Seeing which Files are Compressed

by Barry Dysert
(last updated November 11, 2019)

When you create a file in a compressed folder, Windows automatically compresses that file. Compressed files require less disk space, so they provide a way to get more information on a disk drive that may have limited space available.

One way you can tell if a file is compressed is to display the Properties dialog box for the file. On the Details tab of the dialog box, if you examine the Attributes information, you'll notice that compressed files have the C attribute set. ("C," obviously, stands for "compressed.") (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Attributes of a compressed file.

Of course, displaying the Properties dialog box all the time to find out which files are compressed can be tedious. You can, though, configure Windows so that you can easily tell compressed files from uncompressed ones. You do this using the Folder Options dialog box. The easiest way to do that is to start by displaying the File Explorer or, if you are using Windows 7, displaying Windows Explorer. (Pressing Win+E is a great way to display it.) Now, using the controls in the File Explorer or Windows Explorer, display any file folder you want.

  • If you are using Windows 7, click the Organize drop-down near the upper-left corner of the window and then choose Folder and Search Options.
  • If you are using Windows 8 or Windows 10, display the View tab of the ribbon, click the Options tool (right side of the ribbon), and then click Change Folder and Search Options.

Now, just make sure that the View tab is displayed. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. The Folder Options dialog box.

Go ahead and scroll through the available options until you see the Show Encrypted or Compressed NTFS Files in Color option. You want to make sure that the check box next to this option is selected, and then click OK.

Now, the names of any files that are compressed are shown in blue. This makes it easy to spot the compressed files in any file listing.

 This tip (5672) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 35 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer. He is currently a software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. When not working with Windows or writing Tips, Barry is an amateur writer. His first non-fiction book is titled "A Chronological Commentary of Revelation." ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Freeing Up Disk Space by Deleting Old OS Files

I'm always looking for ways to free up disk space. Even with a 1 TB drive I want to be a "good disk citizen." If you're ...

Discover More

Creating an Auto Playlist

Auto Playlists are a nice feature of Windows Media Player. Once set up, as more media gets added to your library the auto ...

Discover More

Using Powercfg to List Your Existing Power Schemes

Windows allows you to define different power schemes that control how your computer uses power. This tip shows you how to ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Removing Locations from the Search Index

You can fine-tune Indexed Searches by removing locations from the search index. This tip tells you how.

Discover More

Understanding Storage Spaces

Need to add some addition drive space to your system? Why not consider adding what Microsoft calls a "storage space?" ...

Discover More

Deleting Files or Folders

Part of managing the files and folders on a system is the need to occasionally delete them. Here's a quick discussion on ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four less than 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.