NTFS File Compression: Why Blue? ~ Ask The Admin

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

NTFS File Compression: Why Blue?

Man-o-man, I love getting funny questions working in the I.T. field. I don't blame users for not knowing certain things, so don't get me wrong, but many problems are caused just because people don't know. Anyway, I got this ticket in (I have omitted the name of course), with a very interesting question:

"Why is the font color of our S drive now blue? It is difficult to read. Can we change it back to black?"

Sounds like a pretty straight forward question right? Well for those of you who do not know, when Microsoft moved from the FAT32 file systems to NTFS, they added a feature called File Compression. It is kind of like a built in ZIP, and is used to save space on the disk. To enable it, right click on your hard drive and select properties, and check the box that says "Compress drive to save disk space." If you only want one folder compressed, then right click on that folder, and select properties. on the general tab click on the advanced button. You will see two boxes at the bottom, check the box that says "Compress contents to save disk space." Once enabled, Windows will change the font color of everything in the compressed folders to blue to indicate that compression is turned on.

You may also notice when you go into advanced attributes on the folder that there is another check box that says "Encrypt contents to secure data." You cannot have that selected while file compression is turned on, and vice versa. If you decide to use that, it will encrypt all of the contents in that folder and only you will be able to access them. It will also change the font to green. If you knew that, great! If you didn't, then now you know...and knowing is half the battle!

Now, if you do not wish to view these colors, you can open that folder then click on Tools> Folder Options> View Tab. Scroll to the bottom of the list. un-check the third box up from the bottom that says "Show encrypted or compressed NTFS files in color."

Originally Posted on Bauer-Power By El Di Pablo