The Windows tool that you don’t know and makes your hard drive bigger

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When buying a new computer, one of the aspects that we should pay the most attention to is RAM memory (if we want it to last a few years) and storage space. Regarding storage space, we must not only consider whether it is HDD or SSD (the latter being the most recommended because it offers faster access speeds) but also we must take into account the amount of GB available. If our economy doesn’t allow it, or if we are constantly fighting with the available free space, first of all, you should give this hidden Windows tool a try.

The first thing we should know about this tool is that it is not an application that is only available in Windows 11, but that it has been available in Windows for many years, in fact, although under another name, it was also available in MS-DOS , Microsoft’s non-graphical operating system that dominated the PC market before the release of Windows. With the release of Windows 10, Microsoft expanded the number of features of the compact.exe tool, an application that allows users to compress folders to free up disk space.

Free up disk space with the Compact.exe application

Unlike the usual applications to compress files, the compact tool reduces the size of the files without changing the extension or its location and, it takes care of decompressing it when necessary on the fly, without the user having to do anything at all. your part. Not all applications get along with this tool, so if we come across an application that is not working properly, we must unzip the files and forget to continue using this tool with it.

Compact.exe works through the command line, a very easy to use command line. If we use the command without any variable, the compression status of all files and folders stored in the location where we are will be displayed.

If we add the /c parameter we must add the path of the directory where the files we want to compress are located. Any files in that folder will be automatically compressed. Using /f forces compression or decompression of the specified directory or file. This is used in the case of a file that was partially compressed when the operation was interrupted by a system crash.

The /u parameter decompresses the compressed files included in the directory that we add to this command. If we want to know the compression status of a directory and the files included, the command we must add is /q. If we want to know all the options that this command makes available to us, we must add the /? parameter.

Also with graphical interface

If just the idea of ​​using the command line makes us not want to try this tool, we can use the graphical interface of this application. This graphical interface is not available through Windows, but we have to download it through this link to GitHub. What this application does is show graphically all the options that this tool makes available to us and where we just have to click on the option we want to use.

CompactGUI

In addition, it shows us information about the space that the files occupy and what we can save. It also allows us to choose the level of compression based on our preferences: performance or free space. It is a portable application, so it is not necessary to install it on the computer. As soon as it is executed, it invites us to select the directory that we want to compress and establish the compression level.

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