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Settings - Skip Compress Old Files

Updated on April 6, 2009

How to Skip Compress Old Files in Windows XP's Disk Cleanup tool

 Like many people, I use the built in Windows XP Disk Cleanup tool.  Like many, I get frustrated by how long it takes to calculate how much space it will save by compressing old files.  I've actually used this function and it doesn't save as much space as it says it will.  Not even close.  Fortunately for you, me and everyone else who hates to wait for this process, there is an easy way to skip it all together.  Unfortunately, it requires delving into the blackness that is the Windows Registry...  Don't worry, though, my methods are safe to use.

1) Click on the Start button and then on the Run icon

Click on Start and then Run
Click on Start and then Run

2) In the Run dialog box, type regedit

Type regedit in the run box and press enter
Type regedit in the run box and press enter

3) In the left panel of the Registry Editor, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Explorer > Volume Caches > Compress Old Files

Navigate the Registry Editor
Navigate the Registry Editor
Navigate the Registry Editor
Navigate the Registry Editor

4) Right click on Compress Old Files and choose Export from the menu that pops up

Export the entry
Export the entry

5) Name the file something like: Compress Old Files - 7-13-07 and then click on the Save button (this will back up the entries)

Name and save the backup
Name and save the backup

 6) In the right panel of the Registry Editor, double click on the entry (default) REG_SZ to edit the value

Edit the value
Edit the value

 7) Delete the entire string of numbers/letters and then click on the OK button

Delete the value
Delete the value

 8) Close the Registry Editor

9) Run Disk Cleanup to check it out... 


Replacing the Compress Old Files function

This is an easy process.

1) Open my documents and double click on the exprted registry entry Compress Old Files - 7-13-07 or whatever you named the file.

2) Click on the Yes button in the confirmation window that pops up and then on OK in the window that says it was successful.

And there you go...


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    • Headstrong Farm profile imageAUTHOR

      Headstrong Farm 

      6 years ago from Rhode Island

      This is only for Windows XP. Windows 7 does not have the 'compress' function. I'm not sure about Vista as I intentionally avoided Vista. lol

      If you have XP and the entry is missing, then let me know. I'll look into it and then reply and update the Hub to include the information.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      The entry is absent on my computer.


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