It's my first time creating a separate partition (on Windows 7) to store all my data and I'm using the Disk Management tool, and I've been presented with the choice of whether to enable file and folder compression, but I'm not sure what this option means. If I don't tick this box, will I not be capable of compressing anything in the new partition? That wouldn't make much sense, so I must be missing something here. What happens, exactly, if I tick that box as opposed to not ticking it?

1 Answer 1


Enabling File and Folder Compression compresses the entire partition with Windows File compression. Everything on the partition will be compressed, as well as any new files added later. You can uncheck file and folder compression on files and folders after the fact, but this is not typical.

Unless you are starving for disk space and/or disk performance isnt an issue for data on this drive, then there is no need to enable file and folder compression off the bat.

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    I see. So if I don't tick it, I'll still be able to compress individual files and folders as needed without having to change any settings in the partition later?
    – Tyler
    Jan 12, 2014 at 6:51
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    That's correct.
    – DopeGhoti
    Jan 12, 2014 at 6:52
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    On a modern computer with a fast CPU, enabling compression often result in faster read speed because less bytes need to be read from the drive
    – fjch1997
    Nov 8, 2018 at 17:34
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    @fjch1997 while reading a smaller file does take less time, every file read has to be uncompressed and every file written has to be compressed. On small files, you might not notice the extra time. However, on larger files you will see a very visible slowdown. Compressed files systems are far slower than uncompressed file systems.
    – Keltari
    Nov 8, 2018 at 18:22
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    @gargoylebident Yep. CPU often decompresses faster than your SSD can read. So, no slow down. You can do an experiment yourself. Copy a large file into a compressed folder and uncompressed one. Depending on how compressible the file is, you may find the compressed copy to be faster.
    – fjch1997
    Jul 24, 2022 at 2:36

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