Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Folders take too much Space on my hard disk

The more data you have stored in folders, the more hard disk space that is consumed. This is particularly true for multimedia files, such as pictures, music, and video, which consume a lot of megabytes on the hard disk. The good news is that Windows XP supports a compression feature that reduces overall folder size, which helps conserve hard disk space. Once you compress the folder, you can still use it just as you normally would.

If multiple people use your computer, or if your computer is on a network and you are worried about someone looking at files in your folders, you can also encrypt folders so that no one can view what is inside except you. To you, the folders and files appear the same, but if anyone else tries to access them, he or she gets an Access Denied message.

  • Compression and encryption are not compatible with each other. You can
  • compress a folder or you can encrypt a folder, but you cannot do both. Also,
  • compression and encryption only work on NTFS formatted drives—not FAT32.
If your hard drive is not formatted with NTFS, you can’t use compression or encryption. It should also be noted here that compressed folders are not the same as zipped folders, which can be compressed with the popular WinZip utility. WinZip works on either FAT or NTFS folders.


To use compression or encryption on a folder, follow these steps:

1.  In the folder that you want to compress or encrypt, click File--> Properties.

Note: Encryption is not available on the Home Edition of XP. You’ll see the option listed, but it is grayed out.

2.  The properties pages appear. On the General tab--> click the Advanced button (if the Advanced button is not there, the folder is on a FAT32 drive. Compression and encryption are not available on FAT32 drives).

3.  Click the Compress Contents check box to compress the folder. If you want to encrypt the folder--> click the Encrypt Contents check box. Click OK and OK on the General tab. You can remove the compression or encryption at any time by returning to this window and removing the check from the box.

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