Defragmentation or Defrag is a process that is used to consolidate fragmented files on your hard drive for reasons such as freeing up space, increase the life span of the drive and speed.
Now, when do files get fragmented or the need comes? When data is written to disk and it does not have enough space to hold the complete file. The storage algorithms break the data so that it will fit into the space available which increases performance. This is where 9 best Disk Defragmenter for Windows 11 come in handy because of scheduled defragmentation, automatic timing, consistency and data safety built-in so the health of your drive stays intact.
In the process, the data blocks are moved on the hard drive around to bring all parts of the file together. It reduces file system fragmentation, increases data retrieval efficiency and improvises the overall performance of the system. Now, at the very same time, it cleans storage and provides more storage capacity. For those who do not know this is the opposite of fragmentation which is an inefficient use of computer storage.
How does Disk Defragmentation Work in Windows 11
When you change, save or delete files then defragmentation takes place. The saved modifications for a file are stored at the hard drive location most of the time which is different from the original one. Supplementary modifications are stored to more location. Both file and hard drive become fragmented and system becomes slow as it has to search in different places for a file to open.
Systems that are based on Windows need periodic defragmentation like Linux-based OS e.g. Ubuntu do not as they have a different design to store data even if the very same hardware is used. If we talk about Microsoft windows then provides a proprietary defragmenting tool within its operating system, moreover, third-party versions are also there.
Back-end processes like reading and writing storage media shall be invisible if you are not able to defragment storage devices continuously due to the impact it has on the system’s rhythm.
These tools are introduced to eliminate such an issue and are pre-installed in different versions of the Windows operating system. These come built-in and are used to re-arrange the data of the hard drive and reunite fragmented files which helps the system to run more efficiently.
Windows Defrag Software History
The defragmentation software has been around longer than you think on your PC from as early as Windows 98. The hard drive uses automatic schedulers for periodic defragmentation, hence these were included in lots of popular versions of Windows throughout the last 3 decades that have had it and still do:
- Windows 10: This came with a built-in defrag tool that was named “Optimize Drives”. It was a simple point-and-shoot solution that was aimed at more novices.
- Windows 11: This also came with the same “Defragment and Optimize Drives” tool built-in which doesn’t need installation.
- Windows 98: It comes with an in-built defragmentation tool which is available through the system’s tools menu. It is very impressive to know that such tools were available in 1998!
- Windows NT Edition: It came come out without a defragmenter tool due to its new technology file system designed for automatic system defragmentation. This was Microsoft’s first attempt at automating this from the design but it didn’t quite work out hence various replacements were available in 1993 if you weren’t satisfied with the results.
- Windows 2000 to XP Service Pack 3: This comes equipped with defragmentation tools that are more efficient than the ones you can find in earlier OS.
Techniques that are used to reduce defragmentation include partitioning and optimization which allows you to create logical OS hard drives. Programs such as databases and internet explorer need to be partitioned separately in order to reduce potential storage media fragmentation.
Read before you continue: Please create a system restore point and make sure you have a full backup. The backup should ideally be in a USB or Cloud Service as you can lose all your data on the Hard Drive or Solid State Drive if the process goes wrong.
List of the 9 Best Free Defrag Software for Windows 11 (With Open Source Choice)
Windows 11’s defragmentation utility is very limited and is not user-friendly, putting people performing a defrag for the first time off! This list of the best free defrag software for Windows 11 has various choices that you can download to keep your disk health in top condition:
- Wise Care 365
- Disk SpeedUp
- Defraggler by Piriform
- MyDefrag GUI (jkDefrag)
- Baidu Disk Defrag 10
- Toolwiz Smart Defrag
- Smart Defrag by IOBit
- O&O Defrag Professional
Wise Care 365 – Overall Best Disk Defragmenter for Windows 11
This is a collection of system utilities that scan for privacy issues and junk files. In the system Tuneup tab, one of the tools is used to defragment the hard drive.
You need to choose the drive to defragment and select defragment, full optimization, or analyze. As an option, you can shut the system down after it has finished. If you want to schedule this with wise care 365 then unfortunately it is not supported.
One irritating thing is ads which are displayed plus there are certain features and options which you shall see only in the professional version. The reason why many prefer and it is so popular is that it is portable too.
Disk SpeedUp – Top Free Disk Defrag Software
This is another free option on the list which can defrag not the whole hard drive but also individual files and folders.
It comes with specific settings like you can disable defrags if files carry fragments that are smaller than 6 MB and have more than three fragments and larger than 300 MB, keep in mind that you can customize all these values.
Moreover, you can configure this tool to move large, unused or files of certain formats automatically at different parts of your drive. Not many tools offer this!
It excludes files and folders there from the whole system defrag, runs a boot time defrag, turns the system off when it completes, defrags or optimizations on one or more drives on a daily or weekly, or monthly schedule.
Do you know what sets Disk SpeedUp apart? It does automatic disk defragmentation when it sees your not using your computer. You don’t feel any extra burden on the CPU/Memory resources.
Defraggler by Piriform – Free Defrag Software
It is the best on the list which is able to defrag data or just the free space of the internal or external drive. With this, you have the option to defragment certain files or folders and nothing else. This is also a reliable choice as it is from the same company that makes CCleaner.
It runs on boot time defrag, checks the drive for some errors, before defragging empty the recycle bin and clear any junk files, excludes certain files from defragging, run idle defrag and selectively moves files that are less used towards the end of the drive to speed up disk access.
MyDefrag GUI (jkDefrag) – Defrag with custom scripts
It was previously known as jkDefrag which can both be a simple rather complex defrag program all depending on your needs.
What it does is load and run scripts on one more drive. Many different scripts are included when you first install it, like to defrag on schedule, analyze drive as well as consolidate free space.
Users which are a bit advanced are able to build their own custom scripts which are detailed to deeply customize the way it works. information regarding creating scripts can be found in the online manual.
Baidu Disk Defrag 10 – The most Reliable Disk Defragmenter
This tool has been given out by Baidu PC Faster which is a system optimizer program with a built-in Defraggler. Though it is quick and easy to use it does not provide any customized or advanced features such as scheduling or boot time defrags.
Once it has analyzed one or more drives what you can do is select all of them at the same time so that it will defragment the first one, the second, and likewise.
Toolwiz Smart Defrag – Unleash the power of your drive
This is a small program that has a quick installation and carries an interface that is minimal yet spotless. Now, it claims that it is 10 times quicker than the default tool which is included in windows and is able to place archive files in a whole different place on the drive in order to speed up access to regular files.
You can see a number of files that have been fragmented from analysis and run defrag quickly, though you are not able to see the fragmentation level which is present on the drive nor you can schedule defragments in order to run at a later date. It shows this in a normal view and not un a graph style.
The program is nice but it does not come fully packed with buttons and other toolbars like it has zero features that you can customize.
If you want a simple program that is not too fancy or comes with many settings or buttons then this is a great option.
Smart Defrag by IOBit – Best Smart Defragmentation Software
If you want to schedule an automatic defrag since there are few specific yet advanced settings then this is a great option.
It provides support to running defrag on schedule as well as using boot time defrags in order to move fragments there from the locked files.
It is able to exclude files and folders from defragging or analysis, replace windows disk defragmenter, defrag just windows metro applications and skip defragging files which are come with a specific file size.
It has a feature that is able to remove junk files in windows and internet explorer; also it clears all the cache files from other parts of windows which helps speed it up.
UltraDefrag – Best Open Source Defragmentation Software
UltraDefrag is just like any other defragmentation software but, it is fully open-source. This means that you can download and check the source code yourself. It is available for Windows 11 64-bit to download freely without any subscriptions, trials or cost.
There are a variety of complex algorithms specially designed for defragmentation that it comes with. This helps you to speed up Windows performance and stability.
O&O Defrag Professional – Free and Effective Disk Defragmenter Software
It comes with an easy-to-use and organized interface and supports common features which you can find in similar software such as optimizing drive, viewing a list of all files which are fragmented and checking the drive for errors or slowness.
To schedule defrag weekly then you can also configure the program to begin it automatically when the screensaver comes on.
You can also run through the Quick Configuration wizard in order to set up a schedule easily.
In the paid version you shall find features that are not in the free version which means you shall at times try to enable a setting only to be told you can as you are using the free version, this can be a bit frustrating.
We have tested out the recent version of Windows 11 but unluckily we were not able to get it up and running in a condition we are happy with. It had a few crashes. Only use it as a last resort.
How To Use Disk Defragmentation Software To Optimize your Drive
Disk Defragmentation is very healthy for your drive if it is showing signs of slowness it is time to give it a spin! Follow the simple steps below to run Disk Defragmentation on Windows 11:
- Go to “search” and start typing “Defrag“.
- Click and open the “defragmentation app“.
- Here you will see various different drives that you may have e.g. C:, E: or F:.
- Select the one that has your operating system on it e.g. C:, which is the most likely one.
- Click on “Optimize” and wait patiently as this process takes time-based on the size of your disk.
- Once finished, reboot your PC and done.
Defrag Software FAQs
Do you still need to perform defragging on Windows 11?
Windows 11 is just another operating system by Microsoft. Defragging has to do with your hard drive and the performance of it. If you feel your performance around files and folders and moving data is slow, then it is time to run the defrag software.
Does Windows 11 come with its own defragmenter software?
Yes, Windows 11 comes with its own defrag software which you can find by typing Defrag in Windows Search tab on the taskbar.
Which is the best Defragmenter for Windows 11?
The best Defragmenter choice depends on your needs and dependency on using a Defrag software on your PC. If you want to use just the basic defragmentation ability, the built-in tool is fine. However, if you find automation, more features and constant updates to the defrag algorithms than we suggest you use Wise Care 365, Smart Defrag and UltraDefrag which is open source.
What is defragment software and what does it do?
Over time disk speed gets slow and the data is stored in various different sectors. These are simple pieces of software that you can install to re-organize the data you have in a smaller area/ Defragment software is used to increase the read/write performance of your drive after it checks on the current fragmentation of the drive and re-organizes them.
Disk defragmentation is a complex process and there are various software tools available out on the web. This article includes the 9 best defrag software for Windows 11 to help you pick the most reliable disk defragmenter for your PC. We know that disk defragmentation can be a daunting process but the free tools above will make it easier as they have various fail-safes, e.g, automatic system restore point creation.