What Happens On Compressing A File [Explained]

Written By Steven Arends

Ever thought of compressing a file while sending it to someone? There might have been situations where you thought the file was smaller enough to fit in that particular place. Here comes the file compression.

I have been using file compression for almost a decade now. Since the day I got used to this thing, I was just blown away. There can be situations where you need to fit a file into an email, and file compression will help a lot where compressing the file can reduce the file size up to 90% without losing any data.


Stick around and keep reading the article as I will share what happens on compressing a file.

What is data compression?

Data compression is a method of storing and sharing files that take less space on storage. This enables reducing the size of any file. Data compression is also called source coding or bit-rate modification and reduction. It enables sending data over the internet quickly.

Data compression has a wide variety of users worldwide in computing services and other IT-related solutions, especially in communicating technology. Data compression works through several compressing techniques, technologies, and algorithms to reduce the file size.

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What happens when you compress a file?

File compression reduces the size of a file. This process uses clever technologies, techniques, and algorithms to extract the possibly duplicate parts and data from that file to make it lightweight up to 90% in some cases.

File compression will lead you to the stage where the duplicate and same categorized files will be merged to act as the common data between several files and folders. Compression saves a lot of space on the disk of a user. The files become less-fatty and easy to carry also. 

Now, as I am telling you about compression, you just need to know that there are two types of compressing methods of file compressing.

Lossy Compression

There are mainly two types of compression. Among them, one is Lossy Compression that I am going to discuss here.

As the name suggests, lossy compression means there will be some losses in the file quality in the compressed file. The compressing method will make the file lightweight cutting some corners in it.


For example, imagine you are compressing some audio files. The tracks have initially been at 320Kbps of bitrate. This was an excellent bitrate, undoubtedly. Now you may need to send the audio clips to someone else through email. Your email client supports up to 25MB of attachment. Now here, you will have to use compression.

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As the compression has two unique and different methods, you might have chosen the Lossy Compression as the files need to be as more petite as possible enough. Here you will get the optimal smaller audio file size.

Although the soundtracks will be losing some sort of bitrate, or you can say in easy terms, the quality of the soundtracks will not be up to the mark. Your 320Kbps audio files now may have dropped to 64Kbps instantly to reduce the file size heavily.

You get the idea of how the lossy compression works or not. And if you are heavily in need of a shorter size compression, you will need to get the lossy compression to work with.

But keep in mind that if you are an audiophile, totally aware of the sound quality, and need a high-quality sound experience, this type of compression is not recommended for you.

Not only with audio, but also the video files are vulnerable to lossy compression as the quality gets sucked. Literally sucks. The original quality remains far away from the compressed one. Be careful while compressing your stuff. 

Lossless Compression

Another type of compression is all about compressing the file without losing the original quality of itself. How that can be possible, this might be popping up on your mind as you have read the previous point on compressing with losing the quality while compressing. You might have thought the compressing does ruin the quality, and you don’t even want to disrespect the file with losing quality.


But no to worry about as there is an alternative solution to the problem called Lossless compression on which I am talking about now. Well, lossless compression is exactly what the name suggests. You will be able to compress your files without even losing any bit of quality.

Now the question can arise then how can the lossless compression method can compress the files even. The answer is very much complicated yet straightforward to do with one hand. Now that is the beauty of modern technologies. Compressing files in this method is different from the previous one.

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Lossless compression works based on removing the most unnecessary data from the file itself. The main difference between lossy and lossless compression is about removing duplicate files in lossy compression and not removing the duplicate files in lossless compression.

You need to remember that this method reduces the size, but not that much either, as it will be a lossless compression.

Reasons behind compression

Until this point, I told you about the methods of compressing files. But the main reason that will lead you towards compression is reduced file size. 

While sending an email, you will need the compressed files as the email client supports up to 25MB attachments. Whatever the upfront reason is, you just need lower-sized files, and that is why you compress the files as well.


Risks and benefits

Now the compression has its risks and benefits also. You need to get to know about that first before compressing any files.

When you are compressing a file, you will have to know which method you are compressing it. If you are compressing in Lossless, then your files are less likely to get damaged. But if you are heading towards the Lossy, even the files get reduced in size heavily, but sometimes, extracting files from this kind of compressed file can be devastating. Your file may get corrupted or missing somehow. So if you are compressing, then keep these things in your mind.

On the other hand, not always does this compression gets sucked. You can safely compress and reduce the file size with ease to carry it easily anywhere, or others can reach 2GB also. Depending on your preference and usage, you can also use compressed files to send easily on those platforms in various cases, such as it takes less space on a disk.

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What happens if we compress a video?

Compressing a video usually reduces its file size as well as the quality also decreases too. If your video was at 1080p, now after compressing, it will become 480p or even can be at 360p.

Why is compression important for video streaming?

Compressing videos while streaming requires less bandwidth. This compression makes the streaming smooth and easy to stream.

Is compressing a file good?

Yes, compressing files can reduce the file size up to 90%, and this type of compression does not really lose any primary files or folders either.

What is file compression example?

Compressed files are stored in as ZIP, RAR, etc forms and formats. 

What are file compression advantages?

You can send multiple files at once in an email thread without thinking about the limits of the email client. You and the receiver must have the decompressing app to use those files in compressed files.

What is the best file compressor?

You can WinRAR, WinZIP, 7-Zip, and many other reputed softwares to compress and decompress files.


File compression is a helpful thing to take advantage of. There are several cases where you will need a file to be smaller in size but fits all the perks. That is what compression is used in files for. I hope this article answers all your queries. Leave a comment on your thoughts in the comment section below.

About The Author
Steven Arends is a computer science graduate and tech enthusiast with over 10 years of experience in the field. He has a vast collection of computer hardware and loves exploring the latest advancements. As a contributing author to 10Scopes, Steven shares his expertise to make the world of technology more accessible and easier to understand for all readers.

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