Compressed (Zipped) versus Compression Folders in XP

by Wayne Maples [Published on 20 April 2004 / Last Updated on 20 April 2004]

Microsoft introduced NTFS compression with Windows NT. See my User Tip #142: Windows NT NTFS Directory Compression for details on NTFS compression. Windows XP introduces zip-type compression for files or folders in addition to NTFS compression. The compression is standard zip format. It should be, Microsoft uses licensed code based on WinZIP 7. If you use XP to zip a files or folders, any standard zip utility can unzip it.

To zip using native XP, right-click the a list of files or a folder and choose SendTo|Compressed (Zipped) Folder. It does not do a compression in place like NTFS compression does but creates a compressed copy of the original with a zip extension. The explorer icon for the item will show a zipper up the middle of the icon (cute).

Did a quick test zipping the is-it-true.org folder which is currently 75MB. Compressed the mostly text documents down to 50MB.

The zip functionality seems quite complete. You can even password protect a zip. To assign a password to a Windows XP zip :

  • Double-click zip to open it
  • Click File
  • Click Add a Password ...
This give a bit more security to the zips you store on your HD or email to others.

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