This paper analyzes the influence of evolution activities such as refactoring on software defects. In a case study of five open source projects we used attributes of software evolution to predict defects in time periods of six months. We use versioning and issue tracking systems to extract 110 data mining features, which are separated into refactoring and non-refactoring related features. These features are used as input into classification algorithms that create prediction models for software defects. We found out that refactoring related features as well as non-refactoring related features lead to high quality prediction models. Additionally, we discovered that refactorings and defects have an inverse correlation: The number of software defects decreases, if the number of refactorings increased in the preceding time period. As a result, refactoring should be a signiﬁcant part of both bug ﬁxes and other evolutionary changes to reduce software defects.