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How to enable NTFS file compression in Windows 10

New Technology File System is a registry file system developed and patented by Microsoft. Moreover, it has been present since Windows Windows NT 3.1. In addition, it is the default file system of the Windows NT family. Therefore, Windows allows the compression of individual files and folders on NTFS volumes. This is very useful in specific cases. In today’s post, we will see how to enable NTFS file compression in Windows 10.

Some facts about NTFS file compression in Windows 10.

Before going any further, I would like to clarify something. Compressing NTFS files can save disk space. However, it can also negatively influence system performance. Therefore, it is advisable to check the level of impact yourself.

  • When moving a compressed NTFS file to another folder, the following happens. NTFS decompresses the file, copies or moves the file to the new location, and then recompresses the file.
  • Compressed files are also expanded before they are copied over the network. That is, NTFS compression does not save network bandwidth.
  • Files or folders saved in an existing compressed folder will be automatically compressed.
  • When you disable NTFS file compression, then no compression method will continue to compress files.
  • Consequently, you can decompress the currently compressed files. But you will not be able to compress them again until you re-enable NFTS compression.

How to enable NFTS compression in Windows 10

There are three methods to achieve this. Let’s look at each of them.

Using the command prompt

  • Press the Win+R combination to invoke the run box. Once there, type CMD.
  • In the dialog box, please type CMD.
  • Press Ctrl+Shift+Enter to open the Command Prompt in Administrator mode.
  • Now, type this command to enable NFTS file compression in Windows 10
fsutil behavior set disablecompression 0
  • Or type this command to disable NFTS file compression in Windows 10.
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fsutil behavior set disablecompression 1

After doing so, please exit the command prompt and restart the computer.

Through the Local Group Policy Editor

  • Once again press the Win+R combination to invoke the run dialog box.
  • Once there, type gpedit.msc and press Enter to open the policy editor.
  • Within the editor, please navigate to the following path:
Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Filesystem\NTFS
  • Now in the right pane please select Do not allow compression on all NTFS volumes
  • Please double click to edit the value. Once there, you must set the value to Disabled. This will enable NTFS file compression. To disable it, you must set the value to Enabled.
Enabling NTFS file compression in Windows 10
Enabling NTFS file compression in Windows 10

Using the registry editor to enable NTFS file compression.

We have previously discussed the Windows registry editor. Therefore, we know that it is a sensitive part of the system. Consequently, we recommend making a registry backup. Or at least enable a system restore point. This way it is possible to revert any errors.

  • Once again press the Win+R combination to invoke the Run dialog box.
  • Next, type Regedit and press enter to open the Windows Registry Editor.
  • Once there, please look for the following path:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Policies
  • Now it is time to create new value. With this in mind, right click on a blank space. Then, New>DWORD (32 bit) Value.
  • Change its name to NtfsDisableCompression and press Enter.
  • Double click to edit its properties
  • Enter 1 to disable this type of compression, or 0 to enable it.
Enabling NTFS file compression with the registry editor.
Enabling NTFS file compression with the registry editor.
  • Now, just exit the registry editor and restart the computer.

Very well, we have learned to enable NTFS file compression in Windows 10. Likewise, we show you three different ways to perform the task. As we warned you, you must calibrate the effect on your computer. See you later!


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