
Don’t immediately assume that your prospective tool is compatible with your platform and/or hardware.
Many defrag programs do not work on all OSes and types of drives.
To download or buy the license to the right product, determine the technologies your options support and their system requirements.
Find out how much time the software needs to analyze and optimize your system.
If you can afford to leave the tool running for hours, slow defragging speed shouldn’t be a big deal. If you can’t, look for one that offers fast defrag options.
Spending less time to defrag your computer may result in less dramatic hardware performance improvement. So, find the right balance between speed and effectiveness.
Look for a defragger with an intuitive, clean, forgiving, and informative interface.
In other words, your software should be easy to understand, painless to navigate, allow mistakes without consequence, and provide insights.
The best tools are feature-rich and can illustrate your system’s efficiency before and after optimization without looking messy.
Although interface design isn’t the biggest strength of free defragmenter tools, some of them have commendable aesthetics.
Verify if your prospective program has this basic feature.
It gives you the luxury of defragging or optimizing your drives when your system isn’t busy. While doing things manually has merits, automating the process can be a huge time-saver.
Determine if you have the option to optimize your system at the date and time of your choosing.
We don’t need to tell you how convenient this is. However, understand that a defrag tool may not run when expected for various reasons. So, find out how it can redeem itself after one or more missed scheduled scans.
Explore what makes a defrag utility special.
Admittedly, it can be difficult to pinpoint the differences between defraggers. To the uninitiated, they can appear the same since they pretty much do similar things.
But in reality, some are more sophisticated than others. The advanced tools can work on the latest Windows OSes and are packed with non-defragmentation capabilities like disk cleanup.
A higher feature count doesn’t necessarily translate to better results. But it pays to use a multi-dimensional program, especially if you’ll spend your hard-earned cash to get it.
Decide whether you’re willing to pay money for disk defragmentation.
If you’re not, then rule out premium tools. Free defrag programs are never in short supply. But be mindful of how the developers make money. After all, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.
If you don’t mind spending a little, you stand to get access to more sought-after functionalities. Paid licenses are your ticket to faster and more efficient software editions.
Many vendors sell premium tools by subscription. But it’s not uncommon to find software providers that prefer the lifetime licensing route.
While most developers don’t charge top dollar, twink twice before forking out cash right away. Take advantage of any defragmenter software free trial to see how your prospective tool works before making a payment.
Also, check if the vendor has a money-back guarantee. Refundable payment reduces the risk that comes with the territory and can help you feel more confident in your purchase.
Choosing the right defragger is a deceivingly hard task. Fortunately, with the help of this guide, you don’t have to go through the tedious process of trial and error.
If you find any of our suggestions helpful, stop reading and begin defragging!
Is defragment good for your computer?
Yes, it can make your computer work faster.
However, you have to do it strategically.
Using the wrong tool may not drive down your system’s fragmentation rate to the desired level. And performing it at the wrong time can negatively affect your PC’s performance and ruin your experience.
- As a rule of thumb, you should defrag if your PC is more than 10% fragmented. You can set it to run on schedule to keep it from nearing such a level. The more you use your computer, the more often you should defrag.
Should you defrag SSD?
No, you shouldn’t.
Technically, you can defrag SSDs. But its positive impact is negligible. Also, SSD defragmentation will result in undue data rewrite, which is limited to begin with.
If you want to speed up your computer, defragging your SSDs isn’t the way to go.
Is Windows defrag good enough?
Yes, if you don’t have to defrag your PC comprehensively.
Microsoft Drive Optimizer (formerly Disk Defragmenter) is a bare-bones tool at best. And its numerous limitations may hamper its ability to meaningfully sort the scattered bits of data on your drives.
Is Defraggler better than Windows defrag?
In many respects, yes, it is.
Defraggler offers more flexibility since it can defrag single files or folders in lieu of entire drives. It can also illustrate the progress of defragmentation and optimization better.
Having said that, Defraggler isn’t compatible with Windows 11 yet.
What is the best defrag program for Windows 10?
Here’s the best Windows 10 defrag software for different users:
- Auslogics Disk Defrag for power users
- Glarysoft Disk SpeedUp for users looking for a free defrag program
- O&O Defrag for enterprises
- Defraggler for small and midsize organizations
- IObit Smart Defrag for gamers
- SYSTWEAK Disk Speedup for heavy PC users
- Raxco PerfectDisk Pro for families
- UltraDefrag for teams
- Microsoft Disk Optimizer for casual PC users
Romj is a veteran copywriter who used to be a Jack of all trades. Now, he's trying to be a master of one: technology. He jumps down the rabbit hole to size the latest innovations up. As a content contributor for TechJury, he hopes to help you keep up in our fast-paced world with his discoveries.
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