Five Best Disk Defragmentation Tools

Five Best Disk Defragmentation Tools

Defragmenting your hard drive regularly is an important part of regular hard drive maintenance, and the best tools can defrag your drive regularly or on demand when your games start to slow down or you have trouble loading up large files. The trouble is that there are so many defragging tools that it can be difficult to choose. This week we’re going to look at five of the best, based on your nominations.


Defraggler (free)

Defraggler is unique in that it allows you to defragment your entire drive, or specific files or folders (fantastic if you want to defrag all of your large videos, or all of your save game files.) The utility also supports “quick defrag,” which can speed up your drive and do get a lot of work done without the time required to do a full scan and defrag. The app is portable, and you can run it from a thumb drive if you need to work on multiple PCs. You can schedule the app to defrag your drive at regular intervals, and even tell Defraggler to only clean up free space on your drive.


MyDefrag (free)

Formerly JKDefrag, MyDefrag is a disk defragmentation tool that’s easy to use and difficult to master. The app is simple enough that you can fire it up and tell it to work its magic on your drive, but if you want to get under the hood, the app includes a number of scripts and a scripting engine that gives you access to the tool’s underpinnings. There’s a command-line version, and even a screensaver to run while MyDefrag tidies up your drive. MyDefrag is a little slow, but when it’s finished, loading large files like games and video will be much faster.


Auslogics Disk Defrag (free)

DIsk Degfrag from Auslogics goes a little further than simple disk defragmentation. The app will also optimise your file system for faster file reads and writes, show you a list of fragmented files instead of a vague report of your hard drive’s fragmentation status, and will even defragment single files and folders if you’re having a hard time with a specific file or application. Disk Defrag will also automatically defrag your system at specified times or when your PC is idle.


Smart Defrag (free)

Smart Defrag is one of the fastest defragmenting tools we’ve seen, and that’s saying a lot. The app supports boot-time degfragmentation so your disk is optimised as soon as you turn your computer on, and just as easily allows you to schedule defrag sessions for times idle times or hours when you know you won’t use your system. You can also leave the app running in the background (it does this by default) so it’s working while you’re working — you won’t even notice it’s there. If you have more time to spend, Smart Defrag will defrag your drive and optimise your file system to speed up everyday activities as well.


Windows’ Built In Disk Defragmenter (free)

Windows’ built-in app, Disk Defragmenter, can definitely analyse and defragment your drive at regular intervals, and by default is set to do defragmentation jobs every week, in the early AM when you’re likely not using your system. While it doesn’t offer advanced tools like the other utilities, like single file/folder defragmentation or idle-system defragmentation, it gets the job done and stays out of the way if you don’t need those added features. Plus, it’s built-in to Windows, so you don’t need to install anything extra.

Did we leave out your favourite? Let us know why you prefer it to the top five in the comments below.


  • I’m a big supporter of open-source and free software but when it comes to defraggers which work on such a low level in the OS I become a nervous about letting them loose on my data.

    In my view you should either use in the built-in defragger (if you want a free solution) or pay for something like PerfectDisk which I have used for years and it has never failed me

    • Hrmm yes, I know what you mean. I find it interesting that the “best” as per this article are all free. What about the paid ones? Is this article looking at all the possible solutions or only those that are appealing as well as useful?

  • What I really want to see in these “5-best” articles is a feature and (where applicable) performance comparison sheet.
    How much faster is the fastest option? In a glance, which software have idle-time defrag? etc…

    • The real question is ‘Is defrag even used anymore when we have journaling filesystems and SSDs?’

      The answer: Yes. There’s still plenty of people using ntfs/fat32 on spinning platters. It’s nowhere near the performance issue it used to be, but an occasional defrag doesn’t hurt.

  • In this day and age where SSD drives are becoming more common I think it’s worth noting that people should NOT be degragging if they have an SSD. SSDs will intentionally fragment in an effort to spread wear over the whole device. Defragging an SSD will have zero affect and can actually wear out the device faster.

    • Any good defragging program should detect that a given drive is an SSD and won’t defrag it. Defraggler, for example will detect the SSD and also give a health report.

  • I am missing Diskeeper as a paid option. The built-in defragmentation tool from Microsoft used to be a reduced/simplified version of Diskeeper’s technology (not sure for Win7). I have not used it for a while since I’ve moved to Mac, but I do remember that it was already compatible with SSDs some years ago.

  • PuranDefrag is free for non-commercial use and can do boot-time defrag for system files and optimise the placement of system files onto fastest section of drive. Get’s my vote every time and I’ve used most of those listed here before.

  • I prefer SysInternal’s Contig application (it just uses cmd prompt asn an app to output results, VERY fast and clean for netbook users especially, something that most defraggers don’t have the advantage of).
    It’s not pretty graphical, but it gets its job done.

    It’s hard to set up since it’s just a cmd-line application, so use this auto-configured version of Contig instead:

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