February 24, 2010

Why are Some Files Colored in Windows Explorer?

The NTFS file system allows you to easily compress or encrypt entire directories or files. Compressing a file or directory allows you to save space on your hard disk, albeit, with a slight performance hit. Windows compresses the hotfix directories found in your Windows root directory.

If you want to keep people from viewing certain files on your computer, then you can encrypt those files so that only you can access them.

Feature Color
Compression Blue
Encryption Green

How to Turn Off the Coloring

If you prefer not to use colors to denote a compress or encrypted file, then you can easily turn it off. To do this, use these steps:

  1. Open Windows Explorer, and then click “Tools->Folder Options”.
  2. Click the “View” tab.
  3. Scroll down and uncheck “Show encrypted or compressed NTFS files in color
  4. Click the “Apply” button.
  5. Click the “Apply to All Folders” button.
  6. Click “OK” to close the dialog.

Now all your compress or encrypted files and directories will be displayed in their default color.

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