Why can’t you compress?

To save disk space on your laptop, you often compress files by selecting “Compress contents to save disk space” in the file or folder properties. On your USB-connected external drives, the compression option isn’t available. Why can’t you compress the files on your external storage?

A) Compression isn’t supported over USB

B) Compression is limited to internal storage

C) The external drives are using a file system that doesn’t support compression

D) The files on the external drives are already compressed

E) Compression isn’t good for you. Walk around outside and get some fresh air.

The answer: C) The external drives are using a file system that doesn’t support compression

The NTFS file system includes a number of enhancements for performance and security. The addition of file system-level compression allows you to set file or entire directories to be compressed automatically without any third-party software.

Want to know more? Watch “Managing Disks.”

When you add a new hard drive into a Windows system, you’re faced with a large number of partition options, disk status information, and drive options. In this video, you’ll learn the differences in partition types, how to add or modify Windows disks, and how to use the powerful Windows Disk Management utility.

1 thought on “Why can’t you compress?”

  1. Can you explain to me in a little more details about this answer, because I’ve tried this in XP, vista, Windows 7 and a laptop running vista and all had the NTFS file system and in every case I was able to compress the entire drive or each individual folder or file, am I misunderstanding the question.

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