Seeing which Files are Compressed

by Barry Dysert
(last updated February 8, 2016)

1

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

Displaying All the Files in a Folder using the Command Prompt

Displaying all the files a folder contains is an easy task in Windows. One way you can display the files is using command ...

Discover More

Using Windows Easy Transfer

If you ever want to copy user accounts, documents, pictures, etc., from one computer to another, you'll find that Windows ...

Discover More

Using the FOR Statement

In another tip we were introduced to the various FOR loops that exist in Windows. The actual use of these loops was left ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

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

Customizing the Explorer's File List Display

Windows Explorer is a powerful utility to use for navigating among your files and folders. And it can be customized a ...

Discover More

Specifying a Copy Schedule in Robocopy

There are a few ways to set up a copy schedule in Robocopy by using its options. This tip explains how.

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 nine minus 4?

2016-02-08 11:20:24

WyoSteve

I'd like a tutorial on how to compress files (individually and en mass) in Win7 and Win10.


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.