en_US / Resources / Articles

Compressing Files in Three Easy Steps

If you need to send a large file, you might be wondering how to compress files in an effort to make file sharing a little easier. Sometimes, sending a large file just isn't conducive to your goal. Your email system might not have the capacity to do so or you're conscious of the time it may take your client or colleague to download such a large document. Compressing files is one way to get around this problem.

But how are files compressed?

Compress these thoughts about file sharing.

To understand how to compress files, you must first understand what is happening. When you compress a file, you're reducing the number of bits and bytes in the file so it can be more easily transferred or stored. When the recipient downloads the file, a program restores those bits and bytes and converts the file back to its original size.

Think of a compressed file like a folding chair. You want it to be unfolded and in its expanded format during use so you can sit on it. But when storing or transporting it somewhere, it's helpful to fold it first.

How to compress files

Here’s how to compress (also called “zip”) a file in Microsoft Windows:

  1. Locate the file you wish to compress.
  2. Right-click the file, drag your cursor over “Send to” and click “Compressed folder.”
  3. A compressed folder is then created in the same location. To rename the new file, right-click it, click “Rename” and type in the name of your compressed file.

The compression of extremely large files may be out of the realm of your operating system. For large files or files containing high-definition video or audio, a compression tool may be needed. But often online file compression tools are more trouble than they are worth.

A better way to share files

Another alternative to compressing files yourself is to use a file-sharing service with large file transfer capabilities. Cloud-based Citrix ShareFile allows you to transfer files of up to 100 GB easily, alleviating any need to manually compress for email system restrictions.

With a file-sharing service like ShareFile, you will enjoy benefits that a file compression tool can't provide, such as:

  • You won't have to save files to your computer before sending them.
  • Online file sharing is quick, unlike compressing files which can take all day.
  • You won't risk creating a larger file, which can happen when compression tools don't have graphics or audio to compress.
  • You don't have to use email to send a file, you can simply copy a link and paste it anywhere to give clients and colleagues access to the file.
  • Online file sharing eliminates the extra step of file compression, resulting in a simpler way to transfer data and documents.
  • Because your files are stored in the cloud, you can send them from anywhere at any time.

"With large file transfers come large security risks. ShareFile cuts no corners when ensuring those files are transferred securely. A 256-bit AES encryption with Secure Socket Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocols, regular backups to multiple datacenters and customizable user settings are just some of the ways we make sure your large files find their destination unharmed."

ShareFile also offers a file versioning feature so you can revert back to previous versions of edited files and activity tracking so you can monitor any changes and alerts to notify you when a file is downloaded.

ShareFile offers file storage and transferring services, including a customizable enterprise service that allows you to send large files of up to 100 GB. ShareFile features include:

24/7 telephone and email support.

Customized branding so your business’s image is always present.

Unlimited client use.

Mobile and desktop access.

Easy syncing of files and folders to the cloud.

Unlimited file versioning so you always have access to previous drafts.

Multi-factor security, including industry-standard encryption, firewall protection and scanners.

Simplify your daily workflow by singing up for your 30-day free trial of ShareFile today.

Read about how ShareFile helped a photographer navigate the murky waters of compressing and sending photos to clients and why this type of file-sharing service is ideal for businesses that routinely send large files.

Ready to try ShareFile? It's free for 30 days. No credit card required.

Related Information