File Compression utility is the name for a type of utility program that compresses and decompresses files that aren’t commonly used. Most of them can compress infrequently used files to use between 40 and 90% less space on a hard disk – this space can then be used by other, more commonly used things.
Technipages Explains File Compression Utility
Not all file compression utility tools can compress all file types – some can only work with, say downloadable font files. Which type is used depends on the user, their preference and their setup. These programs usually place a special driver that stays active in the memory when something is compressed. This isn’t malicious and doesn’t take up unnecessary resources, but it means that files can be decompressed (and recompressed) as needed, and much faster than it would be to load the program completely every time.
It’s worth noting that file compressing and file archiving (the process in which files are stored in a specific archive, turning multiples into one file) are generally separate, but because of how well they work together, programs like WinZip do often combine both functions. This means that in addition to compressing and decompressing files as is standard, WinZip can also add them to the Zip archive file type that many users know, allowing for multiple files to be stored in one archive – a considerably smaller archive than the sum of each individual file outside of the archive would have been.
Common Uses of File Compression Utility
- File compression utility programs can save a huge amount of space when used effectively.
- Not all file types respond equally well to file compression utilities – some can be compressed more, others less.
- Archiving compressed files can declutter and free up even more space on a desktop.
Common Misuses of File Compression Utility
- Using file compression utility software means that file types that match the software are automatically reduced in size as much as possible.