This applies ONLY to Windows
XP Pro (not the Home edition) and ONLY if your drive is NTFS formatted.
If you do not
know whether or not your system is using NTFS, open My
right-click your operating system drive, and then click Properties.
Under the General tab, read what is stated for File
you see File
system: FAT32 then
your hard drive is not NTFS formatted, and this type
of compression is not available to you. Of course, you can always
format your hard drive to NTFS, but that is another article.
you are using the NTFS File system, you have the option to
save disk space by compressing individual files and folders. Note
that this type of compression is not the same as zipping – as when you use
Winzip or XP’s own zipping utility. NTFS
compression is built right into NTFS and has no effect on the
way you use your folders. You access your folders and files as
normally. Programs can read and write compressed files the same
as they can uncompressed files.
When a compressed
file is opened, only the part being read is decompressed to memory
where it is worked with in an uncompressed state. Then
when you close the file, it is automatically compressed again. You
may notice that compressed folders and files take a bit longer to open
and close than uncompressed ones. For this reason, it is best to use compression
on folders and files you rarely access but which you prefer to store
on your hard drive.
Here's How to Compress a File or
the file or folder you wish to compress, and go to Properties.
- Under the
Generaltab, click Advanced.
- Choose "Compress
contents to save disk space" and then click OK.
- In Confirm
Attribute Changes box, choose whether to make the compression
apply only to the selected folder, or to the selected
folder and all its files and subfolders.
- Click Ok.
Color Coding Compressed Folders
You can set Windows
to display alternate colors for compressed files and folders
so that you will be able to easily distinguish between compressed
and uncompressed files and folders. It's easy to do.
- Open My
Computer and click Tools > Folder
Options >View tab
- Place a checkmark
next to "Show encrypted or compressed NTFS files in color"
Copying and Moving Files into Compressed
- Copying a file
to a compressed folder automatically compresses that file.
If you move a
file from a different drive into a compressed folder, it gets
compressed. However, if you
move a file from the same drive into a compressed folder, the
file retains its original state. Therefore a compressed
folder may contain both compressed and uncompressed files.You can also use drag and drop to copy or move files into compressed folders.
You can also
compress files and folders via the command line by using compact.exe.
This method can be handy for batch operations. For example: Say
you want to compress all the jpg files on your d: drive.
You would enter the following command at the cmd prompt or run box:
compact /c d:\*.jpg
For more more
information on compact exe, type:
- File compression
and file encryption are not compatible. In other words,
you can compress a file or encrypt a file, but not do both.
- In the Disk
Clean Up utility, there is an option to "Compress
old files." If this is checked,
it means Windows will automatically compress files and folders
which have not been
used in a long time(you can specifiy how long to wait before
Windows will compress them). If you do not
want Windows doing this, make sure the option is not checked.
- To quickly start
the Disk Clean Up utility, enter this command in the Run
box: cleanmgr and click OK.
- For those interested
in the registry value controlling this Disk Cleanup option,
it is here.
HKEY LOCAL MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Compress