These are the best disk defragmenting tools for windows. I was recently tweaking out my hard disk, because it had become very laggy lately, so my first assumption was the drive had been fragmented.
What is Fragmentation?
Fragmentation is a process of building up of gaps in your hard disk. This occurs when you frequently copy and delete large files (ex. games, blu-ray movies, etc). When a file is to be copied, the operating system allocates the necessary disk space, and when it is to be deleted it erases the file contents, and releases the free space to be used later.
As a result, due to continued copying and deletion of files, large gaps are created between files. The Read/Write head of the hard disk moves sequentially so it must go through all the gaps before it locates the file you need, thus increasing the time taken to read a file.
How does Defragmentation help us?
Defragmentation is a process of undoing fragmentation. It compacts all the files in a contiguous location (next to each other), in a sequence so it becomes easy for the read/write head to move, thus taking the shortest time to seek. Defragmentation also allocates all the free space at the end of the hard disk to make sure to remove all the gaps created previously by fragmentation.
To help you out, i have created a list of the best defragmentation tools i use to keep my hard disk running fast.
Defraggler is a well known, free disk defragmenting tool by Piriform (the same company behind CCleaner). Some of the features of Defraggler are:
- Quick defrag lets you optimize your hard disk quickly without taking up all your precious time
- Scheduled defragmentation allows you to defragment your hard disk when you want
- Defragment file, folder or the whole drive
- Very light: Defraggler software is only 3MB in size
- Drive map gives you a graphical representation of the defragmentation in real time
- Free: Defraggler is totally free to use and distribute
2. TuneUp Drive Defrag
TuneUp Utilities is the best premium tool i can recommend you since i have used this product for more than 5 years and have a lot of experience with it. Features included with TuneUp Drive Defrag are:
- Quick defragmentation allows you to fastly arrange file blocks on your hard disk without spending too much time
- Automatically excludes SSDs from defragmentation since it reduces their life
- Option to shut down computer when defragmentation has finished
- Gives you a real time map of the defragmentation procedure
- Defragment your hard disk when system is idle (CPU usage is 0-1%)
- Analyzes all the partitions and gives you a recommendation if defragmentation is necessary
Mydefrag has a lot of options and its free too. The program comes with 8 defragmentation scripts. This software has a lot of advanced options and if you are a Windows Power user, this app will help you a lot. Some of the features of MyDefrag are:
- Option to defrag daily, weekly or monthly based on your convenience
- Capable to defragment USB Flash Drives too
- Commandline interface for Windows Power users
- Consolidation of free space can be used to fill up all the gaps between files and moving files to the beginning of disk
- Graphical representation of file blocks being processed and information about files being defragmented
- Keyboardand mouse shortcuts so that you can use the various utilities in the app with more ease
- Totally free: The software is completely free to use and distribute
4. Auslogics Disk Defrag
Auslogics disk defrag comes in 2 variants, one is free version and the other one is pro (paid) version. The Pro version includes a lot of features not found in the free version. Some of its unique features are:
- Single file defragmentation allows you to defragment a file, folder or an entire drive
- Auto defragmentation checks when the computer is idle and starts defragmentation
- File Clusters viewer shows you the location of fragmented files in their clusters
- Special algorithms for VSS (Shadow copy) enabled drives and for SSDs
- Graphical representation of defragmentation which can also be customized froma wide variety of themes
- Disk error checking and repair tool
- Prevents MFT (Master File Table) fragmentation by moving files from the reserved zone
5. IOBit Smart Defrag
Smart defrag is also a good tool for defragmenting your hard disk. It is free and very easy to use. Features found in this app are:
- Boot time defragmentation which allows you to defragment your hard disk during system boot, so that system files can be easily moved
- On schedule defrag permits you to schedule your disks to be defragmented when you want
- Automatic defragmentation uses Smart Silent Technology to defragment your hard disk in the background
- Gives you an analysis of all the fragmented files and directories on a disk and generates a report after defragmentation too
- Power options to stop defragmentation when on Battery and shutdown after defragmentation is complete
- Options to defragment pagefile, hibernation file and master file table too
- Graphical map of the defragmentation happening in real time
Diskeeper is a premium defragmentation software by Condusive technologies. You can use it as an evaluation version and then you have to purchase it to continue using it. Some of the features Diskeeper offers are:
- Automatic defragmentation makes sure defragmenting takes place in the background
- Consolidation of system files ensures they can be accessed at a much faster rate
- Fragmentation prevention, so that there are less number of chances that your drive will slow down in time
- Special engines to take care of disks which have larger capacity
- Less resource hungry and more CPU friendly, takes the least amount of CPU usage
- Schedule your defragmentation tasks to be carried out at a later time
7. Windows Disk Defragmenter
Of course, there’s also a built in tool in Windows which does all the defragmentation for you and is by default scheduled to carry out defragmentation every wednesday at 1:00 AM although you can also change the frequency from the Settings.
You can also carry out multiple defragmentations (i.e. defragment more than one partition simultaneously). Windows defragmenter first analyzes a disk and then tells you how much percentage has been fragmented. If its more than 50%, then you should run the defragmentation process to ensure all the necessary files are organized neatly.
These were my favorite disk defragmentation tools but if you have knowledge of any other defragging tool to add to this list, do let us know and we will update this article.