Should I Go With Compressing My OS Drive?

Are you questioning – Should I compress my OS Drive?” In this guide you will get thorough information, so keep reading.

“Compress your OS drive” is a compression function and it comes with an NTFS file system. You can not use this function if the operating system drive is in another file system. Although it would be safe to use as it won’t cause any data loss. The feature was added in the 2019 February Windows update.  

It might be possible that your operating system drive is running on low space. Now, you are thinking of selecting Disk cleanup to compress your OS Drive. This will free up a few GB of space, and the disk space warning won’t appear again. 

But, on the other hand, it will put stress on the CPU and RAM to decompress. The main question comes – Should one go with compressing your OS drive? 

Below we have given detailed information on where you can find your answer. 

Compress your OS Drive Windows 10

Many users have reported that while conducting disk cleanup they saw the Compress Your OS Drive option under the Files To delete the section. In case your C drive runs out, you can launch Disk Cleanup. 

Over there, you will find the option to compress your OS drive. This will help you in freeing up about 10 GB of space, and thus, running out of disk space will no longer be visible. 

However, we recommend you not compress your OS drive to free up space. The drive uses the newly introduced compression algorithms XPRESS and LZX in Windows 10. 

Thus, if you go for this option, it will compress the files in the C drive. It is quite safe as it won’t delete any files on your hard drive or cause any data loss. 

Even though we won’t recommend this to free up space, the reason is no matter how fast your CPU is, it will be hard for the CPU when it comes to reading and writing. As it needs it to decompress the files when the windows OS wants them. Again, after using them, it will take time to compress the files. 

Thus it is quite a time-consuming task and will slow down your computer. This is the reason why we won’t recommend you to free up space with the help of disk cleanup compress, it will influence your computer performance. 

How to Decompress the OS Drive?

In case you have already used the option in order to free up space, then down below, we have given the instructions to decompress the OS drive:

  • First, you need to open File Explorer and then find the C drive. You need to right-click on it
  • After that, select the Properties option. 
  • Go to the General tab and uncheck the “Compress this drive to save disk space” box.
  • Select the Apply option, and in order to confirm it select the OK option. This will implement the changes. 
  • Wait for 10 minutes to complete the process.

Compact OS and Compress your OS Drive

Compact OS is a new feature added to Windows 10. It also works to reduce the size of the OS, and also you can run the OS from compressed files. You will notice that both UEFI and BIOS-based devices support this feature. 

We have listed the instructions to use the compact OS to free up disk space. Also, it reduces the OS footprint, making it much easier to install. 

  • First, you need to hit the start button. Go to the search box and type the Command Prompt. 
  • The Command Prompt will open, select the “Run as administrator” option. The Administrator Command Prompt windows will appear. Type the following command “compact/compact OS: always” and hit the Enter button. 
  • Give it some type to complete the process. Also, during the process, do not turn off the computer. 

But, the question is whether the compact OS is similar to compressing your OS drive. There is doubt about the performance of the system files or Windows app related to the impact of the compressed OS. 

Many users have also reported that after enabling the feature, the compact OS does not hit the performance much. Thus, we can say that the two features are not similar. 

Ways to Free Up More Space under Disk Cleanup

You will find plenty of other ways to fix your space issue. Over here, we have mentioned some of the ways that will help you to free up more space other than selecting the compress your OS drive feature. 

Also, you can use the third-party tool to create space and delete the files manually. Though disk cleanup is not the only one to free up space and there are other alternatives as well. 

1. Alternatives of Disk Cleanup to Clean Up and Compress OS Drive

It is true that compressing files will surely free up space on your PC but it will also cause damage to your PC. thus decompressing the file to open uses a lot of RAM and CPU power, and also your antivirus program can fail to work properly. 

Henceforth, loading improper scanning of a compressed file for viruses and malware. EaseUS partition master can help you out in solving the low disk space problem. 

It will delete a partition and will create more space. This program is also used to change the size of the partition without any loss of data. 

There is a feature called Extend feature that will help you to extend the partition. So, you can completely use any available or unallocated space. It is free to download, and it has tons of features. We have provided you with complete guidance. 

Extend System C Drive with Unallocated Space

First, you need to right-click on the system C: drive, and then select the Resize/Move option. 

After that, you need to drag the system partition end into the allocated space so that you can add it to C: drive. This should be allowed by hitting the Okay option. 

Then, select the Execute Operation option and hit the Apply option to implement the changes.

Extend System C Drive Without Unallocated Space

  • First, you need to right-click on the system disk. A big partition with enough free space, and then select the allocate space option
  • Then, at the allocated space from * to the section, you need to select the system drive. Use the OK option as confirmation. 
  • After that, click on the execute operation, followed by selecting the Apply option to save the changes and extend the C drive. 

2. Manually Removing Files

Another way to free up space is by manually deleting the files. We have discussed ways to help you out: 

Delete Temporary Files

The steps to delete the temporary files are listed below:

  • First, you need to right-click on the C drive and then select the Properties. 
  • After that, from the General tab, select Disk Cleanup.
  • Now, select the files you want to delete from the list.

Delete large Files From the OS Drive

We have come up with ways to find out large file and delete it from the OS drive:

  • Hold the Windows+R option, and then type “control.exe” in the given space of the Run dialog box. 
  • Then, in the Control Panel search box, type file followed by selecting the File Explorer option and View option. 
  • Now, select the Show Hidden Files, Folders, and Drivers option, and then unselect the Hide Protected Operating System Files option. 
  • Select the Apply option followed by the OK option.
  • In the root directory of the OS drive, you will notice a file hiberfil.sys, delete it. 


We hope you have got the answer to – “Should I compress my OS Drive?”. A clear answer with a proper explanation is given. Also, we have mentioned some alternative ways to solve your problem.

For your information, if the hibernate mode is enabled, then it can take up a huge amount of space. You can even directly delete the hibernation file in order to free up space. 

Manually, it can be a bit risky process, as any important file might be deleted, and the OS might get corrupted. Instead of downloading, you can also use any third-party application to fix the issue.