General Question

Foxx's avatar

Is compressing files worth it if only a few KB's of space are saved?

Asked by Foxx (56points) April 2nd, 2010

I have been compressing little used files in the ZIP format on my hard drive to save space. However, the compressed files are only smaller in size by a few KB’s compared to the originals. Is compression worth it with so little space gain? Or am I doing it wrong? Would another format be more effective?

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8 Answers

bobloblaw's avatar

No, not that useful. I mean, I suppose in the long-long run, it’ll add up, but I don’t think the effect would be that great or useful to you. I would say you are better off just getting more storage.

mrentropy's avatar

Not really. Especially since a certain amount of space is wasted because of the sector size.

poisonedantidote's avatar

for $50 you can buy a USB external hard drive that will give you another 500GB, so no not worth it.

simpleD's avatar

Hard drives are so affordable these days that taking the time to compress and expand archives is not worth the effort. The only time I would consider it would be if I were transferring the file over email or FTP, or if I wanted to preserve file permissions when copying.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Nope. Don’t waste your time.

Fenris's avatar

No, you’re not doing anything wrong, and there’s not point in going through so much trouble for so little gain. You can only squeeze so much out of information. If you want more space, it’s the files bigger than 1 GB you should compress. Other than that, clean out what you don’t need, keep your caches clean and get more hard drive space.

jaytkay's avatar

If you are using WIndows, you can set almost any folder to automatically “Compress Files to Save Space”. Right-click and choose Properties to find the setting.

Set it once and you’re done. You won’t even notice, they act like normal files and folders.

Probably Mac OS and Linux have a similar option.

Shuttle128's avatar

I store large files, that lend themselves to compression well, zipped. It’s easier to have them available when I want them (rather than using my external) and not terribly hard or time consuming to zip or unzip them. It’s not worth doing it for lots of small files as that is tedious and doesn’t really do much. Pictures, documents, and other small things like that are already small or in a compressed format anyway. I can’t store files larger than 2 gigs on my external hard drive anyway.

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