Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Windows XP: Using File Compression to Save Space

If you're running low on hard disk space, you can use Windows XP's built-in file compression feature which is a part of the NTFS file system to get more room. The great thing about this feature is that it automatically compresses and decompresses the files on-the-fly for you.

To activate file compression on a file or folder:
  • Right-click the item you want to compress, and select Properties.
  • Press the Advanced button at the bottom of the dialog.
  • Check the 'Compress contents to save disk space' checkbox, and press the OK button twice.
  • You will then be prompted to choose to apply the compression to just a file or folder (which includes any subfolders and files within it), then press the OK button to continue.
Windows will then compress the contents of the file or folder, so this can take a while (this process will take longer on a slower PC). You should notice when you view the file or folder in the Windows Explorer or on the desktop, the text of the item will now be a blue color to indicate that it has been compressed.

Note: Avoid trying to compress files that are already compressed (such as: audio, image, and video files), this can sometimes create files that are larger then the original.

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