Defrag software programs are tools that arrange the bits of data that make up the files on your computer so they're stored closer together. This allows your hard drive to access files more quickly.
Defragmentation, in other words, can help improve your computer's performance by making the reading of files more efficient, thanks to the fact that all the tiny pieces that make up a single file are right next to each other.
Still confused? See What Is Fragmentation & Defragmentation? for more help understanding what fragmentation is and why this type of software is helpful.
All versions of Windows include a built-in defrag program, which we've ranked in this list. However, in most cases, a dedicated program, like any of the other ones listed here, will do a better job.
Defrags can be run automatically on a schedule
Can run a defrag during reboot
You can defrag specific files and folders
Data can be excluded from the defrag
Can be run directly from Explorer
Lets you move lesser-used fragmented files to the very end of the drive
A portable version is available
Might be confusing if you don't want to deal with all the extra options
Doesn't support idle defragging
No update since 2018
Piriform's Defraggler tool is easily the best free defrag software program out there. It can defrag the data or just the free space of an internal or external drive. You also have the option of defragmenting specific files or folders and nothing more.
Defraggler can run a boot time defrag, check a drive for errors, empty the Recycle Bin before defragging, exclude certain files from a defrag, run an idle defrag, and selectively move lesser-used files to the end of the drive to speed up disk access.
Defraggler is also available in a portable version for flash drives.
Defraggler can be installed on Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.
Will run a defrag automatically on a schedule
A defrag can run while the computer is booting up
Files you access often can be moved to faster parts of the drive
A portable version is available
Can clean up the drive before the defrag to speed it up
Lots of options for post-defrag, like to reboot
Exclusions can be applied to the defrag
Some of the features are only usable if you pay
Can't defrag automatically when the computer is idle
Setup might attempt to install another program
Smart Defrag is great when it comes to scheduling an automatic defrag since there are some very specific advanced settings.
It supports running a defrag on a schedule as well as using boot time defrags to remove fragments from locked files.
Smart Defrag can also exclude files and folders from a defrag/analysis, replace Windows Disk Defragmenter, defrag just Windows Metro Apps, and skip defragging files that are over a certain file size.
Also included is a feature which removes junk files in Windows and Internet Explorer. It also clears cache files in other parts of Windows that could help speed up a defrag.
Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP users are able to install and use Smart Defrag.
Free for personal and commercial use
Files and folders can be excluded from a defrag
Important system files can be moved to the faster part of the drive
Lets you disable the ads
Boot-time defrags aren't available for free
Unable to move custom files to the end of the hard drive
Tries to install several unrelated programs during setup
Scheduling isn't free
With Auslogics Disk Defrag, system files, which are normally commonly used files, can be configured to be moved to faster areas of a disk to improve launch times and general system performance.
You can also check a drive for errors with chkdsk and exclude files/folders from a defrag.
It's officially supported on Windows 10, 8, and 7, but will also run on Windows 11.
Can defrag when the computer is idle
Able to move commonly used files to the faster part of the hard drive
Supports scheduled defrags
Includes an option to run a defrag during boot up
Defragmenting can start from the file/folder level
Can also check the HDD for errors
Doesn't show all the fragmented files (only the top 10)
There isn't a portable option
Setup might attempt to install another program
The results after analyzing the drive are hard to read
Free space defrags can't be run manually (only scheduled)
An updated hasn't been released since 2016
Puran Defrag features a custom optimizer called Puran Intelligent Optimizer (PIOZR) to intelligently move common files to the outer edge of a disk to speed up access to those files.
Like some of the other programs from this list, this one can defrag files and folders from the Windows Explorer right-click context menu, delete custom files/folders before a defrag is launched, and run boot time defrags.
There are very specific scheduling options available in Puran Defrag like running an automatic defrag every so many hours, when the system goes idle, or when the screensaver starts.
Particular schedules can also be set up for boot time defrags like running it on the first computer boot up of the day, on the first of the week, or the first time your computer boots up every month.
One thing we don't like about this tool is that it tries to install additional programs during setup.
It's said to be compatible with Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP, and Windows Server 2008 and 2003.
Lots of defrag settings that you can tweak
Can defrag when the computer idles
Exclusions can be set up so as to not be defragged
Defrags can be run while the computer is starting up
Files you don't use often can be moved to the slower parts of the disk
Lets you set up a defragmenting schedule
Doesn't integrate itself into Explorer to make it easier to defrag files/folders
Might try to install another program during setup
Disk SpeedUp is another free defrag program that can defrag not only whole hard drives but also individual files and folders. You can also run an automatic defrag when the system has been idle for a particular number of minutes.
This program has very specific settings. For example, you can disable defrags if files have fragments that are smaller than 10 MB, have more than three fragments, and are larger than 150 MB. All of these values can be customized.
You can also configure this defrag tool to automatically move large, unused, and/or files of a certain format to the end of the drive so the commonly used, smaller ones end up toward the beginning, hopefully improving access times.
In addition to the above, Disk SpeedUp can exclude files and folders from a whole system defrag, run a boot time defrag, turn off the computer when a defrag has completed, and run defrags/optimizations on one or more drives on a daily/weekly/monthly schedule.
This program was designed for Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP
Disk SpeedUp might try to install other Glarysoft programs during setup, but you can easily uncheck anything you don't want.
Very simple and easy-to-use interface
Shows how many files are fragmented
Moves archives to the slower parts of the drive to speed up access to other files
Very outdated; hasn't been updated since 2015
Doesn't support scheduled defrags
Doesn't show the level of fragmentation on the whole drive
Can't customize anything
Might not work for you in Windows 11/10
Toolwiz Smart Defrag is a small program that installs quickly and has a spotless, minimal interface. It claims to be 10 times quicker than the default defrag tool included in Windows, and can place archive files to a different part of the drive to speed up access to regular files.
You're able to see the number of fragmented files from an analysis and run a defrag really quickly, though you can't see the level of fragmentation that exists on a drive, nor can you schedule defragments to run at a later date.
Though it's nice to have a program that isn't packed full of buttons and other toolbars, it's also sometimes unfortunate. For instance, there are zero features that you can customize.
If you're looking for a program that's super simple to use and isn't bogged down with confusing settings or buttons, this program is absolutely perfect.
This program officially works in Windows 7, Vista, and XP. We were able to use it just fine in Windows 8 as well.
Defrags can run each time the screensaver comes on
Supports scheduled defragging
Scheduled defrags can be set to not run if fragmentation is too low
The really large system restore point files are moved to slower parts of the disk to increase performance for other files
Produces extremely detailed hard drive reports
Doesn't work with Windows 11, 10, or 8
Some features are not free to use, so you'll be prompted to buy the full version
Doesn't let you exclude files from defragmentation
Can't defragment removable hard drives
Unable to defrag during boot up
Last update was in 2020
O&O Defrag Free Edition has an organized and easy to use interface. It supports common features found in similar defrag software, like optimizing a drive, viewing a list of all the fragmented files, and checking a drive for errors.
In addition to scheduling defrags on a weekly basis, you can also configure the program to start a defrag automatically when the screensaver comes on.
You can optionally run through a Quick configuration wizard to easily set up scheduling or immediately optimize a drive.
Some features are only available in the paid version, which means you'll sometimes try to enable a setting only to be told you can't because you're using the free version, which can get irritating.
O&O Defrag Free Edition is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, and XP. We tested the most recent version in newer editions of Windows but we weren't able to get it up and running.
Includes advanced options but they're hidden away for beginners
Can check a hard drive for errors
It defrags both internal and external hard drives
Lets you defragment individual files and folders, not just entire HDDs
Advanced changes require you to edit a configuration file
Scheduled defrags are hard to turn on
UltraDefrag can be used for novice and advanced users alike — there are common features that everyone can use but also advanced options if you need to make specific changes to the program.
Common functions like repairing, defragging, and optimizing drives are as simple as any of these other programs. However, if you wish to make changes to the program in general or to the boot time defrag option, you have to know how to maneuver around a BAT file.
It should run fine on Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.
Includes plenty of advanced options
Works "out of the box" for people who don't want to customize anything
The interface is really simple and to the point
Able to defrag removable drives and internal ones
Can be much harder to use than similar programs
Doesn't work from within Explorer like some defrag tools
Last updated in 2010
MyDefrag (formerly JkDefrag) can be both a simple and a rather complex defrag program depending on your needs.
It works be loading and running scripts on one or more drives. Several scripts are included when you first install it, like to defrag on a schedule, analyze a drive, and consolidate free space. The default install is just fine for regular users.
More advanced users can build their own custom scripts, which can actually be very detailed to deeply customize the way MyDefrag works. Information about creating scripts can be found in the online manual.
MyDefrag hasn't been updated since 2010, so it only officially supports Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000, Server 2008, and Server 2003. However, it still works with newer versions of Windows, like Windows 11, 10, and 8.
Built-in to Windows; no installation necessary
Easy to use
Can run defrags on a schedule
Defrags internal and external drives
Can't defragment locked files (i.e., no boot time defrag option)
Finding the program is different depending on your version of Windows
Disk Defragmenter is the defrag program that already exists in Windows, which means you don't need to download anything to use it. You can set schedules and defragment both internal and external hard drives.
Many of the other defrag programs from this list have many advantages over this one, such as boot time defrags and optimization features.
To use it, open it from Administrative Tools in the Control Panel (called Windows Tools in Windows 11). For Windows 7 and older versions of Windows, it can be found through the start menu by navigating to All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter.
It's also available from the command line with the defrag command.
Very easy to use
Defrags internal and external drives
Can defragment multiple drives consecutively
Includes lots of other, non-defrag tools
Missing standard features like scheduling
The other included mini programs are overwhelming if you need just the defrag tool
The program no longer gets updated
Baidu Disk Defrag is a tool provided by Baidu PC Faster, which is a system optimizer program. While it's quick and super easy to use, it doesn't provide any custom or advanced features like scheduling or boot time defrags.
After analyzing one or more drives, you can select all of them at once so that it will defragment the first one, then the second, and so on.
Open the defrag program from Toolbox > Disk Defrag.
Baidu's PC Faster tool should work with Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.
Supports optimizing and defragmenting the drive
Lets you enable an automatic shutdown for when the defrag finishes
There's a portable option
Includes other programs you might like
Can't defrag on a schedule
There are lots of other programs in addition to the defrag tool
Won't defragment locked files
Wise Care 365 is a collection of system utilities that scans for privacy issues and junk files. One of the tools, in the System Tuneup tab, is used for defragmenting a hard drive.
Select the drive to defragment and then choose Defragment, Full Optimization or Analyze. You can optionally shut down the computer after the defrag has finished. Scheduling defrags with Wise Care 365 is not supported.
A portable version is available from within the program (this is explained in the review).
Something we don't like is that a small advertisement about the full version of the program is always displayed in Wise Care 365. Also, some features and options are only available in the professional version.
Wise Care 365 can be installed on Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.