Defragmentation preferences

Last updated on Jun 1, 2021

On the Defragmentation tab of the preferences dialog you can select which files to defragment and which files to skip.

The tab contains two lists of files. UltraDefrag processes all the files from the first list excluding the files from the second list. By default the first list is empty and the second list contains patterns which do match temporary files. It means that UltraDefrag processes all files excluding temporary ones by default.

You can add individual files and folders to the list, as well as patterns. The patterns support two wildcards:

  • ? – matches a single character
  • * – matches any number of characters

Using the wildcards you can include a range of files and folders to the lists. For example, a *tmp* pattern matches all the files and folders which full path contains tmp. Temporary files and folders usually have this component in their full path, so, using the *tmp* pattern you can easily exclude a big portion of temporary files from defragmentation.

UltraDefrag uses a few patterns to exclude the most common temporary files, including the system restore points, the recycle bin contents, the windows file protection cache and the temporary files which Windows leaves after system updates. If you have some other temporary files on your disks which do not match any of the default patterns, you may add them to the list to reduce defragmentation time.

In addition to temporary content UltraDefrag skips also archives, multimedia files and disk images by default.

The archives usually serve for backup purposes only and never get accessed otherwise. So, under most circumstances their defragmentation is just a waste of time as it does not improve system performance.

Multimedia content is skipped by default for another reason. For instance, when you watch a movie Windows spends just a few milliseconds to advance from one fragment to another, but the overall watching time is about 2 hours. So, you’ll never gain any performance improvement if you will defragment movies. And the same is true for all the other multimedia files.

The disk images are exluded by default because their fragmentation does not affect performance of the host operating system. However, if you actively use virtual machines on your computer you may uncheck the Skip disk images option to improve performance of your virtual machines.

In addition to the aforementioned files the program skips fragments bigger than 20 MB by default. The reason is the same as in the multimedia files case.

Also you can skip big files entirely and skip files having low number of fragments. The latter option is especially useful for solid-state drives (SSD) defragmentation. We do recommend to skip all files having less than 20 fragments on SSD, because slightly fragmented files do not affect system performance much if they are on an SSD. On the other hand, heavily fragmented files still do affect system performance as their fragmentation drops down performance of the file system itself.


The more files you skip, the shorter will be the disk processing time. So, if some files do not affect system performance much, don’t think twice, exclude them!