What is dfrgntfs.exe?

The .exe extension on a filename indicates an executable file. Executable files may, in some cases, harm your computer. Therefore, please read below to decide for yourself whether the dfrgntfs.exe on your computer is a Trojan that you should remove, or whether it is a file belonging to the Windows operating system or to a trusted application.

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Dfrgntfs.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with dfrgntfs
Dfrgntfs.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Disk Defragmenter NTFS Module belongs to software Windows Disk Defragmenter or Diskeeperâ„¢ Disk Defragmenter by Microsoft Corp. and Executive Software International ( or Diskeeper ( or Executive Software International (

Description: The original dfrgntfs.exe is an important part of Windows and rarely causes problems. Dfrgntfs.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 105,472 bytes (46% of all occurrences), 104,960 bytes, 163,840 bytes, 159,232 bytes or 105,984 bytes. 
Dfrgntfs.exe is a Windows core system file. The program has no visible window. It is a trustworthy file from Microsoft. Therefore the technical security rating is 4% dangerous; however you should also read the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify dfrgntfs.exe related errors

If dfrgntfs.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files", the security rating is 27% dangerous. The file size is 585,728 bytes (40% of all occurrences), 405,596 bytes or 237,662 bytes. The program is not visible. You can uninstall this program in the Control Panel. The file is not a Windows core file. Dfrgntfs.exe is able to hide itself.

Uninstalling this variant: You can safely remove the program using the uninstall program of Diskeeper Professional Edition (Control Panel ⇒ Uninstall a Program).

Important: Some malware disguises itself as dfrgntfs.exe, particularly when not located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the dfrgntfs.exe process on your PC to see if it is a threat. We recommend Security Task Manager for verifying your computer's security. This was one of the Top Download Picks of The Washington Post and PC World.


User Comments

tried to acces a outlook identity file
  Gerardo Martinez  
on some winxp machines it runs in the background during idle moments, no DiskKeeper involved. it stops when you use the mouse/keyboard, i think.
diskeeper is a defragment program and its totaly safe
defragments prefetch while system is idle
This file should not be running unless windows defrag is running.
  matt garver  
doesn't hurt is just annoying - part of windows optimise/compress disk space - runs on sartup
Microsoft removed it from it's TechNet site
this program still ran after closing it out - (hit stop) and everything. thought it was a worm running, could be considering I'm running virus scanner now. needless to say it will not stop when I go to TM and say 'end process' / 'end process tree'
It is a windows service. It is called when system is idle and windows optimize is run. It can be turned off with the tweakui downloadable from microsoft. Uncheck the "optimize hard disk when idle" option under the General panel. TweakUI can be downloaded here
NTFS defragger, windows will start this when the PC is idle for some time.
In my case McAfee Internet Security had started this task. No window was visible. So in my case Windows Defrag was not running, but nothing wrong.
All I know is it hits performance in a big way and I have to stop it (Task manager) to get any decent performance from the server. I schedule a defrag job and expect it to stop once I stop the job if over running.
  Paul G  
I have a returning problem with it. When it pops up I must shut the computer down by the off switch nothing else works then.
  Mieke Nelissen  
Safe when in the right directory. Automatically runs when computer is idle for abput 10 mins. To turn off, go to the hard drive's properties and untick the Indexing Services box.
I always get a warning from Comodo Defense+, that this file wants to access the file system, and always after i return to system, when it was locked. (the system went idel) According to miaras comment, it could be a valid operation.
Part of "Windows Defragmenter". Also part of call up for Diskeeper which is the company that created the Windows Defragmenter.
  John Campbell  
I found it in c\windows\prefetch file and it is visable.

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of dfrgntfs.exe: based on 21 votes with 17 user comments. 14 users think dfrgntfs.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 2 users think it's probably harmless. 2 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. One user suspects danger. 2 users think dfrgntfs.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 5 users don't grade dfrgntfs.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving dfrgntfs issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with dfrgntfs. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using 1cleanmgr and 2sfc /scannow, 3uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using 4msconfig) and enabling Windows' 5Automatic Update. Always remember to perform periodic backups, or at least to set restore points.

Should you experience an actual problem, try to recall the last thing you did, or the last thing you installed before the problem appeared for the first time. Use the 6resmon command to identify the processes that are causing your problem. Even for serious problems, rather than reinstalling Windows, you are better off repairing of your installation or, for Windows 8 and later versions, executing the 7DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.

To help you analyze the dfrgntfs.exe process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: ASecurity Task Manager displays all running Windows tasks, including embedded hidden processes, such as keyboard and browser monitoring or Autostart entries. A unique security risk rating indicates the likelihood of the process being potential spyware, malware or a Trojan. BMalwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.

Other processes

dfrgntfs.exe [all]