Usually, when you want to reduce the size of a file or folder on your Windows computer, you compress it, which creates a ZIP file to compress it.And when you want to use it again, you unzip it to unzip it.But what if we told you that you could zip your files and folders in Windows 11 to save space and use them without having to unzip them?
You can do this with Windows 11's file compression feature.But what is it and how to enable it?Let's find out together.
What is file compression in Windows 11?
File compression is a feature of the NTFS file system in Windows that removes most of the redundant data of files, such as repeated characters in text files, to reduce their size.The beauty of it is that the compression algorithm used does its job without losing any critical data.This process is called lossless compression.
Also, Windows 11 compresses in such a way that apps you install will still treat the file as uncompressed (transparent compression).This means that the application can access the data in the file and work without decompression.
Keep in mind that compressed files and folders will not be compatible with other file systems (NTFS only).This means you can't transfer them to drives that use the FAT or exFAT file system.
How to Enable File Compression for Folders in Windows 11
To compress a folder, follow the steps below.
1. Right-click a folder in File Explorer and select Properties.
2. On the "General" tab, click the "Advanced" button.
3. In the Compression or encryption properties section, check the box to compress content to save disk space.
4. Click OK, and then click OK.
5. A dialog box will appear asking you to confirm that you want to compress the folder. Windows will by default select the radial button that applies changes to that folder, subfolders, and files.Just click OK as this is the option we want.
Now, every file or folder you put into that compressed folder will also be compressed.You can also follow steps 1 to 4 to compress a single file.
How to Enable File Compression on the Entire Drive
You can also compress the entire drive instead of compressing individual files and folders.
To do this, follow these steps:
1. Right-click a drive in this computer and select Properties.
2. In the "General" tab, check the "Compress this drive to save disk space" option.
3. Click "OK".
4. You will see another dialog asking you to confirm your action.By default, the option to compress the drive and all its contents will be selected and you should just hit OK.
The hard drive, including its files, folders, and subfolders, is now compressed.Additionally, every file and folder you drop onto that hard drive will also be compressed.
Save space by turning on file compression on Windows 11
With file compression enabled, you can save quite a bit of space on your Windows 11 PC.This way, you don't have to use ZIP files or third-party compression tools.Use this feature to reduce the size of files and folders whenever you're tight on space and don't have an external storage device.
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