Is it Safe to Use Windows’ Full-Drive Compression to Save Space?

Want to recover valuable hard disk space on Windows 10?

Yes, then what are you waiting for? Read further and learn how to do that most simply and quickly.

tipsAdditional Tip


To identify big files, compressed files, junk files, and other unwanted data, we recommend using Disk Analyzer Pro

Using this excellent disk analyzer tool, you can easily scan your hard disk and identify the space-hogging files. This helps remove unwanted files that take unnecessary space. To use this tool, follow the steps below:

1. Download, install and run Disk Analyzer Pro

2. Select the disk partition you wish to scan > Start Scan

disk partition

3. Once the scan is completed click View tab > File List > Sort the files based on different attributes

scan is completed with disk analyzer pro

4. Select the files you want to remove and press the Delete key or right-click and select Delete to Recycle bin

Delete files

This way you can sort data and get rid of unwanted files.

So, this was how using a tool like Disk Analyzer, you can clean up disk space. In addition to this, if you want to use Windows 10, New File System (NTFS) to compress files on a drive, continue reading.

Here, we’ll show you how to use the NTFS file system and compress file size to save space on the disk.

Note: Enabling NTFS compression can impact the system’s performance because additional resources are used to decompress and recompress files.

If that is the case, then why use NTFS Compression?

Reasons for using NTFS Compression:

  • Helps free up space
  • A solution to store files that you rarely use
  • Save pictures and documents in a compressed manner

How To Compress Files Using NTFS File Compression

The easiest method to compress files on Windows is using NTFS compression. To do so, follow the steps below:

1. Launch File Explorer

2. Navigate to the folder you want to save compressed files

3. Press Ctrl+Shift+N to create a new folder

4. Name the folder > right-click it > Properties

Folder Properties

5. Click General tab > Advanced button

Advanced button in windows

6. Check the box next to Compress contents to save disk space > Ok

Compress contents

7. In the confirmation box, click Apply changes to this folder, subfolders, and files option > ok.

confirmation box

Once the steps are followed, NTFS file compression will be enabled and the size of all files saved in the folder will be reduced.

Note: Using the above steps, you can compress both files and folders. Also, the two arrow icons pointing to each other indicate compression is enabled. To check how much space, you have saved right-click the folder > Properties. Check the Size and Size on disk the latter is the file size after compression.


To undo compression, follow the same steps, when you come at Step 7, make sure you uncheck Compress contents to save disk space.

How To Compress An Entire Disk To Save Space?

Instead of compressing the contents of a folder to save space, you can compress the entire drive and save space. To do so, you need to enable NTFS compression on the hard drive. For this, follow the steps below:

1. Launch File Explorer.

2. Click This PC > Devices and drives > right-click the drive partition you wish to compress > Properties.

drive partition

3. Select the box next to Compress this drive to save disk space > Apply > OK.

save disk space

4. In the confirmation box, select Apply changes to drive (drive letter), subfolders and files > OK.

select Apply changes to drive

Once enabled, you will now be able to compress the entire drive.

Using any of the two methods, you can either compress the folder or an entire drive. NTFS will reduce file size, thereby helping save disk space. To undo changes uncheck all the boxes we enabled to compress the folder and disk drive.

Now that we know how to use NTFS and compress files to reduce size thereby saving space, let’s see how this impacts the system’s performance.

Does NTFS File Compression Slow Down System Speed?

Similar to other file compression utilities, NTFS also compresses files, but it is transparent. In simple words, without uncompressing the files, you can normally access them as Windows runs the compression in the background.

So, does this mean file access time will be increased? Well, it depends on the CPU speed as during decompression the CPU has to work more. But if you have a fast CPU and a slow hard drive, the compression can be quick. But the write-down operations are certainly hampered.

How Much Space Does Using Compressing File Via NTFS Save?

It’s an intelligent question but there’s no concrete answer to it. The amount of space you save depends on the file type you are compressing. This means if you are compressing a drive that already has compressed files you won’t save much space. However, if the drive is full of documents, pictures and you compress them, you will end up saving enough disk space.


Hope this answers all your questions and you know how compressing a drive or its contents can help save space. However, if you are concerned about system speed and don’t want to compromise with it just to recover space try using Disk Analyzer Pro. This powerful utility is capable of saving disk space and identifying large files, duplicates, and other space-hogging data. To use it click here to download it.

However, if you still have doubts about whether you should compress files or not let me tell you if you have a slower CPU you should not use this feature because it will slow things down. But if you have a faster CPU with a slow hard disk you can use it, as this will help save disk space.

But remember, when the CPU will be busy decompressing files in the background, you will experience slow access time.


Q1. What happens when you compress a drive to save disk space?

When you compress a file to save disk space and access it, the CPU has to do a lot more work, this slows down the system. But since a compressed file takes less space it loads faster and one system with a fast CPU and slow hard drive reading a compressed file is quicker.

Q2. Can I compress the C drive to save space?

A rule that you cannot afford to forget, Never compress System Drive (C drive). Doing so can cause a lot of problems and installation can fail. However, if you still want to give it a try, then DO NOT compress the root and Windows directory.

We do not recommend compressing C drive.

Q3. Is compressing your hard drive bad?

We do not recommend compressing the hard drive as it slows down the system’s performance. However, if you want to compress to save space, try using the best PC Optimizer and cleanup tools.

Q4. Do compressing files save space?

 Yes, it does save space as the file size is reduced, but when you access compressed files the CPU has to do more work, this affects system performance and speed.


  • comment_avtar
    I was indeed planning to compress one of my drives but this blog’s an eye opener

    3 years ago
  • comment_avtar
    A question I finally got the answer of.. I thought it’s not possible and if possible, then not at all safe.

    3 years ago

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