How to Compress or Uncompress Files and Folders in Windows 10


Windows 10 supports compression for individual files and folders on NTFS volumes using NTFS compression.

While NTFS file system compression can save disk space, compressing data can adversely affect performance. NTFS compression has the following performance characteristics. When you copy or move a compressed NTFS file to a different folder, NTFS decompresses the file, copies or moves the file to the new location, and then recompresses the file. This behavior occurs even when the file is copied or moved between folders on the same computer. Compressed files are also expanded before copying over the network, so NTFS compression does not save network bandwidth.

Files or folders saved into an existing compressed folder will automatically be compressed.

This tutorial will show you how to compress or uncompress a file or folder with NTFS Compression in Windows 10.

NTFS compression is not the same as zipping a file or folder.

NTFS compressed files and folders will have double blue arrows overlay on their icon at the top right corner to indicate that they are compressed.



Contents




EXAMPLE: Files and Folders compressed using NTFS Compression
Compress or Uncompress Files and Folders in Windows 10-compressed_files_folders.png






OPTION ONE

To Compress Files and Folders in Properties


1 Right click or press and hold on one or more selected files and folders that you want to compress with NTFS Compression, and click/tap on Properties.

2 In the General tab, click/tap on the Advanced button. (see screenshots below)

Compress or Uncompress Files and Folders in Windows 10-compress_file-1.png

3 Check the Compress contents to save disk space box, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshots below)

Compress or Uncompress Files and Folders in Windows 10-compress_file-2.png

4 Click/tap on OK. (see screenshots below)

Compress or Uncompress Files and Folders in Windows 10-compress_file-3.png

5 If you selected a folder, then select (dot) to Apply changes to this folder only or Apply changes to this folder, subfolders and files, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshots below)

Compress or Uncompress Files and Folders in Windows 10-compress_folder-4.png






OPTION TWO

To Uncompress Files and Folders in Properties


1 Right click or press and hold on one or more selected compressed files and folders that you want to uncompress, and click/tap on Properties.

2 In the General tab, click/tap on the Advanced button. (see screenshots below)

Compress or Uncompress Files and Folders in Windows 10-compress_file-1.png

3 Uncheck the Compress contents to save disk space box, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshots below)

Compress or Uncompress Files and Folders in Windows 10-compress_file-2.png

4 Click/tap on OK. (see screenshots below)

Compress or Uncompress Files and Folders in Windows 10-compress_file-3.png






OPTION THREE

To Compress a File in Command Prompt


To see more usage options for the compact command, see: compact | Microsoft Docs


1 Open a command prompt or elevated command prompt depending on the access rights you need for the file you want to compress.

2 Type the command below into the command prompt, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

compact /c "full path of file" /i /Q

Substitute full path of file in the command above with the actual full path of the file that you want to compress.

For example: compact /c "C:\Users\Russell\Desktop\File.txt" /i /Q

Compress or Uncompress Files and Folders in Windows 10-compress_file_command.png






OPTION FOUR

To Uncompress a File in Command Prompt


To see more usage options for the compact command, see: compact | Microsoft Docs


1 Open a command prompt or elevated command prompt depending on the access rights you need for the compressed file you want to uncompress.

2 Type the command below into the command prompt, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

compact /u "full path of file" /i /Q

Substitute full path of file in the command above with the actual full path of the compressed file that you want to decompress.

For example: compact /u "C:\Users\Russell\Desktop\File.txt" /i /Q

Compress or Uncompress Files and Folders in Windows 10-uncompress_file_command.png






OPTION FIVE

To Compress Only a Folder in Command Prompt


To see more usage options for the compact command, see: compact | Microsoft Docs


1 Open a command prompt or elevated command prompt depending on the access rights you need for the folder you want to compress.

2 Type the command below into the command prompt, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

compact /c "full path of folder" /i /Q

Substitute full path of folder in the command above with the actual full path of the folder that you want to compress.

For example: compact /c "C:\Users\Russell\Desktop\New folder" /i /Q

Compress or Uncompress Files and Folders in Windows 10-compress_only_folder_command.png






OPTION SIX

To Compress a Folder and its Contents in Command Prompt


To see more usage options for the compact command, see: compact | Microsoft Docs


1 Open a command prompt or elevated command prompt depending on the access rights you need for the folder and its contents (files and subdirectories) you want to compress.

2 Type the command below into the command prompt, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

compact /c /s:"full path of folder" /i /Q

Substitute full path of folder in the command above with the actual full path of the folder that you want to compress it and its contents (files and subdirectories).

For example: compact /c /s:"C:\Users\Russell\Desktop\New folder" /i /Q

Compress or Uncompress Files and Folders in Windows 10-compress_folder_and_contents_command.png






OPTION SEVEN

To Uncompress Only a Folder in Command Prompt


To see more usage options for the compact command, see: compact | Microsoft Docs


1 Open a command prompt or elevated command prompt depending on the access rights you need for the compressed folder you want to uncompress.

2 Type the command below into the command prompt, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

compact /u "full path of folder" /i /Q

Substitute full path of folder in the command above with the actual full path of the folder that you want to uncompress.

For example: compact /u "C:\Users\Russell\Desktop\New folder" /i /Q

Compress or Uncompress Files and Folders in Windows 10-uncompress_only_folder_command.png






OPTION EIGHT

To Uncompress a Folder and its Contents in Command Prompt


To see more usage options for the compact command, see: compact | Microsoft Docs


1 Open a command prompt or elevated command prompt depending on the access rights you need for the compressed folder and its contents (files and subdirectories) you want to uncompress.

2 Type the command below into the command prompt, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

compact /u /s:"full path of folder" /i /Q

Substitute full path of folder in the command above with the actual full path of the folder that you want to uncompress it and its contents (files and subdirectories).

For example: compact /u /s:"C:\Users\Russell\Desktop\New folder" /i /Q

Compress or Uncompress Files and Folders in Windows 10-uncompress_folder_and_contents_command.png


That's it,
Shawn