How to Use NTFS Compression – Windows 10

Windows 10 uses the New Technology File System (NTFS) which contains a built-in lightweight compression feature that allows you to reduce file or drive sizes. Hence, saving space while maintaining the usual access to the files.

However, using NTFS compression can degrade system performance since the computer requires to compress and decompress files using extra resources. In some cases, compression is beneficial. For example, when freeing space on your machine. Also, setting up a drive to save files that you barely use.

Whatever your reason might be, on Windows 10, you can compress files using NTFS feature in two ways:

  • Compress files using NTFS file compression
  • Compress files using NTFS drive compression

In this article, we will show you how to compress files using the two different ways.

How to Compress Files Using NTFS File Compression

This is the simplest method to reduce file sizes without requiring to compress the entire drive. Windows 10 automatically handles the process.

To compress files and folders using NTFS file compression, follow these steps:

1. Open file explorer then selects PC from the left pane.

2. Browse the folder that you want to store compressed files.

3. Press the Home button then select New Folder option.

4. Rename the name and hit enter to create the folder. In our case, we have named our folder My Compressed Files.

5. Right-click on your folder and choose Properties option.

6. In the general tab, click Advanced.

7. Under Compress or Encrypt attributes, mark the checkbox next to Compress contents to save disk space.

8. In Confirm Attributes Changes window, mark Apply changes to this folder, sub-folders, and files. Then click OK.

Once you finish the steps, NTFS compression feature will reduce any existing file and future files you save into this folder.

If you desire to see how much space this procedure is saving for you, right-click on that folder and select Properties.

In the properties window, Size displays size of the file without compression, while the Size on disk displays size of the file after compression.

In case you desire to revert the changes, repeat the method but on step 7, unmark the checkbox next to Compress contents to save disk space.

How to Compress Files Using NTFS Drive Compression

Alternatively, instead of reducing individual files and folders, you can also use the NTFS compression feature to compress a whole drive.

1. Open file explorer and select PC from the left pane.

2. Under Devices and drives, select the drive you want to compress, right-click on it and choose Properties.

3. In the Properties window, mark the checkbox next to Compress this drive to save disk space. Then click Apply.

4. In the Confirm Attribute Changes window, check to Apply changes to drive E, subfolders, and files. Click OK and OK again to keep the changes.

After you finish the steps, NTFS will enable compression in your drive.

If you want to undo the changes on your drive, repeat this method but on step 3, unmark Compress this drive to save disk space.

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