Automatic File Compression

Three ways to Disable Automatic File Compression in Windows

A unique feature about windows is that it is starting to automatically compress file size once your laptop or pc starts running low on hard disk space to prevent slowing down of the system in general Automatic File Compression. Although this feature is inbuilt, it doesn’t mean it cannot be changed. 

Note:- An easy way to figure out if a file has been compressed or not is the presence of two blue arrows towards the right edge of the icon facing each other in an inclined manner.

 Although automatic file compressions save up disk space, they come with the disadvantage that the files need decompression every time they need to be utilized.If you are a Windows user, then you would have definitely come across an issue where your disk space is 100% used up by the system. With this article by TechWhoop, you can learn how to fix this issue with simple steps.

General Compressed files can easily be decompressed by merely following the below steps. This is also the easiest way to perform this task. This method is the easiest as even someone who isn’t well versed with using windows and its various storage pathways can also perform the desired task as per need. The only disadvantage of this method is that it can be done for individual files and not for all Automatic File Compression present on the Computer, making it time-consuming.

Step 1 – Right-click on the icon of the compressed file or folder.

Step 2 – Go to properties => Advanced settings (Under General).

Step 3 – Untick the box “Compress contents to save disk space.”

Step 4 – Click “OK.”

Method 1

Method 1 is a little more complicated in comparison to way one as it involves the usage of the Windows Command Prompt, which comes in-built with all computers. The only thing to be kept in mind after using this method is to restart the system for changes to take place. Now let us learn how this can be done step – by – step.

Step 1 – Click on Start and type in “cmd.”

Step 2 – Right Click on Command prompt or cmd.exe from the list of results

Step 3 – Click on “Run as Administrator.”

Step 4 – If you are not an admin, then you will be required to enter the password for an admin user on the system.

Step 5 – Enter “fsutil behavior set disable compression 1 “and press enter.

We are required to reboot the system as it tells us to do so even in the command prompt. After restarting the system, the new changes will be in place, and the system will no longer auto-compress files or folders to free up disk space in that Computer.

Method 2

Method 2 involves the use of Windows Local Group Policy Editor, which may not be an available in-home version of Windows but will work perfectly fine in the Professional or Enterprise version. Everyone may not find this easy, and people generally tend to stick to the general method of using properties.

Let us see the steps involved in making changes by this method.

Step 1 – Click on Start and type in credit.msc

Step 2 – Press Enter

Step 3 – Navigate to “Computer Configuration”

Step 4 – Go to “Administrative Templates”

Step 5 – Go to “System”

Step 6 – Navigate to “Filesystem”

Step 7 – Navigate to “NTFS “

Step 5 – Double Click on “Do Not Allow Compression on all NTFS volumes.”

Step 6 – Change status from “Not Configured” to “Enabled.”

Step 7 – Click “OK.”

The changes of this method also take place once the system is rebooted, after which it disables auto compression of Files and Folders for that specific PC or Computer or system.

Method 3

Method 3 is kind of similar to process two, except that it can be done in all versions and not just enterprise or a professional one. In this method, we make a change in the system’s Registry/Directory.

This method is also implemented into place after restarting or rebooting the system is done.

The steps involved in this method are:-

Step 1 – Click on Start or Cortana

Step 2 – Type in “regedit” and press enter.

Step 3 – Navigate to “Computer”

Step 4 – Then go to the “HKEY LOCAL MACHINE.”

Step 5 – Go to “SYSTEM.”

Step 6 – Go to “CurrentControlSet”

Step 7 – Click on “Policies.”

Step 8 – Navigate to the icon labeled as “NtfsDisableCompression” and double click on it.

Step 9 – Change the Value of “Value Data” from 0 to 1

Step 10 – Do not make any other changes to base etc.

Step 11 – Click “OK.”

On Rebooting, all changes will be applied to the system.

3 Ways To Disable Automatic File Compression In Windows

As Creatives and Professionals, as well as Non-Professionals, had often witnessed times when they were crunching numbers in an Excel spreadsheet or rendering a high-resolution image or video project, when suddenly their systems choked and lagged due to lack of processing headroom, often causing the aforementioned suite of applications and tasks to abruptly shut down.

To avoid such idle processing and loss in the general performance of the system, Let’s walk through the various ways to stop Windows from automatically compressing your personal and system files.

Although, before you proceed, make sure to verify the state of the file(s) of your choosing, look out for any changes made to the containing folder’s icon. If you see two blue-colored arrows pointing toward each other on the top right corner of the icon, this signifies that your file(s) are being automatically compressed. If the two blue colored arrows are absent, then it must mean that compression has been disabled/toggled off. 


File Compression is a process by which an operating system reduces the size of files by compressing them in order to save the space used. This is generally utilized when hard drive space is running low, and there is no other option of clearing up space manually. Usually, it is seen that if the Windows drive of a computer (C drive generally) runs short on disk space, it starts meddling with the performance and speed of the Computer.

Pertaining To Windows

It is also seen that there are cases where Windows automatically compresses files to free up used space on computer drives. There will be times it will go unnoticed that the Automatic File Compression have already been compressed and have had their size reduced without your permission or agreement. 

So, for gaining access to a compressed file, it is required for Windows to decompress it first, which takes more time, even though the time taken is negligible.

One can differentiate the compressed and uncompressed file just by looking at it. The icons for an uncompressed file is normal, but that of a compressed file has two blue arrows pointing towards each other.

Decompressing The Files

It is convenient and possible to do the task of decompressing files and folders manually if you come to know that they are compressed. To decompress the files:

  1. First, right-click on the file or folder, and go to properties. 
  2. From there, move to the Advanced option on the General tab. 
  3. After that, unselect the dialogue box that says ‘Compress contents to save disk space.’
  4.  After having followed all the steps, click OK. 
  5. There will be an option given to you asking you whether or not you want to decompress the subfolders, so choose the option according to your wish.

Now, we move on to know how to avoid windows from compressing your files and folders automatically. This way, you will not have to worry about it happening again. Do take note that when you do this process, you will not be able to compress files yourself either.

Method Type 1:

The first method involves the use of the Windows Local Group Policy Editor. You can go with this method if you have a professional or enterprise version of the operating system. You might not be able to move further if your WIndows is of the Home version.


  1. In order to begin, first, click on Start and type the following: gpedit. msc and then press enter. 
  2. After that, move to Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Filesystem\NTFS. 
  3. After this, double click on Do not allow compression on all NTFS volumes. 
  4. Finally, change the display from Not Configured to Enabled. 
  5. Lastly, click OK.
  6. It will now show as enabled in the Group Policy Editor. Do restart your Computer after completing the process.

Method Type 2:

The second method is carried out by making a registry change on the Computer. 


  1. First, click on Start and then type, regedit, and then press enter. 
  2. After this, go to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Policies and then go further to find the value written under the name of NtfsDisableCompression and click twice on it.
  3.  Do a change of value from 0 to 1. Click on OK.

Method Type 3:

To carry out the final step, the command prompt is to be used in order to disable Automatic File Compression on the Computer.


  1. Firstly, click on start and type cmd.
  2. Secondly, when the command prompt appears on your screen, in the list of results, right-click on it, and from the options, choose Run as Administrator.
  3. Then, if the Computer asks for a password, enter the password for the account, which is the administrator and has the administrator rights.
  4. Finally, type the following in the box, <fsutil behavior set disable compression one> or copy and paste it from here, and then press Enter.
  5. Lastly, restart your Computer to make the changes effective. The command prompt will ask you to do the same.