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Windows XP's Built-in Compression Utility
Windows XP Home and Professional

Back in the days of Windows 3.1, 95, and Windows 98, when you ran across a compressed (or "zipped" file) and you didn't have a compressed file utility (a 'zip' program) you were out-of-luck. Every time you clicked on such a file you'd get the dreaded popup that asked you which program you wanted to use to open this file, and no matter which program you chose, of course, you couldn't open it (unless you had a compression utility like WinZip, PK UnZip etc..)

But those who began computing with Windows XP will never know the frustration of coming upon a "zipped" file and not being able to open it. That is because Windows XP includes a built in compression utility which can save valuable space on your hard disk by archiving and compressing files you seldom use. Windows XP compression utility works similarly to compression programs such as WinZip. Windows XP's compression utility reduces the space your files take on disk. However accessing files from a compressed file take longer than uncompressed files. So only compress folders that you want to archive and need to access only occasionally.

There are several ways of compressing (zipping up) data on your Windows XP system:

If you want to compress everything in an existing folder, right click on the folder, select 'properties' then the 'advanced' button at the bottom. In the 'compress or encrypt attributes' section, check the 'compress contents to save disk space' option.

If you want to create a compressed folder for files or folders different from the one they are in now, right click on the files or folders you wish to compress and choose 'send to\compressed (zipped) folder.' This will create a new compressed folder in the same location as the original file or folder.

OK. Ready, Set, Compress!


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