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3 Ways To Disable Automatic File Compression In Windows

Walterrichards July 20, 2020

What Is Automatic File Compression?

File compression is the ability of the operating system of a device to reduce file size, consequently compressing them to save space. At times, Windows automatically performs this mechanism to clear out space, when a particular drive or folder is about to be full or/and has very little space left. To check if your device has been doing this, you could go to your explorer and check on your drive, typically C: drive. 

This tendency was a feature used to make things more automated so that users didn’t have to bother with things like clearing up space and compressing large files. However, at the onset of constant technological advancement, sometimes, this is not the most favorable mechanism. And Kaushal of gives you more details about it.

How Do I See If A File Has Been Compressed?

A typical file, in the icon version of the display, would be an icon. However, once compressed, the icon would look slightly different. If a file has been compressed, its icon would have two arrows (mostly blue in color) pointing to one another, on the top right corner.

Well, Great! If My Computer Is Smart Enough To Reduce File Size, For Already Existing Things Automatically, Why Do I Want To Stop It?

Automatic File Compression, often makes it harder to access files. This is because every time you would want to access a folder that has been reduced, it first needs to be decompressed and then accessed. The extra time might be little to nothing, but it is still a tiny delay in accessibility. It is always possible to manually decompress any files that you find compressed. 

To do so, right-click on the particular file that you want to decompress and select properties. Then:

  1. Click on the advanced button in the general tab. 
  2. Unselect the box saying “compress contents to save the disc space” and click OK.
  3. Now, there might be another option asking if you would like to decompress the subfolders, and you could select that if that is what you want.

How To Disable Automatic File Compression?

Three significant ways to perform this task are listed below. They are all used in different scenarios, and you could use the one that suits you the most at the moment!

Using The Command Prompt

This method deals with using the command prompt to stop the automated process. Open your command prompt, by typing cmd, on the start button’s search field, and right-clicking run as administrator, when it shows up as one of the results. 

The steps are as follows: 

  1. Login using administrator rights, 
  2. Once the prompt opens, type: fsutil behavior set disablecompression 1
  3. After typing this, press enter. 
  4. Once you have finished this in the command prompt, you will be required to reboot your device, after which the automatic file compression should be disabled. 

Registry Change

This method utilizes the concept of making a registry change to your device, following the below mentioned steps:

  1. Type regedit at the search field after pressing the search button. After this, you need to go to this particular location of your device:


  1. Once, you have reached this location, search for: NtfsDisableCompression
  2. Double click the above finding and change the number at “Value Data” from 0 to 1. 
  3. Click OK once that is done, and it should be a success. 

After this process is done, you again need to reboot your computer, and automatic compression should be disabled.

Windows Local Group Policy Editor

This method can only be used if you have a professional or enterprise version of the Windows operating system. A simple home computer seldom has one of those, and hence cannot use this method. 

Similar to the previous methods, press start, and type gpedit.msc on the search field. After that is done, you need to reach the following location:

Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Filesystem\NTFS

After successful navigation, press:  

‘Do not allow compression on all NTFS volumes’

On the new window that pops open, change the configuration by selecting ‘Enabled’, in place of ‘Not Configured’. 

To check for an unproblematic process, you could open your Local Group Policy Editor and see ‘Do not allow compression on all NTFS volumes’ in the list. 

Once you have made the changes, reboot your device, and you are good to go!

The above methods should typically work, and in case of any problems, a simple google search can do wonders. Awareness to perform tasks such as these are essential to make a device last longer and know it better.


Hopefully, that gave you a good idea about how to go on with doing a simple procedure to customize your OS and your device in a better manner. Similar to this, there are various other methods to perform tiny tasks to increase efficiency and have better working experience. The above methods are relatively simple and can be achieved by anyone, as they are suited for different types of computers. Explore your device more to try and find more hacks for similar problems!

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