[Windows] 7 free defragmentation software (aka defraggers)

Unless you have a SSD (solid-state drive), you should regularly defrag your hard drive(s) (once a month, every other month, every six months, whatever you desire as long as you do it). Why? Simply because, as time goes on, the files on your hard drive(s) become more and more fragmented which decreases overall computer performance.

Of course you can defrag using the defragger built into Windows but many people don’t like that one. So, this article lists seven free defregmentation programs you can pick from. Keep reading to learn more.

7 Free Defragmentation Software

Auslogics Disk Defrag Free

auslogics_disk_defrag_free

IObit Smart Defrag

2013-03-05_234105

MyDefrag (formerly known as JKDefrag)

mydefrag

UltraDefrag

ultradefrag

Defraggler

defraggler

Contig

2013-03-05_235105

WinContig

wincontig

WHICH DEFRAGGER IS THE BEST?

Before we delve into the issue of “the best” just me clarify one point. The last two programs listed above, Contig and WinContig, are for the purpose of defragging specific files/folders, not whole hard drives. It should also be mentioned Contig is command-line only. So, while I’ve listed the two, I’m not including them in the running for best defragger because of their limited use case.

That said, out of the remaining five, my top two picks are Auslogics Disk Defrag Free and IObit Smart Defrag. MyDefrag, UltraDefrag, and Defraggler are very good defraggers and I’m sure some people will disagree with me when I say my top picks are Auslogics and IObit. However, my reasoning behind picking Auslogics and IObit is very simple:

  • Auslogics Disk Defrag Free is fast — one of the fastest I’ve ever used
  • IObit Smart Defrag has great automation, intelligently defragging files on-the-fly without putting major unnecessary strain on computer resources

Other advantages of Auslogics Disk Defrag Free are:

  • In addition to defrag, it can optimize your files in a way so that more commonly used files are more quickly accessed
  • Has the ability to defrag files on-the-fly like IObit Smart Defrag or you can schedule automatic defrags daily, weekly, or monthly
  • Can defrag specific files/folders instead of whole partitions, if desired
  • Has a portable version (which has all the main features of Auslogics Disk Defrag Free’s installer version except settings customization, on-the-fly defragging, and scheduler)

Other advantages of IObit Smart Defrag are:

  • It also optimizes your files to ensure quicker access to commonly used files, like Auslogics Disk Defrag Free
  • Has ‘Boot Time Defrag’ which defrags page file, hibernation file, MFT, and system file automatically on boot
  • You can set automatic defrags to happen daily, weekly, or monthly if you opt to disable on-the-fly defrag

My personal recommendation is the following. While both Auslogics Disk Defrag Free and IObit Smart Defrag are excellent and can be substituted for each other, if you prefer to do on-demand defrags on your own time, grab Auslogics Disk Defrag Free. If you are fine with automatic, on-the-fly defragging then go with IObit Smart Defrag. If you need a protable defragger, then obviously Auslogics Disk Defrag Free is the one to go with since IObit Smart Defrag doesn’t have an official portable version.

Conclusion and Download Links

While I am of the opinion Auslogics Disk Defrag Free and IObit Smart Defrag are the two top ones, pretty much all of the defraggers we’ve listed in this article are excellent. Grab the one you prefer and use it. The download links are below. When installing the programs, please realize some of them (particularly Auslogics Disk Defrag Free and IObit Smart Defrag) come bundled with crapware during installation — so be sure to uncheck the relevant boxes and click ‘Decline’ as necessary to avoid installing crapware.

MyDefrag homepage

Defraggler homepage

UltraDefrag homepage | dotTech’s full review on UltraDefrag

Contig homepage

WinContig homepage | dotTech’s full review on WinContig

Auslogics Disk Defrag Free

IObit Smart Defrag

[Some screenshots via developers]

Share this post

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

21 comments

  1. RealBull

    [@RealBull]
    I guess it is because I posted a link address…

    Well I use Raxco’s PerfectDisk 11, I got it as a giveaway.
    Please try PerfectDisk Free, but since my comment does not appear when I post the link, you’ll need to search it for yourself.

    My picks for best defrags are:
    1) PerfectDisk Free
    2) Puran Defrag
    3) Auslogics
    4) MyDefrag

  2. jayesstee

    [@BearPup] Thanks for the info.  I have only used Gizmo’s occasionally as a starting point to see what is available.  I’ve not relied on their recommendation so far and from your heads up, will not in the future.
    [@Strahd]  I agree, there is a need for a detailed comparison.  As you say, it needs someone with the time, ability and commitment to carry out these analyses.  ‘Fraid I’m not volunteering, are you?

  3. Strahd

    [@jayesstee]

    Yeah I worded my question wrong.

    I meant any site that actually does performance/benchmark tests and/or comparisons, i.e. Such as av-test.org does for anti-virus programs.

    Quoting Corno;

    “Ashraf comparison is informative, but just about bells and whistles. No word about of the performance improvement of every single program. This is not meant as bashing, I know that that is complicated and time-consuming, but even so, that is what we actually need.”

    Such tests are needed when comparing software such as these. Otherwise its just an informative review.

  4. BearPup

    [@jayesstee] Scratch Gizmo’s site. They are very prejudice against Iobit Software. They, quite literally, prevent even mentioning the company’s name and refuse considering any of their software in any reviews, or even reader’s comments.

    I tried ‘calling them on it’, and they first threatened to ban me from the site, and then refused to answer when I sent them a private message questioning their approach.

    I’ve also read comments by moderators / reviewers that someone mentioning Auslogics software was guilty of trolling!

    The reviews they do are good, but very limited by their views of acceptable software / companies. I still use their site, but you have to know of their prejudices.

  5. Bub

    [@Michael Bean]
    Defragging does overwrite “empty” sectors. This is a problem only if you have deleted stuff that you want to undelete. I know of one case in which a person was penalized for defragging his hard drive during a legal proceeding; the suspicion was that he had done so to prevent discovery of incriminating evidence.

    As for MTBF, that could be argued either way. One might suppose that all the work that the HD does during the defrag process contributes to its wear. On the other hand, the HD has to move its heads a lot more to read a heavily fragmented drive, so defragging might help.

    In reality, according to this paper, there is only a weak correlation between usage and HD failure, so defragging probably makes little difference either way.

  6. leland

    I see someone else already mentioned Puran Defrag which is one of the best free ones out there. It can also defrag at startup doing a disk check or not. This method basically does it before Windows starts guaranteeing a safer method of defrag and allows for a more thorough defrag too.

    Thanks for the nice article and I hope you expand it in the future.

  7. Michael Bean

    Thanks, The reviews are much appreciated.
    However, I have read that disk fragmentation software shortens the MBF of the drive. In other words, it will fail sooner.
    Is this true? Also, does defragmentation over write data, preventing recovery?

  8. Scott Youngman

    I agree with Corno: In addition to operational speed and features, it would be very helpful to know which software provides the best performance results after the defrag.

  9. BearPup

    First, thanks for the review. Its an often asked question (Which is best?). Secondly, I’m a big fan of Auslogics for two of the reasons Ashraf cites: blazingly fast speeds, and their optimization routine.

    I also find Auslogics’ defrag most compatible with a variety of machines and operating systems. It can also defrag external disks and USB drives (if you have a very large USB drive, it helps to squeeze out the maximum drive space and speed). Well done!

  10. Giovanni

    And by the way…maybe you should add PURAN DEFRAG:

    Key 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

    http://www.puransoftware.com/Puran-Defrag.html

    Ever tried before?

  11. Giovanni

    Other two excellent FREE defrag tools you missed in your review are also these:

    http://www.freewaregeeks.com/?page=detail&get_id=176&category=53

    http://www.toolwiz.com/products/toolwiz-smart-defrag

    The first tool mentioned above is actually much more than just a defragger: in fact, not only defrags your HD deeply & effectively, but it’s also able to automatically place all of your files and folders in the right areas of your HD (20%of the entire HD) so that your PC may achieve maximum performance.

    The second one is a very fast and above all very effective indeed defragging tool, since it analyzes the discontinuous files without using the file system, putting them in the continuous space in the disk afterwards.
    It’s part of the TOOLWIZ SYSTEM CARE suite software, so if you use that tuneup utility you don’t need to install it as a standalone software!!

    Finally, you should also know that the latest disks require for best performance the right alignment of read/write operations in relation to the physical sector. This FREE & PORTABLE gem checks the volume alignment status of your Advanced Format disks, telling you when an alignment is required:

    http://diskat.net

    Enjoy!!

  12. janet

    Screenshot of My Defrag is old. Current version’s Options distinguishes between System partitions and data partitions, providing different scripts for each, in addition to daily, weekly, or monthly scripts. This is why I switched from Auslogics to MyDefrag.

  13. corno

    Curiously, I have never seen a comparative test on how these programs actually perform, qualitively. Ashraf comparison is informative, but just about bells and whistles. No word about of the performance improvement of every single program. This is not meant as bashing, I know that that is complicated and time-consuming, but even so, that is what we actually need..

  14. Shawn

    Power Defragmenter is a GUI for contig…

    And if you know how to use contig correctly you’ll probably have a better defrag than all the rest as contig can defrag metadata files easy.