Remove 'Compress Old Files' from Disk Cleanup Wizard

Haven’t had to use this trick in a while since I’m running Vista on all my machines these days. I was over at my Mom’s house using her ancient XP box that was almost out disk space. I fired up the disk cleanup wizard and then I remembered why I don’t like it. It takes about 3 years to scan every file on the disk and suggest that I compress the old ones. Follow the steps below and you can use the disk cleanup wizard without it trying to compress all your old term papers still on your hard drive!

  1. Start > Run type regedit and hit enter.
  2. Cruise on down to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches
  3. Delete the ‘Compress Old Files’ key.
  4. Have glass of your favorite beverage and use the Disk Cleanup Wizard to free up some extra space.

Of course, if your looking for something that will help you get a better handle on what file are taking up so much space and where they are you should check out WinDirStat. It will scan your drives and draw a picture of every file on your hard drive so you can see where the big ones are and delete them.

Share this post:


My name is Jeff French. I'm a programmer, public speaker, technologist, husband, father and an all around geek. These are my musings on code, technology and life in general. Please enjoy. :)