Norton Utilities

The Norton Utilities (short: NU) are a compilation of different programs to enhance Microsoft's operating systems and Mac OS in their functionality. The vendor Symantec belongs in this category of programs to the market leaders. Main attention is paid primarily on tracking down and fixing errors in files, file systems and hard drives, as well as system diagnostics, system acceleration and data recovery. The first versions were developed by Peter Norton 1981 for the operating system MS -DOS. Since 1990, Norton Utilities belong to Symantec.

Versions of Microsoft operating systems

Up to version 7, all versions were exclusively for MS- DOS and supplemented this. Included were:

  • Defragmenter ( Speed ​​Disk )
  • File recovery program ( Undelete )
  • Disk Editor ( Disk Editor )
  • Advanced command interpreter ( NDOS, license version of 4DOS )
  • File search program ( File Find )
  • Program for system analysis.

As of Version 8, there was the Norton Utilities for Windows 3.x, that is, some programs had addition to the DOS version, a version for Windows. With the introduction of Windows 95, the tool set has been ported to Windows entirely and started again with the version number 1 with version 4.5 (released in 2000) changed the Symantec version designations on the years, which was revised in 2009. Between 2003 and 2007, the Utilities integral part of Norton SystemWorks, which includes Norton AntiVirus belonged were. The published in 2009 version 14 running on Windows XP, Vista and 7


In the 1980s and 90s, the Norton Utilities enjoyed great popularity. Microsoft also took some parts of the program as part of the operating system MS- DOS licenses (for example, the disk defragmenter ). Nevertheless, the original Norton Utilities programs remained flexible in their use. With the purchase of Central Point Software, the manufacturer of the PC Tools, Symantec in 1994 took over his closest competitor in this area.

On the Macintosh platform, there are Norton Utilities since 1988. On this platform, the main competitors Micromat TechTool Pro and Alsoft DiskWarrior are.

Problems / criticism

The composition and the added value of the tool collection fluctuated significantly over the years and versions, and decreases in years. In particular, the introduction of new operating and file systems such as the transition from DOS to Windows or currently especially on Windows 7, made some traditional extensions superfluous. Which adapted the tool collection, which managed differently well. With the introduction of the Recycle Bin in Windows 95, for example, lost the standalone restore program its uses, instead, expanded the Norton Utilities functions of the recycle bin, but this was unnecessary again with Windows XP. After large NTFS -formatted hard disks put more and more, this was also true for the Speed ​​Disk Defragmenter. In the current version of 14, he is no longer included ( only as a reference to the defragmenter of Windows).

Always has been criticized again that the collection of tools under Windows XP could not deal with restricted rights.

Literature / Sources

  • Background report to Symantec