How Do I Decompress All the Files that Windows Compressed for Me?

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A long time ago when I used the Windows Disk Cleanup tool, it compressed old files. Is there a program to decompress all files on my PC that have been compressed?

There is indeed a program that will do that.

It’s called Microsoft Windows. (Smile)

You don’t need to get any additional programs to decompress the files on your system; you can do it right from within Windows.

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Are records better than CDs?

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Let me know if you remember this like me. I remember in the early 80s, people were blowing out their speaker systems with the new CD format.  I didn’t own a CD player at the time. The CD was way better than scratchable vinyl with pops and clicks on the records. The sound was called “almost perfect” at the time. Today, I keep hearing the opposite. The record sounds better than the CD because it’s not compressed or something like that. I know that mp3s remove some sounds that I can’t hear anyway. Which one do you prefer? I ask as I listen to my iPod, which sounds just fine.

This kind of question causes religious arguments among audiophiles. Now, I’m no audiophile, but I’ll call it a matter of taste that’s dependent on your ability to hear the difference.

I do want to clarify a couple of things. Audio CDs are not compressed. That’s the reason they’re limited to around one hour. If you actually do the math, 16-bit stereo at 44 thousand samples per second takes up about 700 MB of data. That’s the capacity of an audio or data CD.

That doesn’t mean the sound you hear wasn’t compressed.

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Should I Use Windows File Compression?

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I was wondering if I should run the Disk Cleanup utility and select the Compress Old Files option to use Windows File Compression. It is currently taking up 14372KB of space. Should I compress old files?

While you’re only asking about the Disk Cleanup utility, I’m going to talk about Windows File Compression in more general terms. Using file compression to save space is nothing new, even when it’s native in the file system used by Windows. Whether or not it makes sense to use isn’t necessarily a slam dunk.

In fact, without knowing more, I get to use all three of my favorite answers:

Yes.

No.

It depends.

After you’ve finishing beating your head against the computer, read on, and I’ll explain why I say all three. We’ll also discover that later versions of Windows itself  have made a not-too-subtle suggestion as well.

Read moreShould I Use Windows File Compression?

Can I ZIP My Pictures or MP3 Files to Save Space?

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Can I ZIP my pictures or MP3 files to save space?

ZIP is a very popular compression algorithm supported by many popular programs such as WinZip, 7-Zip, and recent versions of Microsoft Windows. ZIPping a file or set of files can often reduce their size significantly at the cost of needing to be unzipped before they can be used.

Note though that I said, “…often reduce their size.”

Unfortunately, “often” doesn’t mean “always.”

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