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So what happens is, I was using disk clean up and didn't know what compress file is (and it shows using a lot of disk space) so I checked it and then realize that this was an option to compress files for the C drive. I managed to stop it in midway but some files already compressed.

So is there anyway to use PowerShell or software to find those compressed folder/files and decompress them (or show which folder is compressed)?

  • If you set the drive to uncompressed, the compressed files will be decompressed and the others will be ignored. – AFH Mar 2 '19 at 19:48
  • Add on for reference for above comment: Some file that was compress was access denied (likely system using it) so decompression failed. I'm able to use the answer below and access emergency cmd prompt to resolve it. – zhiyan114 Jun 18 '19 at 10:48
  • If you compress C: from the live system, then certain system files will be in use and cannot be compressed, but I would not expect a lot more files to be locked when you decompress. To compress or decompress all files you need to be running from a different system disc, either by booting a different system, such as a diagnostic disc, or possibly from safe mode, though I have not tried the second of these. I didn't know about Keltari's command, so I am glad to learn of it. – AFH Jun 18 '19 at 12:11
  • It weird the fact that some file was compressed and later (canceled the compression process) cannot be decompressed. – zhiyan114 Jun 19 '19 at 4:14
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From an Administrator command prompt type the following:

compact /U /S:"C:\"

This will uncompress all the contents of the C:\ drie

  • Didn't work on command prompt even with double backward slash. It just shows some files are still compressed as well as none of the file was decompressed. – zhiyan114 Mar 2 '19 at 20:44
  • EDIT: I managed to decompress all the files using this, thanks and one more questions: are folders under C:\Windows\servicing\Sessions suppose to be compressed? – zhiyan114 Mar 2 '19 at 21:00
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In explorer do a right click>Properties on the C drive and Un-Tick "Compress this drive to save disk space" and hot OK.

Also see this page for powershell commands to find compressed files if my answer does not work.

enter image description here

  • Thing is that is unticked and some file is compressed and cannot find the one that is compressed. – zhiyan114 Mar 2 '19 at 20:02
  • @zhiyan114 Some files on C: will always remain compressed. There is a whole bunch of system-files that are always compressed and will always remain compressed, regardless of that setting. And when you remove that checkmark it can take a while (minutes to hours!) before Windows has decompressed everything. So it isn't strange that you keep seeing some compressed files. Don't worry about it. It will sort itself after a while. – Tonny Mar 2 '19 at 20:07
  • @zhiyan114 see this page....serverfault.com/questions/452529/… – Moab Mar 2 '19 at 20:08
  • @Moab thanks, it worked so is it possible to automatically uncompress them? Since it shows I have quite a lot of files. Also is it possible to uncompress before system bootup (e.g advanced command prompt for debugging) since some file may be running and cannot be processed? – zhiyan114 Mar 2 '19 at 20:22
  • There may be but have no clue how to, sorry. – Moab Mar 2 '19 at 21:06

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