Enable or disable NTFS compression in Windows 10

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Table of Contents

First of all, the first thing we must understand is what we are talking about when we refer to this specific file system. That way later we will be able to get the most out of it.

What is the NTFS file system in Windows

As we mentioned, we have several possibilities when it comes to assigning a format to our disk drives. But in these lines we will focus on the one known as New Technology File System or NTFS. Specifically, we refer to a file system developed by Microsoft and that came with Windows NT 3.1. From there it was implemented in later versions of the operating system, thanks to the fact that it exceeded the restrictions of the old FAT32.

Therefore, in addition to those restrictions, it is also important to know that Windows 10 supports file and folder compression in NTFS drives. This is something that is achieved through NTFS compression, so later we will show you how to enable or disable this compression of NTFS files in Windows 10.

How to enable or disable NTFS file compression

To say that this is something that we can carry out in different ways so that we can choose the one that interests us the most in each case. Specifically, as we are going to see, we have the ability to enable or disable NTFS file compression in Windows from three. Of course, all of them fast and simple valid for any user, without complications. It is also important to know that compressing the NTFS file system can save disk space, but can adversely affect the PC performance.

Also when we copy or move a compressed file to a different folder, NTFS copies it or moves it to the new location, and compresses it again. This requires a somewhat expensive and complex internal process, which can impact on older equipment. Therefore, depending on the needs of each one, you can choose to activate or deactivate this function, for which we will help you.

Enable NTFS compression from CMD on Windows

One of the methods that we can use in this regard is the command prompt window, or CMD. To start with, we just have to access the command line functionality through the CMD command. We can type this directly in the Windows search box, so we execute it with administrator permissions.

open CMD

Therefore, once we have the new window that we comment on the screen, to activate or deactivate file compression NTFS, we will do the following. It must be taken into account that when working from this section, the operations are carried out through commands that we have to type. Therefore, in the case that concerns us at the moment, in the command prompt window, we write the following command to enable NTFS compression in Windows:

fsutil behavior set disablecompression 0

In the same way, otherwise, that is, if what we need to deactivate this compression we are talking about, we use the command:

fsutil behavior set disablecompression 1

For everything to take effect, we just have to exit the command prompt window and restart the computer.

Change the NTFS compression status from the registry

On the other hand, if we do not want to make use of the commands described before, this is a change that we can also make from the Windows registry. So, next we are going to show you how to enable or disable NTFS file compression through the Registry Editor in a few steps. Of course, when making changes in this section, we recommend making a backup copy of it or creating a point of system restore. This will serve as a precautionary measure in case something unexpected and troublesome happens.

To open the registry editor, we use the Win + R key combination to access the Run dialog box, where we type regedit. Now we are in the registry window, so we are in the following path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Policies

Thus, in the location we are in, we click with the right mouse button in the right panel and select New / DWORD Value (32 bits). In this way what we do is create a new entry called like this:

NtfsDisableCompression

Now we have no choice but to double click on the new entry to Edit its properties and enter the value 1 in the Value data field. This deactivates the functionality, while to activate it, we set the value 0 here. Finally, we exit the Registry Editor and restart the computer.

NTFS registry

Enable compression in group policies

First of all we must know that this last method to activate or deactivate NTFS compression does not work in Windows 10 Home. To use it we need to have the Pro or Enterprise edition of the operating system. This is because we need to access group policies, something that the Home edition does not allow by default.

Well, once we know this, we use Win + R again to open the Run box where we now write the following command:

gpedit.msc

At that moment the editor of the group policies, so we have to place ourselves on the next route of the same.

Configuración del equipo / Plantillas administrativas / Sistema / Sistema de archivos / NTFS

Therefore, now in the panel on the right we find an entry that says Do not allow compression on all NTFS volumes. Click twice on it to open it and set Not configured or Disabled to allow the NTFS file compression.

ntfs group policy

On the contrary, in order to disable NTFS compression, we click on the Enabled option. Now we have to save the changes and restart the computer for them to take effect.