4 Easy Ways to Enable NTFS File Compression on Windows

4 Easy Ways to Enable NTFS File Compression on Windows

Running out of storage space on your Windows computer? Free up space by enabling NTFS file compression. This feature allows you to compress files or folders and save space on your hard drive. Here’s how to enable NTFS file compression on Windows.

4 Easy Ways to Enable NTFS File Compression on Windows

Before we dive into the methods, it’s crucial to grasp the concept of NTFS file compression. Simply put, it’s a feature in the Microsoft Windows NTFS file system that enables you to compress files or folders and save disk space. This compression doesn’t eliminate the data; instead, it stores it more efficiently. Now, let’s proceed with the methods.

1. Enable NTFS File and Folder Compression Using File Explorer

One of the easiest ways to enable file or folder compression on Windows is by following these straightforward steps:

1. Press the Windows key on your keyboard, type “File Explorer,” and click Open.

4 Easy Ways to Enable NTFS File Compression on Windows

Step 2: Navigate to the folder you want to compress.

4 Easy Ways to Enable NTFS File Compression on Windows

To review, right-click on the folder and choose Properties.

4 Easy Ways to Enable NTFS File Compression on Windows

Step 4: In properties, under General, click Advanced.

4 Easy Ways to Enable NTFS File Compression on Windows

Step 5: In Advanced Attributes, under ‘Compress or Encrypt attributes,’ check the ‘Compress contents to save disk space’ option and click OK.

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4 Easy Ways to Enable NTFS File Compression on Windows

Step 6: On the Folder properties window, click Apply.

4 Easy Ways to Enable NTFS File Compression on Windows

Step 7: Confirm Attribute Changes, check ‘Apply changes to this folder, subfolders and files,’ and click OK.

4 Easy Ways to Enable NTFS File Compression on Windows

That’s it. You have successfully enabled NTFS file compression on your Windows machine. If you find the steps too long, jump to the next method.

2. Turn on NTFS Compression Using Command Prompt

This is the shortest way to enable file compression on Windows. The steps are simple to follow and execute. Press the Windows key, type Command Prompt, and click on ‘Run as administrator.’

4 Easy Ways to Enable NTFS File Compression on Windows

Step 2: Type the command below to enable file compression.

fsutil behavior set enablecompression 0

4 Easy Ways to Enable NTFS File Compression on Windows

Step 3: Restart your computer.

4 Easy Ways to Enable NTFS File Compression on Windows

You have enabled file compression on your Windows PC. If you don’t want to execute it through the Command Prompt, there’s another way. Move to the next method.

3. Set Up NTFS File Compression Using Registry Editor

This step is not as straightforward as the above method. However, because we will use Registry Editor, it is strongly advised to back up the Windows Registry before proceeding with the steps below.

Step 1: Press the Windows key on your keyboard, type “Registry Editor,” and click ‘Run as administrator.’

Note: You can also press ‘Windows key + R’ to open the Run command box, type “regedit.exe,” and click OK to open Registry Editor.

4 Easy Ways to Enable NTFS File Compression on Windows

In the prompt, select Yes.

Step 2: In the top address bar, enter the mentioned address.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Policies

Note: You can manually navigate to the section too.

4 Easy Ways to Enable NTFS File Compression on Windows

Step 3: Under the Policies folder, right-click, select New, and choose ‘DWORD (32-bit) Value.’

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Review: Under Policies, right-click, select New, and choose ‘DWORD (32-bit) Value.’

4 Easy Ways to Enable NTFS File Compression on Windows

Step 4: Type NtfsenableCompression in the name field.

4 Easy Ways to Enable NTFS File Compression on Windows

Step 5: Double-click the new value, type 1 in the Value Data field, and press OK.

4 Easy Ways to Enable NTFS File Compression on Windows

Finally, reboot the system to implement the changes. When the system boots back, the NTFS file compression will be enabled. If you don’t want to allow file compression from the registry, you can use the Group Policy editor.

4. Enable NTFS File Compression Using Local Group Policy Editor

The Local Group Policy Editor helps you control Windows by enabling NTFS file compression. Here’s how to do it:

Note: Group Policy Editor is only available for Windows Pro and Enterprise versions. Skip this method if you’re on Windows Home Edition.

Step 1: Press the Windows keys on your keyboard, type “gpedit,” and click Open.

Note: You can also press “Windows key + R” to open the Run command box, type “gpedit.msc,” and click OK.

4 Easy Ways to Enable NTFS File Compression on Windows

Step 2: In the left pane, select Computer Configuration under ‘Local Computer Policy.’

4 Easy Ways to Enable NTFS File Compression on Windows

Step 3: In the right pane, double-click on Administrative Templates.

4 Easy Ways to Enable NTFS File Compression on Windows

Review:

Step 4: Select the System folder.

4 Easy Ways to Enable NTFS File Compression on Windows

Step 5: Click on Filesystem from the left pane. Now, select NTFS.

4 Easy Ways to Enable NTFS File Compression on Windows

Step 6: In the NTFS folder, go to ‘Do not allow compression on all NTFS volumes,’ and double-click on it.

4 Easy Ways to Enable NTFS File Compression on Windows

Step 7: In the window, select Disabled. Click on Apply and then OK.

4 Easy Ways to Enable NTFS File Compression on Windows

Reboot Windows to enable file compression.

FAQs on Enabling NTFS Compression on Windows

1. NTFS compression can be useful in certain situations, but it may not always be necessary. Consider the type and amount of files you want to compress.

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2. The amount of space saved by NTFS compression depends on the file types and sizes. Text files can be greatly compressed, while already highly compressed files like images and videos may not see much benefit.

3. Windows uses a compression method for NTFS, but further information on the specific method was not provided.

Save Up Storage Space

Now that you know how to enable file compression, you can save disk space and improve system performance by compressing large files and folders. You can also learn how to delete temporary files on Windows 11 to free up space.

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