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 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.
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.