Microsoft

Five Windows defraggers that won't tie newbies into knots

Defrag tools tend to intimidate nontechnical users. But these defraggers are easy to use -- and some have a nice selection of top-end features, to boot.

One of the most basic maintenance operations on a Windows PC is disk defragmenting. While many folks are a bit timid around a tool like a defragger, it turns out that most are not too hard to use — even the ones with advanced functionality. Here are five disk defraggers that are easy to use and configure.

1: Windows defragger

There really isn't much to the Windows defragger. It has few options, but what makes it so super-easy is that it is already installed and enabled on modern versions of Windows. The big drawbacks are that it lacks the features of others, particularly around things like on-the-fly optimization and the defragging of more sensitive system files.

2: Defraggler

Defraggler is not only easy to use, but it has a nice feature set too. In addition to the usual things, like scheduled defrags, you can defrag individual files and folders, along with your free space. Of special interest to those who work on a lot of systems, Defraggler can be used as a standalone application running from a USB drive.

3: Auslogics Disk Defrag

Auslogics Disk Defrag is a real favorite here on TechRepublic. Every time defraggers are mentioned, lots of members bring it up. It's a snap to use, and it has the features of more powerful packages as well. Like Defraggler, it can operate on individual files and folders, but it can also perform the real-time, automatic defragging that some other packages can't perform.

4: Smart Defrag

Smart Defrag takes an easy-to-use package and adds some of the top-end features, like waiting until the PC is idle to start defragging and job scheduling. It too can perform automatic, real-time defragging in the background. The feature that users tend to like most about Smart Defrag, though, is its price: free.

5: Diskeeper

Diskeeper is the most advanced defragger on this list, but it is still easy enough for a novice to handle. And for the enthusiast, power user, or system administrator, Diskeeper has functionality and optimizations not found in less expensive packages. Diskeeper is most likely overkill for the home user. But if you want a package that's easy to get up and running, with options that let you tweak it to your heart's content, Diskeeper is the one for you.

Other favorites?

What user-friendly defraggers would you add to this list? Is there one here you would definitely recommend?

About

Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.

Editor's Picks