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

Running a Program as Administrator

Sometimes a program you're trying to run needs to run with elevated privileges. Assuming you have the authority to do ...

Discover More

Scheduling a Program to Run on a Schedule

If you have certain programs that you want to have run automatically, you can use Windows Task Scheduler to quickly set ...

Discover More

Understanding the Start Menu Search Box

The Start Menu Search Box is a great addition to Windows. It can save you a great deal of time by putting frequently used ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Checking a Disk Drive for Free Space

Keeping track of your resources can help you avoid serious computer problems. Having an adequate amount of disk space is ...

Discover More

Understanding and Using File Attributes

Every file has several attributes associated with it. These attributes can be turned on or off in a couple of ways and ...

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 two more than 2?

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.