Windows 10: Properties: Compress to save Disk Space

  1.    31 May 2017 #1

    Properties: Compress to save Disk Space

    If I enable Compress to Save Disk Space from a file's properties, what is the trade-off? How significant is the HDD/CPU uncompression process (assuming that's how windows does it)
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  2. TairikuOkami's Avatar
    Posts : 3,331
    10.6 Home 1809 x64
       31 May 2017 #2

    It will increase fragmentation and CPU usage. How much, that is individual for each computer depending on the hardware/software. You might not notice any difference, but lets say your CPU will use 50% instead of 10%. Run some benchmarks, then compress and then run them again. You can decompress easily, if needed.
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  3. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 8,598
    10 Home x64 (1803) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       31 May 2017 #3

    TairikuOkami said: View Post
    It will increase fragmentation...
    For another thread I tested that...

    As an experiment I have just copied 6GB of video files to an ntfs-formatted 8GB USB. As you'd expect, initially Defrag said 0% fragmentation. Then I applied ntfs compression to the whole drive, resulting in it being 24% fragmented. Uncompressing the files again made little difference, still 24% fragmented.
    Problem with audio and video files playback after ntfs folder decompre

    ...of course, you could always defrag after compression.

    As for speed, the trade-off is increased CPU use against decreased disk access. If the disk is a 'spinner' then a highly compressed file may actually be quicker to access (text compresses very well). Jpegs and mp4s don't compress much, so may be slower to access. Either way, you're not likely to notice a big difference with a reasonably fast CPU.

    I once ran an old slow XP machine (0.75Ghz CPU) where the entire HDD used ntfs compression. It was slower, but no by much.
    Last edited by Bree; 31 May 2017 at 05:09.
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  4.    31 May 2017 #4

    I think I should disable it as much as I can on this old laptop slow bottlenecking hard drive of mine. Even though you do have that helpful experience Bree, I want to get as much performance as I can.

    What steps should I take in order to disable it? What do you guys recommend I do?
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  5.    02 Jun 2017 #5


    My first guess as far as disabling is to just select some root folders and turn this off, ye?
    Are there any negative side effects I should be aware of though?
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  6. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 32,326
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 18242
       02 Jun 2017 #6

    Hello @blksith0, :)

    It basically just comes down to if you need to save disk space or not.

    If not, then there's no need to compress.

    If yes, then compressing will save space with a slight performance cost when accessing them.

    Compress or Uncompress Files and Folders in Windows 10 Windows 10 Customization Tutorials
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  7. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 8,598
    10 Home x64 (1803) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       02 Jun 2017 #7

    blksith0 said: View Post
    Are there any negative side effects I should be aware of though?
    Well, decompressing an already compressed file will increase fragmentation, that may well be noticeable "on this old laptop slow bottlenecking hard drive of mine". You'd have to defrag afterwards. In fact, defragmenting a particularly slow drive may be your best bet for improving 'performance' anyway.

    Actually having compressed files on the drive doesn't slow the system down, it's accessing them that may be slower. Having compressed files doesn't run processes in the background all the time, the ntfs routines that perform compression are already loaded, but will only run when you read or write to a compressed file or folder.

    If you need the space, then compress files or folders you hardly ever use. If you don't, just do a Disk Clean-up and defragment it.
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  8.    02 Jun 2017 #8

    Personally, I would not use that option - if your OS gets corrupted, then retrieving data is more complicated if you need to remove drive and put it in another pc.

    You can compress the OS using compactos option. Data is not compressed. In the end, buying a larger drive is better.

    Compress or Uncompress Windows 10 with Compact OS Windows 10 General Tips Tutorials

    To compress OS only:
    From an administrative command prompt, simply use the commands:

    Compact.exe /CompactOS:query This will query Windows to see if CompactOS is enabled or not

    Compact.exe /CompactOS:always
    This will enable CompactOS

    Compact.exe /CompactOS:never
    This will disable CompactOS
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