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How to Fix Windows 10 Automatically Compressing Files
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How to Fix Windows 10 Automatically Compressing Files 

If your computer’s hard drive is running out of capacity, it could be compressing files (especially, if the OS is creating space for the new Windows updates). Furthermore, a corrupt icon cache database can show double-blue arrows on files and directories, leading the user to believe that compression is switched on.

Table of Contents

The problem occurs when the user sees two blue arrows on the top right of folders (e.g., the Desktop folder) or the system drive, and upon checking discovers the contents to be compressed (every new file/folder created/added to the folder/drive is automatically compressed), and when he decompresses the contents, the contents are compressed again when the computer reboots.

Windows 10 Automatically Compressing Files

Files in Windows 10 Automatically compressing Yehiweb
Files in Windows 10 Automatically compressing Yehiweb

Make sure the Storage Session setting (Settings>> System>> Storage) is disabled before proceeding with the solutions to stop Windows from automatically compressing files. If you’re having problems with automatic compression in an application (for example, files downloaded from the Firefox browser are compressed), uninstall it, remove all of its traces from the system, and then reinstall it to see if the problem is fixed.

Solution 1: Delete the System’s Temp Files and run a Disk Cleanup

If your device drive is running out of capacity, you can use automatic compression in Windows 10. In this case, removing the temp files and running a disc cleanup might be sufficient to resolve the issue.

  1. Open Run through right-clicking Windows.
  2. Now go to the following location:
%temp%
delete the files in the temp folder yehiweb
Delete the files in the temp folder
  1. Then delete everything in the temp folder and run the command prompt (step 1).
  1. Now go to the following location:
%temp%
delete files in temp folder yehiweb
Delete the files in the temp folder
  1. Then, remove everything in the temp folder and launch This PC (in the left pane of the window).
  1. Right-click the system drive (for example, C drive) and choose Properties.
Open Properties of the System Drive Yehiweb
Open Properties of the System Drive
  1. Then, select Clean Up System Files from the Disk Cleanup menu.
Click Disk Cleanup in the System Drive’s Properties Yehiweb
Click Disk Cleanup in the System Drive’s Properties
  1. Select all of the checkboxes (except for the essential types of files you want to keep, such as the Downloads folder) and then press the OK button.
Open Clean Up System Files Yehiweb
Open Clean Up System Files
  1. After that, wait for the process to end and check that your system drive has sufficient free space (20 GB for 32-bit OS and 32 GB for 64-bit OS).
check mark the Files to Delete and Click OK Yehiweb
Check mark the Files to Delete and Click OK
  1. Now decompress the folder/drive, paying no attention to any errors that might appear during the process.
  1. Then restart the computer to see if the problem with automatic compression has been fixed. If the problem continues, wait 5 minutes before checking to see if the device is free of the compressing issue.

Solution 2: Update Your PC’s Windows to the Most Latest Build

Some Windows updates take a lot of space to download, so your operating system can compress your files/folders to free up the space needed for the updates to download. In this case, upgrading the PC’s Windows (so that no changes are pending and the OS does not have to create room to handle them) might be the solution.

  1. Manually update your PC’s Windows to the most latest edition. Make sure there are no optional or unnecessary updates that need to be installed.
check for windows updates yehiweb
Check for windows updates
  1. Check to see how the contents of the drive/folders are compressing automatically after the updates have been installed.

Solution 3: On the driver/folders, disable compression

There are a variety of factors that can allow automatic drive/folder compression (e.g., automatic compression by the OS to install newer Windows updates). Disabling compression (in Folder/drive properties or Group Policy) can solve the problem in this case.

Disable the drive’s compression

  1. Open File Explorer by right-clicking Windows.
  2. Now go to the faulty drive and right-click it.
  3. Then go to Properties and uncheck Compress This Drive to Save Disk Space on the General tab.
Compress This Drive to Save Disk Space Yehiweb
Compress This Drive to Save Disk Space
  1. Apply the changes now and wait for the decompression to finish (ignore any errors reported during the decompression process).
  2. Then restart the computer to see if the compression problem has been fixed.

Disable Folder Compression (Like the Desktop Folder)

  1. Right-click on the problematic folder (for example, the Desktop folder) and choose Properties.
  2. Pick Properties and then Advanced from the drop-down menu.
Open the Advanced Properties of the Folder Yehiweb
Open the Advanced Properties of the Folder
  1. Then uncheck the “Folder is Ready for Archiving” and “Compress Contents to Save Disk Space” options.
Uncheck “Folder is Ready for Archiving” and “Compress Contents to Save Disk Space Yehiweb
Uncheck “Folder is Ready for Archiving” and “Compress Contents to Save Disk Space
  1. Apply the changes (if the problem is for more than one archive, repeat the above process on all affected folders) and reboot the computer to see if the compression problem has been fixed.

If the compression is only affecting the user profile files (such as the user Desktop, Documents, AppData, and so on), perform the above steps one by one on the following folders (if compression is not allowed on all of the folders, enable/disable compression on that folder):

  1. Open Run through right-clicking Windows.
  2. Then run the following commands to access the device drive:
\
Open the System Drive Through the Run Command Box Yehiweb
Open the System Drive Through the Run Command Box
  1. Disable compression on the Users folder (as discussed above; if prompted, add to subfolders/files) and then open the Users folder.
Disable Compression on the Users Folder and Open it Yehiweb
Disable Compression on the Users Folder and Open it
  1. Then, on your user profile folder, disable compression and open it.
Disable Compression on Your User Profile Folder and Open it Yehiweb
Disable Compression on Your User Profile Folder and Open it
  1. Open the Documents folder (or type Documents into the Run command box) and switch off compression.
Disable Compression on the Documents Folder Yehiweb
Disable Compression on the Documents Folder
  1. Then do the same thing with the following directories (in the Run command box):
Downloads

AppData

%appdata%
  1. Then restart the computer to see if the contents of the files aren’t compressing automatically.

Switch off compression. By means of the Group Policy Editor

  1. Click Windows, then type Group Policy, and then choose Edit Group Policy. Users of Windows 10 Home may need to install the Group Policy Editor.
open group policy editor yehiweb
Disable Compression on the Documents Folder
  1. Navigate to the following path in the left pane:
Computer Configuration>> Administrative Templates>> System>> Filesystem>> NTFS
  1. Then double-click “Do Not Allow Compression on All NTFS Volumes” and select Enabled from the radio button.
Enable Do Not Allow Compression on All NTFS Volumes in the Group Policy Editor Yehiweb
Enable Do Not Allow Compression on All NTFS Volumes in the Group Policy Editor
  1. Apply the changes and restart the computer to see if the compression problem has been fixed.

Disable compression using the Command Prompt

  1. Right-click on the Command Prompt after pressing Windows and typing Command Prompt. After that, choose Run as Administrator.
  1. Then carry out the following steps:
fsutil behavior set DisableCompression 1
Disable Compression Through the FSUTIL Command Yehiweb
Disable Compression Through the FSUTIL Command
  1. Now restart your computer and run the following commands to see if compression is turned off:
fsutil behavior query disableCompression
  1. If compression is disabled, you may receive the following message:
disabledCompression = 1 (Enabled)
  1. Execute the following commands to decompress compressed files on the system drive (for example, C):
compact /U /S:”C:\”

Disable CompactOS using PowerShell

Since the system drive (especially SSD hard drives) has limited storage space, the compression was limited to the OS modules only (technically speaking CompactOS). Disabling CompactOS can solve the problem in this case.

  1. Choose PowerShell from the context menu as you right-click Windows (Admin).
  2. Then carry out the following steps:
compact /compactOS:never
Set CompactOS to Never Yehiweb
Set CompactOS to Never
  1. Exit PowerShell to see if the problem with the files compressing automatically has been fixed.

Solution 4: Rebuilding the Icon Cache Database

The drive/folders were decompressed in some cases after installing Windows updates, but the two blue arrow icons remained on the files/folders (leading the user to assume that the contents were already compressed), but the problem was triggered by a corrupt Icon Cache database. Rebuilding the Icon Cache database may be the solution in this situation.

  1. If the problem is limited to a few EXE file shortcut icons, see if recreating (and deleting) the shortcuts for certain files fixes the problem.
  2. If this is not the case, then close all of your system’s open folders/applications and launch the Task Manager (right-click Windows and select Task Manager).
  3. Then select End Task from the context menu of the Windows Explorer process.
End Task of Windows Explorer Yehiweb
End Task of Windows Explorer
  1. Open File menu after confirming to end the Explorer process.
Run a New Task in the Task Manager Yehiweb
Run a New Task in the Task Manager
  1. Then click Run New Task and check the box next to Create This Task With Administrator Privileges.
  2. Now, in the Open box, type CMD.exe and press Enter.
Run CMD.exe Task Yehiweb
Run CMD.exe Task
  1. Then, one by one, execute out the following commands:
CD /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local

DEL IconCache.db /a

EXIT
Delete Iconcache database Yehiweb
Delete Iconcache database Yehiweb

8. Open Run New Task once more and type:

explorer.exe
Run New Task of Explorer.exe in the Task Manager Yehiweb
Run New Task of Explorer.exe in the Task Manager
9. Then press Enter, and once the Explorer window opens, reboot the computer to see if the compression icons are gone.

If the problem continues, see if running the following commands in an Elevated Command Prompt fixes it:

ie4uinit.exe -ClearIconCache

You can also use the Registry Editor (at your own risk; backup the Registry first) to prevent the icons from being executed by generating a notepad file (that is stored as a .reg file) with the following lines:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Icons]

"179"="empty.ico,0"

Then double-click it to merge it with the Registry (making sure you’ve put an empty file in the System32 folder first) to make sure the compression icons are gone.

If the problem continues, see if an in-place update (download the Windows 10 ISO and run it as administrator, making sure to choose the Keep Apps and Files option) fixes the compression issue.

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