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Smart Defrag 3 sports a newfound speed and a Metro-style interface

Jon L. Jacobi | Feb. 14, 2014
Though the benefits of defragging your hard drive are minimal in this day and age, after long periods of heavy use, a pass on the platters with a defragger isn't a bad idea. Iobit's Smart Defrag 3 is about as good a program as you'll find at optimizing your files at the block level. And it's free.

Though the benefits of defragging your hard drive are minimal in this day and age, after long periods of heavy use, a pass on the platters with a defragger isn't a bad idea. Iobit's Smart Defrag 3 is about as good a program as you'll find at optimizing your files at the block level. And it's free.

Smart Defrag 3 offers both a classic Windows, and a Metro look that appears right at home in the Windows 8.x modern GUI. I like the 2D Metro look even under Windows 7 so I stuck with that. As a company, Iobit has made hay with the Metro interface, offering both a classic start menu for Windows 8 users, and a Metro-style interface for XP/Vista/W7 users.

Smart Defrag is easy to use and smart enough not to auto-select SSDs for defragging. Defragging has no effect on SSD performance and simply wastes an SSD's precious read/write cycles. In other words, don't do it.

In addition to normal whole-drive defragging, Smart Defrag 3 will also limit operations to partitions, single files and folders. This can help reduce load times for frequently used files without costing you the time a full defrag requires. There's also boot time defrag and a scheduled defrag, but I suggest you skip the latter option as defragging more than once every few months takes more time than it saves. Necessary or not, In my testing Smart Defrag 3 did a very good job, and wrapped things up rather quickly given that all my hard drives are 2GB or larger.

Smart Defrag 3 is free, but it's a loss leader for Iobit's Advanced System Care and will install that as well unless you un-check the option. There's also some minimally invasive advertising for Advanced System Care inside Smart Defrag 3.

Ads aside, if you have a drive that's been in heavy service for a while, or want to defrag a heavily used folder without wasting time on a whole-drive operation, there are worse choices than downloading Smart Defrag 3 and letting it straighten things out.

 

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