6 Methods to Compress Files to Small Size

In the era of World Wide Web, compression is definitely the buzz word. In simple terms or for users who had no math majors, compression can be defined as a process of packing a file(s) to its smaller version which is easy to store, secure and send.  If you love downloading videos, images and other content from the internet then you must have definitely come across compressed files in form of zip, rar, and other formats. Just like media, files, and folders having important and useful data can be compressed as well. There are multiple situations when a need to reduce file size arises .

Mostly all types of files including images, videos, text, audio, PDF, and others can be compressed. But here it needs to be considered that certain files can be compressed in a better manner as compared to the others. There are many types of file that do not work very well with the compression process and thus cannot be reduced to a much smaller size than its original version. Looking for best solutions on how to compress files? Read below to clear all your queries.

Part 1. Methods to Compress Files and Folders by Using Compression Software

All the operating systems have their built-in compression software that is pretty decent with their functions and features. When it comes to large sized files, these built-in software’s have limitation and may not function very smoothly and here the need for specialized software or a program arises. There is a long list of third party compression software that allows compressing your desired files and folders. There are also tools where you can compress files online. A roundup of the top 3 program is given below:

1. 7-Zip

7-Zip is a popular open source software that is free to use and need no registration process. The program features impressive compression rate, can handle large sized files (up to 16billion Gigabytes as claimed by developers) and has its own compressed format called 7z. Solid compression is used by the program to considerably reduce the file size and it supports a number of formats for packing and unpacking.

Pros:

  • Free to use and easy to install
  • Support large size files

Cons:

  • Minimalistic user interface

Steps to Reduce File Size using 7-Zip

Step 1. Open 7-Zip application on your PC.

Step 2. Search for the file that you wish to compress and click Add key.

Step 3. A new window of “Add to Archive” will open. Set zip as the archive format and click OK.

The files will successfully reduce in size and will automatically save the location of the original file.

7-zip compressor

2. WinRAR

This is another popular compression software that support multiple extraction formats. RAR is the proprietary format of the company is best rated in terms of accuracy and speed. Though there are many software that can extract RAR archives but when it comes to creating then, WinRAR is the only option. The program features full RAR support, self extracting creation of archive and themes and good encryption speed. The software comes with a free trial version and a paid complete version.

Pros:

  • The compression algorithm is efficient and popular
  • Features self-extracting archive creation
  • Available for all possible platforms

Cons:

  • Allows to zip files only to RAR and ZIP formats

Steps to Compress A File using WinRAR

Step 1. Install WinRAR on your PC.

Step 2. Select the files to compress, right click and “Add to archive”.

Step 3. Choose the desired format and click OK.

The file(s) will successfully minimise in size.

compress with winrar

3. PeaZip

PeaZip is used by a large number of people, owing to its user-friendly features and attractive interface. The program makes use of simple and friendly language which makes the entire task quick and smooth. The program allows converting compressed archives to other formats and is also capable of repairing the files which are damaged. The toolkit of the program ensures security and keeps your entire data safe through encryption and optional identity check.

Pros:

  • Easy to understand and use
  • Have security features to keep your data safe

Cons:

  • Cannot create RAR archives

Steps to Compress A File using PeaZip

Step 1. Install and open PeaZip on your system.

Step 2. Right click the file or folder that you want to compress and select PeaZip > Add to Archive.

Step 3. Select the desired format for the archive and click OK to start the process.

The file and folders will get optimized.


compress file with peazip

How to compress a file? No more worries as above listed programs are there for you.

Part 2. Compressing Large Media Files (Video Files and Audio Files) on Windows & Mac

The type and content of file decide the extent to which these files can be compressed. For example, text files, database, and BMP images can be compressed up to 90%, program files and its types can be compressed up to 50% whereas multimedia files do not compress much. Majority of the video and audio files available over the net are already in compressed state and reducing them further using above-listed programs will not give any satisfactory result. So if you still need to compress large media files, the help of professional software like Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate is needed.

video converter logo Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate

wondershare video converter ultimate
  • Convert video to over 1000 formats, including MP4, AVI, WMV, FLV, MKV, MOV and more
  • Convert to optimized preset for almost all of the devices.
  • 30X faster conversion speed than any conventional converters.
  • Edit, enhance & personalize your video files
  • Burn and customize your video to DVD with free DVD menu templates
  • Download or record videos from 10,000+ video sharing sites
  • Versatile toolbox combines fix video metadata, GIF maker, cast video to TV, VR converter and screen recorder
  • Industry-leading APEXTRANS technology converts videos with zero quality loss or video compression
  • Supported OS: Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista, Mac OS 10.14 (Mojave), 10.13, 10.12, 10.11, 10.10, 10.9, 10.8, 10.7, 10.6
Security Verified, 5,942,222 people have downloaded it

This feature packed software works with both Windows and Mac system and allows compressing video and audio files without any quality loss. Video Converter Ultimate is a complete video toolbox, allowing you to convert, download, burn, and edit videos. The software reduces the resolution and bit rate of multimedia files which results in size reduction.  Looking for the best way on how to reduce file size? Wondershare is there for all your needs.

Steps to Compress File Size Using Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate

Step 1 Launch Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate

Download, install and open Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate software on your PC/Mac

launch wondershare video converter ultimate

Step 2 Add media file to the software

On primary software interface, select Convert as the main tab. Next, click + Add Files, and navigate to select the desired video on your PC that you want to compress.

add file to the program

Step 3 Select output format and open Settings window

Once the video is added, click the icon of drop down beside Convert all files to: select video format from the Video tab and the desired resolution. Click the editing icon next to resolution which will open a new Settings window.

Alternatively, you can also click + Create Custom to open the settings window.

select output format

Step 4 Customise video settings

From the Settings window, set Custom tab to Small Size that will automatically reduce the resolution and other parameters. Manual settings for Frame Rate, Resolution, Bitrate, and other parameters can also be done. Once all settings are done, click Create to proceed.

customize video setting

Step 5 Start compression

The file details and size will appear on the main interface. Finally, click Convert All to start the process.

start compression

Once compressed, the video will appear under the Downloaded tab from where it can be managed as required.

get compressed files

Part 3. Compressing Large Image Files

Image files are generally large in size as they have a lot of detail. If you have a number of images which need to be sent or shared through emails, social network, and other means, a lot of time is needed. Moreover storing these images on your system means occupying a major portion of your storage space. In above-listed situations, the best solution is to compress the image files. There are a number of programs and software that helps you with the image compression task and Caesium Image Compressor is one of them.

This open source program is free to use and allows adding individual files as well as folders for multi files processing. Using Caesium, you can select the desired image format, its quality, size, and aspect ratio. The interface of the software is simple yet effective. It also supports option for metadata storing and folder structure support. Caesium Image processor retains the original format without any loss in visual quality. The program is available in 2 options- Windows installer setup and the portable version (need no installation).

Steps to Optimize Images Using Caesium Image Processor

Step 1. Launch and open Caesium on your PC.

Step 2. Add the desired images to the program interface. You can also drag and drop the images.

Step 3. Select the image quality that you wish to keep and finally click “Compress” button.

The added images will successfully reduce in size and you can compare the size using Preview function.

optimize images using caesium image processor

Part 4. Compressing Large PDF Files

If you have PDF files with multiple images and a lot of content, the size of the file can increase considerably. These large files are then difficult to share, store as well as transfer. Compressing these PDF files makes it easy to transfer them across messages, webpages, mails, and other sources. There is a variety of PDF compression tools including freeware, online, and desktop software. One such decent tool that is free to use is Free PDF Compressor. The application is simple to use and support five compression settings. While using the program, you simply need to add the file, select the desired output format and finally select the type of files needed.

Steps to downsize PDF using Free PDF Compressor

Step 1. Launch and open Free PDF Compressor on your PC.

Step 2. Under PDF file tab, browse and add the PDF file that you wish to compress.

Step 3. Select Output file type and name and format.

Step 4. Under Settings tab, select the most appropriate from given 5 options. Finally, click “Compress” to start the compression process.

free pdf compressor

Part 5. Extended Knowledge on File Compression

1. What is file compression

As we have stated above, file compression in the simplest terms in the process of reducing a file size. The main compressed file can be termed as an archive which has a number of files with reduced size. The compression process results in smaller file size by replacing the character sets with small sized placeholder characters. File compression is mainly of two types- lossless and lossy. The lossless compression is the process where there is no loss of any information whereas, in lossy compression, not so important parts of the file are chopped.

2. Benefits of using file compression

There are many wonderful uses of compressing files. Read below to know more.

  • Easy file sharing and transferring
    Compressing files to smaller size makes then easy to transfer through mails and share online and through social media. There are many email clients where there is a restriction on the file size which can be transferred. Moreover, large files not only affect your bandwidth but are also difficult to manage. In all above situations compressing files proves to be the best solution.
  • Secures file sharing
    In case if you have confidential and important files you need to ensure their safety before transferring or sharing. File security is taken care while using compression software like WinZip as it encrypts a file before they are sent to mail or cloud storage. The multi part compression further adds to the security of the files.
  • Archives files and saves disk space
    Compressing files helps in archiving old files which are not in use. A large number of files on your system can run out your valuable disk and storage space. If you analyze, there is a long list of files like your favorite movie collection which is currently not in use but grabbing up a lot of your hard disk space. You can simply compress and archive these files to release some burden from the disk.
  • Save money
    It may sound absurd, but compressing files can also help you save money. A lot of files means a need for large storage space which would lead to buying a hard disk with more capacity. Buying hard disk is a pricey affair and thus if you compress files you can save storage and prevent from buying a larger sized hard disk.
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