Navigate to the location on your hard disk where the file you wish to compress is stored.
Right click on the thumbnail image of the file and click ‘Properties’ from the dropdown menu which appears on the screen. XP will open ‘[File Name] Properties’ dialogue box.
Under the tab labelled ‘General’, you will find a button labelled ‘Advanced...’ towards the bottom right corner of the ‘[File Name] Properties’ dialogue box. Click that button and another dialogue box labelled ‘Advanced Attributes’ will appear on the screen.
In the ‘Compress of Encrypt Attributes’ section of the ‘Advanced Attributes’ dialogue box, you will find the ‘Compress contents to save disk space’ option. Check that option, click ‘OK’ to close the ‘Advanced Attributes’ dialogue box.
On the ‘[File Name] Properties’ dialogue box, click the ‘Apply’ button followed by the ‘OK’ button. XP will compress the file. To check if the file was really compressed, simply note the file size before and after the compression process. Moreover, names of compressed file would appear in blue colour.
Another possible way to compress files in XP is to use specialised file compression software. 7-Zip, IZArc, PeaZip, Hamster Free Zip Archiver and ZipGenius are some of the file compression software compatible with Windows XP. Moreover, all these software are free, which means they are readily available for download on the internet.
Download and install one of the free file compression software. Simply open the file(s) you wish to compress in the software and compress them accordingly.