Microsoft has substantially improved the native Defragmenting Utility in Windows, with the release of Windows Vista, and further improved upon it in Windows 8 | 7 and Windows 8. The defrag engine and the manageability of fragmentation is much better than what existed in Windows XP.
The in-built Disk Defragmenter in Windows 8 now runs as a low priority task in the background without affecting the performance of the computer. It uses the Task Scheduler to automatically keep the hard disk defragmented, by running when the machine is idle, and therefore does not affect the performance of the Windows. Windows 7 will disable disk defragmentation on SSD system drives, as you do not need to defrag a Solid State Drive.
The Windows Defragmenter, defragments files which are smaller than 64 MB only, for according to Microsoft’s benchmarks, fragments of this size, which already consist of at least 16000 contiguous clusters, have a negligible impact on performance. This means that games and large media files are effectively left as they are ! Microsoft feels that to defrag to combine fragments that are 64MB or larger requires significant amounts of disk I/O, which is against the principle of minimizing I/O, and puts more pressure on the system to find large, contiguous blocks of free space.
If you still want to defrag files larger than 64 MB too, you need to use certain other defrag parameters to be able to defragment files of all sizes.
For most, the best practices for using defragmentation in Windows 7 / 8 are simple – you do not need to do anything. But if you feel that you need to have a 3rd party defrag tools to better defrag and/or even defrag very large files easily and quickly, or if in spite of doing your best to troubleshoot the in-built disk defrag utility, you are unable to get the in-built defrag tool working, you might want to check out these 5 free defragmenting software.
Best Free Defragmentation Software
UltraDefrag is an open-source disk defragmenter for Windows has been optimized to complete the job quickly, reliably and achieve best results possible. It defragments any system files including registry hives and paging files quickly and efficiently.
- Simple to use
- Simple and powerful
- Modern design Graphical User interface (GUI)
- Boot time interface to process locked system files
- Generates HTML reports
- Command line tool useful for automation
This free disk defragmenter for Windows, earlier know as JKDefrag, organizes files into zones, such as directories, Windows files, files used while booting, regular files, and rarely used files. Files that are accessed often, are placed at the beginning of the hard disk while the files that are commonly used together are placed in close proximity to each other. This organization, results in a dramatic speed increase, thereby allowing the computer to function efficiently.
MyDefrag is completely automatic and is able to handle USB disks/sticks and floppies.
- Easy to install
- Full functional freeware
- Includes a scripting language
- Improved interface
- Offers better optimization
- Consumes less memory
- High speed
- Performs extensive documentation
This freeware defragmentation utility defragments individual files, groups of files (in a folder) or an entire disk partition, either on user’s command or automatically on a schedule. Defraggler supports NTFS and FAT32 file systems. The portable application can be used as a replacement for Windows 7 inbuilt defragment tool, since it is faster and offers some additional features too.
Simply select the volume you want to analyze, click on the volume name displayed on the interface and then click the ‘Analyze’ button. The program will analyze the disk volume and display results in seconds. Next step is to click the ‘Defrag’ button to initiate the defragmentation process.
Piriform Defraggler features:
- Gives your hard drive a quick touch-up
- Organizes empty disk space to prevent fragmentation
- the software can be programmed to run daily, weekly or monthly
- Windows OS and Multi-lingual support
- Supports 37 major languages
One of the best know in the free defrag software space is Auslogics Disk Defrag. This tool defragments and re-arranges files to ensure most efficient file placement. The program not only defragments files but optimizes your hard drives’ file system also to gain higher performance. It supports both FAT 16/32, and NTFS file systems.
Auslogics Disk Defrag’s optimization algorithms allow you to defragment free space, move system files to the fastest part of the disk and clear the MFT Reserved Zone from regular files. Plus, the tool is supplied with a powerful engine that can easily defragment large multi-terabyte.
Auslogics Disk Defrag features:
- Consolidation of free space
- Efficient and smart placement
- Single file or folder defragmentation
- Lists fragmented files
- Auto-defrag mode
- Multiple languages support.
You also want to have a look at the new Auslogics Disk Defrag Touch for Windows 8.
The simple defragmentation utility collects all the fragments of a file and puts them together, thereby upgrading the hard disk performance. Its intelligent optimizer i.e. Puran Intelligent Optimizer (PIOZR) boosts the system’s speed.The program can be used in several distinct ways and includes some useful features and configurable options.
Puran Defrag is free for personal and non-commercial use only. If you’re using Puran Defrag in a business, you must purchase a licence.
Puran Defrag features:
- Puran Intelligent Optimizer – PIOZR
- Directories Consolidation for speed boost
- Optimization by Freeing Space
- Automatic Defragmentation for worry free defrag
- Boot Time Defragmentation for system files like MFT
- Low Priority Defrag for work while defrag experience
- Individual File/Folder Defrag for selective defrag
- GUI and Console Command Line Defrag Supported
- Restart/Shutdown After Boot Time Defragmentation
- File/Folder Exclusion or exclusion by wildcard facility
- Native support for 64Bit Windows
- Supports Windows 7 & Vista too.
You may want to also check out Smart Defrag, which offers to also defragment Windows 8 Modern UI Apps.
So which one’s your favorite? Or do you prefer to depend only on the in-built Windows Defragmentation Tool.