Compressing Files and Folders

The hard drives made these days have greater capacities than ever, but programs and files are much bigger, too. Running out of disk space is still a common problem. Fortunately, Windows 8.1 is especially effective at compressing files and folders to take up less disk space.

Compressing files and folders can also be useful when you want to email files to someone without dooming them to an all-night modem-watching session. That’s why Microsoft has endowed Windows with two different schemes for compressing files and folders: NTFS compression for storing files on your hard drive, and zipped folders for files that might have to be transferred.

NTFS Compression

If you have Windows 8.1, then your hard drive is formatted using a file system called NTFS (short for NT file system).

Most people can live a long and happy life without knowing anything about NTFS. If you work in a corporation, you might be grateful for the additional security it offers to Windows fans (Chapter 24), and leave it at that. Now and then, however, you’ll read about features that are available only if your hard drive was prepared using NTFS—and this is one of those cases.


The hard drive that’s running Windows has the NTFS format; Windows 8.1 requires it. To find out what formatting some other drive uses (a flash drive or external hard drive, for example), open your Computer window. Right-click the drive icon in question; from the shortcut menu, choose Properties. In the resulting dialog ...

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