How to enable Compact OS feature in Windows?

How to enable Compact OS feature in Windows?

Compact OS allows you to install operating system files on your machine as compressed files. Compact OS is supported on both types of devices whether it is UEFI or BIOS based.


SSDs offer many advantages, most notably faster startup, but their costs per gigabyte are still much higher than their hard drive counterparts. Further, many people nowadays run Windows 10 from a small SSD or even a MicroSD, leaving them barely enough room to squeeze. For individuals who are really struggling, Compact OS can free up space in Windows 10 with no major drawbacks.

Windows 10 and 11 operating systems have features to save your disk space and optimize your image.

  • Compact OS allows you to run the operating system from compressed files.
  • Single-instancing helps you run your preloaded Windows desktop applications in compressed files.

If you’re running Compact OS on your device and when you update Windows, it can replace or remove individual files as needed to help keep your disk footprint down over time. From a technical point of view, Compact OS can be understood as a replacement for WIMBoot, which offers similar advantages. You can still use WIMBoot, but the new Compact OS mechanism is much easier to configure.

It’s worth noting that this guide focuses on a compact OS that already runs Windows 10, but you can also use this tool to deploy a compressed installation of Windows 10 to new devices. The entire interaction only takes a moment.

  1. Open command prompt as administrator.
  2. Click the Start button and type cmd.
  3. Right-click on the Command Prompt entry and select Run as administrator.

Check your compact OS status

In the command line, type:

compact /compactos:query

Press Enter to run the command.

compactos request

The system will most likely return one of three messages:

  • The system is not compact. It will remain in this state unless an administrator changes it.
  • The system is in a compact state. It will remain in this state unless an administrator changes it.
  • The system is not in a compact state, but can become compact if necessary.

os state

If you see the first message, continue to the next step. If it is in a compact state, you need to go to step 5 to disable it. If the returned message is the same as the third one, you can leave it or click/disable it based on your requirements.

Free up disk space in Windows 10 by enabling Compact OS

You can compress Windows 10 OS binaries with the following command:

compact /compactos:always

compacts always

You have to wait for the process to complete before proceeding to the final step.

Decompress Windows 10 by disabling Compact OS

You can turn off compact Windows

compact /compactos:never

. As this process may take some time to complete, you should wait for the command window before closing it.

compacts never

Check your free disk space

If you want to check how much free space you have on your C:\ drive with Compact OS and no activity, you can type dir in the same command line window.

disk space

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