Regardless of what you are using your computer for, whether it is for business or personal use, eventually you are going to want to archive some of the folders you have. The folders you end up archiving are likely to be those that contain information you don’t use much, but may end up wanting to access again in the future. Archiving is good for this purpose as it will free up space on your computer, but you are not going to lose the information completely or permanently delete it.

How Does Archiving Work?

The way archiving works is that essentially, the selected files will be compressed or zipped and then separated from all of the files that you are actually working on. Doing this is great when it comes to the memory on your device because you are going to free up disk space within your hard drive in the process. All of these folders will subsequently be stored in a completely separate location; however, you are still going to be able to access them, meaning if you end up needing to retrieve the information later down the line, you can.

The method of archiving and retrieving folders varies depending on the software you are using (Windows or Mac) so this article is going to go into more detail about how you carry out these processes.

Archiving Folders When Using Windows

When you are archiving folders using Windows, the method is fairly straightforward but comes with more steps than a Mac. You need to do the following:

1. Compress Your Folders First

This is reasonably easy to do but comes with a few steps. This step is necessary because if you haven’t compressed your folders then they are just going to use the same amount of disk space as they did before, which completely defeats the purpose of archiving. Windows is useful for this step as it gives you the option to compress your folder while you are also trying to archive it. Simply carry out the following:

        • Open up the folder that you intend on archiving
        • Click on the ‘Organise’ tab that you usually find on the top menu bar and then go onto ‘Properties’
        • Afterwards, click on ‘Advanced’
        • There will be a check box that says ‘folder is ready for archiving’, click on this
        • After you have checked that box you are going to need to click another box that says ‘compress contents to save disk space’. Granted, this step isn’t actually necessary if you are archiving the folder, but it’s still advised nonetheless.

2. Specify to Your Computer Exactly What Files You Want to Archive

When you end up archiving a file, you are going to be given two choices. These will affect what is actually archived when you carry out the process. The two choices you’ll be given are:

        • Apply the requested changes only to this folder; or
        • Apply the changes not only to this folder but subfolders and files.

How to Reopen Archived Files After the Fact Using Windows

So, that’s how you archive a file using Windows. Of course, one of the benefits that comes with archiving folders is that you are able to get them back if you realise you need to use them again.

If you are using Windows and want to gain access to your archived folders, all you need to do is simply double click on the archived folder. When you do this, Windows is going to bring it up into full view so that you have total access to its contents once again. Once you have done this, if you then want to archive the folder once more, you are going to have to repeat the same steps as those listed above.

Archiving Folders When Using a Mac

When you are using a Mac, the process behind archiving is slightly different (and also a bit more straightforward) although fundamentally it is essentially compressing a folder in order to free up space on your device. If you want to archive a file on a Mac, then simply:

    1. Locate the folder that you are wanting to archive and select it
    2. Scroll down the file menu of that folder before clicking on the ‘Compress folder’ option.

This is all there is to it.

How to Reopen Archived Files After the Fact Using a Mac

The process of getting your information back is the same as if you are using Windows. Essentially, all you need to do is open up the folder that you have compressed and once you do this, it will be brought back up to regular size so that you can access all of the information on it. If you do bring the folder back up to normal size and then want to archive it again afterwards, you will simply need to carry out the steps as described above.

Are There Any Potential Risks with Archiving?

There are not any adverse risks when it comes to archiving documents. If you have archived something and are having trouble finding it again then you may want to do a full search of your desktop (including your trash) as you may have moved it or accidently deleted it without realising.

Not to mention, just because you have archived or compressed something does not mean that you have backed that document up. If you would like to back up a document then you are going to need to put it on either a memory card, hard drive or store it in the cloud.

All of this information can be a bit overwhelming if you are running a business as doing that can be challenging enough, as such, if you would like any assistance with the likes of archiving or backing up data, then you should look to enlist the help of IT specialists. There are organisations out there such as F1 Support who cater to the digital needs of businesses everywhere. As such, if you would like some help in this department then do not hesitate to get in touch and they will be able to assist.