Instead of using Right-Click/Send To/Compress (Zipped) Folder.

I am using Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition.


Although I would recommend using 7-zip as tj111 recommended, to use the built in folder compression use the compact.exe command. This is installed in the \windows\system32 folder on Windows XP. See compact.exe /? for command line reference.

  • This is not the same as the "Send to Compressed (zipped) Folder" GUI option. Please see 1 and 2 for more. – user66001 Sep 22 '13 at 6:11
  • 1
    This is the tool to mark files and directories so that NTFS will compress the data. It is totally unrelated to creating compressed "folders" (actually ZIP files) with the send to command. – user53528 Feb 22 '17 at 3:37

I would highly recommend 7zip for command-line archiving in windows. It is incredibly simple yet extremely feature rich, I have many a script that rely on it. Check out some CLI examples.


I just saw this on ServerFault.com:


It's not built in to windows, but it's in the resource kit

C:>compress /?


COMPRESS [-R] [-D] [-S] [ -Z | -ZX ] Source Destination COMPRESS -R [-D] [-S] [ -Z | -ZX ] >Source [Destination]

Description: Compresses one or more files.

Parameter List: -R Rename compressed files.

-D Update compressed files only if out of date.

-S Suppress copyright information.

-ZX LZX compression. This is default compression.

-Z MS-ZIP compression.

Source Source file specification. Wildcards may be used.

Destination Destination file | path specification. Destination may be a directory. If >Source is multiple files and -r is not specified, Destination must be a directory.

Examples: COMPRESS temp.txt compressed.txt COMPRESS -R . COMPRESS -R *.exe *.dll >compressed_dir

  • This does not create zip-compatible files. MS-ZIP is not the same thing. It compresses one file at a time, like gzip on Linux, instead of creating a single .zip file of the whole folder. – Nate Aug 26 '09 at 16:20
  • Exactly. As mentioned as comments 1 and 2 to the answer the above seems to be quoted from. – user66001 Sep 22 '13 at 6:13

using zip and unzip on the windows command line

however, this is not about the 'built-in windows file compression tool', you'll have to download 2 executables (zip and unzip, free)


I use Info-Zip (open source zip/unzip command line utility) and in order to increase the speed of my windows searches, gzip the resulting zip files.

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