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Q.  I'm using XP Pro (SP2). I've noticed that all of a sudden, and only recently too, the names of many of my files appear in blue text when I view them in Windows Explorer. Not all files are affected, and it seems that ANY file type can be affected. All the files open as normal and behave as normal so this blue text doesn't seem to have affected the file in any other ways, so it's more of a mystery than a problem (and it's beginning to annoy me now because I can't figure out what caused it). Any ideas about what may have caused this and how I can fix it?

A.  The files changed color because they were compressed to save disk space.  Files that are not used often are sometimes compressed automatically by Windows.  You can also opt to have any file/directory compressed whenever you want.  Accessing compressed files and directories may take a little longer than uncompressed files, but not much longer.  Also, don't go compressing everything to get more disk space because some system files and applications don't react well to being compressed.

Anyway, there are two ways to get rid of the blue text.  If you do not want the files/directories to be compressed, you can uncompress them by using the following steps:

1.  Right-click on the file/directory and select the "Properties" option.

2.  Click on the "Advanced" button.

3.  Uncheck the "Compress contents to save disk space" option.

4.  Click the "OK" button.

5.  Click the "Apply" button, followed by the "OK" button.

If you want to manually compress a file, you can use the same steps, just check (instead of uncheck) the option in step 3.

If you want the files to stay compressed, but you do not want the text to change color, then use the following steps:

1.  Open Windows Explorer.

2.  Select the "Folder Options..." option from the "Tools" menu.

3.  Click on the "View" tab.

4.  Scroll down the list of Advanced Settings.

5.  Uncheck the "Show encrypted or compressed NTFS files in color" option.

6.  Click the "Apply" button, followed by the "OK" button.

Let me know if you need anything else.

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