How to compress drive to save disk space in Windows 10

By: Aleksandar Ognjanovic
3 minute read
compress drive save disk space Windows 10

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Preserving storage space is something every user comes to terms with eventually. There are various ways to give your HDD that extra little space for normal functioning while keeping the files. You can delete temporary files and clean up redundant files, but there’s also a built-in compression tool which might come in handy in Windows 10.

Today, we made sure to explain everything you need to know about the NTFS drive compression and how to utilize it to get some extra space. We encourage you to check the explanation below.

Is built-in NTFS drive compression worth using in Windows 10?

How NTFS drive compression works

Well, yes and no. It all depends on what files you have on your drive and, to an even greater extent, what CPU power your PC packs. But we’re going too fast, so let’s stick with the essentials first and then move to a procedure itself and whether you should use it or not. The important thing to know about the built-in NTFS drive compression is that it can save up to 20% of the storage space in the system drive. On the other hand, it can slow down the file loading while accessing them.

This procedure is similar to compressing of ZIP files, just like WinRar or similar tools do to reduce the storage loss. The system tool inspects all the files and reduces their size (when that’s a possibility) in the process. This is especially practical for data-based partitions, with a bunch of multimedia and text files. Not so good for executables, as every accessed file firstly needs to get decompressed. Some files compress better while others will compress marginally and still require a delaying decompression.

This can take a toll on the processing power of your system and slow down execution. Especially if you tend to move files frequently as the “decompression – transfer – compression” procedure takes a lot of time and resources. On the other hand, if you are in dire need of some extra space, it might work out as a nice transitional solution. And we say “transitional” for a reason. Taking into consideration how storage drives are rather affordable nowadays, adding an extra storage shouldn’t be an issue.

How to compress a whole partition in Windows 10

When is this compression a viable solution? When you have lots of files and don’t access them frequently but want to keep them around. Then it’s more than welcomed to compress them. Compressing already compressed files won’t do much. Compressing a partition with game installations can slow down the execution and cause in-game issues. Also, if your HDD is already old and slow, this isn’t the brightest idea, but it heavily depends on CPU. If your CPU is top-notch, it’ll reduce the slowdowns substantially.

If you’re not sure how to do it, it’s rather simple. Here’s how to compress a whole partition in Windows 10:

  1. Open This PC or File Explorer.
  2. Right-click on the drive/partition you want to compress and open Properties.
  3. Check the “Compress this drive to save disk space” box and confirm changes.
  4. The compression procedure should commence and you’ll be informed when it’s done.

After that, you should be, depending on the aforementioned conditions, salvage some extra storage space. And, on that note, we can conclude this article. In case you have some additional information concerning the NTFS drive encryption, make sure to tell us in the comments section below.


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