Must-have utilities for your Windows toolkit

We've rounded up seven freeware utilities that help keep your Windows computer running smoothly.

How often do you think about the background systems that make your computer run smoothly and surely? As with most foundations, generally only when they're broken or faulty. And that's a shame. We've rounded up seven freeware utilities that can help you get (and keep) your Windows system in top shape.

We include some top picks in the disk defragger, file compressor, and all-around optimizer categories. There's a tool to recover lost data, and another to cleanly remove programs, including Registry leftovers. Check it out in our must-have utilities roundup.

Have other favorites that didn't make our list? Opine away in the comments.

About Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.