5 of the Best Tools for Windows to Defrag your Hard Drive

Writing, reading, and rewriting files causes your computer to haphazardly place parts of the files being used in different areas of the drive, much like paper documents being placed in the tray on top of the filing cabinet for filing later on.

Parts of a file being written to different areas on the disk results in slower performance from your computer just as finding something in the filing tray is a lot slower than going to a filed document in the filing cabinet. Defragging your hard drive is required to get things put into one physical space to make them easier for the computer to find.

While all recent versions of Windows have defragging utilities built into them, there are a number of third party defraggers that reorganize the fragmented files and better optimize their placement on the disk. Regular defragging will keep all those bits and pieces of files together, organize the files so that they can be found quickly, and generally speed up your computer. There are a number of free defragging utilities available, many as portable programs for use on both internal and external drives.

Defraggler Portable

Flexible, automatic, and customized scheduled defragmentation

Defraggler Portable, from Piriform, is very flexible software that can be scheduled to run when you boot your computer. You can even have it empty the Recycle Bin before it starts defragging. Use it on hard drives or defrag flash drives. Selected files and folders can be excluded and you can further speed up your computer by having Defraggler move your less often used files to the back of the drive.

You can defrag your computer quickly and very easily by running Defraggler from the Explorer context menu. The easy to navigate user interface is divided into three parts with a menu bar at the top and Analyze and Defrag buttons at the bottom.

The first panel lists the drives on the system with information in columns – the File System, Capacity, Used percentage, Free Space, Fragmentation level and Status. The middle panel is the familiar colored block system of representing the drive as it is being defragged. The bottom section of the window provides tabs for the Drive, which displays used and free space on the drive, File List, Search, Drive Map – your key to identifying blocks shown in the progress panel above, and Health.

From the Settings tab on the menu bar, you can access Options to set up the extent of your defragging, scheduling, file exclusions, etc. The program supports all recent versions of Windows.


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Auslogics Disk Defrag Portable

Fastest way to analyze, defrag and optimize your hard drive

Speed up your computer with easy to use Auslogics Disk Defrag Portable. The ultra-fast engine will complete the task in less than ten minutes on average. Free space will be consolidated, you will be shown the badly fragmented files and where the pieces are located and, if it’s more convenient, you can specify the files and folders to be defragged.

Default settings for using the Defrag button on the clean and simple user interface will provide you with fast analysis and defrag of the entire hard disk. Progress is displayed with both a graphical block representation and a percentage bar along with textual information on the number of files analyzed and defragmented. Upon completion, details are displayed. A link is provided to a fully detailed report.

Options are available for customizing the operation to fully meet specific needs. For example, you can set the auto defragmentation feature to go to work when the system is idle or schedule defragging for a specified time. It is also possible to defrag your hard drive entirely or specify exclusion of individual files and folders. System files can be moved to a faster area of the drive to speed up the computer.


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Glary Disk SpeedUp

‘Smart’ defragmentation to speed up your computer

Glary Disk SpeedUp is a long-time trusted defragmentation utility that is dramatically speedy and provides useful optimization features.

The colorful user-friendly interface is very clean and easy to use with just two tabs at the top – Defrag Show and Settings. Defrag Show displays the drives on the system and information on them in columns showing Capacity, Free Space, Fragmented and Status. A left-hand panel provides a button to Defrag Now and buttons to set up Auto Defrag and Schedule.

The defrag map is in the middle of the window with tabs to display progress on the selected disk and information on the other disks.
The Settings tab enables you to select various options such as running defragmentation at startup, set various parameters to change the language and more.


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UltraDefrag Portable

Reduce startup times on your browser applications

An open-source defragging tool, UltraDefrag 64-bit is powerful, fast and highly reliable. Its primary difference from other defragmentation software is the ability to defragment files during bootup, including locked files. It is also able to optimize the disk by positioning small files close together, sorting them by the criteria you select.

UltraDefrag’s features include:

  • Easy to use
  • Fast defragmentation algorithm
  • Run from Explorer
  • Master file table defragmentation
  • Defrags NTFS metafiles
  • Ultra-fast analysis of NTFS files
  • Efficient algorithm for disk optimization upon strategy selection
  • Flexible filters for file and folder selection, fragmentation threshold
  • Multiple disk selection
  • HTML reports
  • Command-line interface
  • Automation option
  • Multilingual
  • Portable version

UltraDefrag is extremely flexible and can be customized to fully meet the needs of both experienced and less experienced users.


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IObit Smart Defrag

Deep Defrag to speed up your hard drive and optimize performance

Schedule or defrag with IObit’s Smart Defrag to efficiently defrag your computer. The utility is especially attractive to gamers due to its Game Optimize feature.

The striking, very futuristic user interface basically provides four tabs – Disk Defrag, Game Optimize, Boot Time Defrag and Action Center. You can view the defragging progress and details in the Defrag window and select the kind of defrag you want – i.e. defrag only or optimize (quick or fully) as well.

Boot Time Defrag enables you to defrag the registry, releasing RAM to speed up your computer, and provides customizing options. Game Optimize provides for you to add a game to defrag and ensure a really smooth performance. The Action Center provides recommendations for improvements.

The program has a number of options for Auto defragging and scheduling and reports are created when defragging is complete. All versions of Windows from XP and up are supported.


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Interested in more Hard Drive tools? Check out our File and Hard Disk category.