[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ M*cro$oft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer]

XP has a bad habit of keeping dynamic link libraries that are no longer in use resident in memory. Not only do the DLLs use up precious memory space, but they also tend to cause stability problems in some systems. To force XP to unload any DLLs in memory when the application that called them is no longer in memory, browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ M*cro$oft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer and find the DWORD “AlwaysUnloadDLL”. You may need to create this key. Set the value to 1 to force the operating system to unload DLLs.

68)Reboot without rebooting

Have you ever been using your computer and your system sudddenly stops responding in ways like it if you try to open something it just hangs? One time I tried deleting a folder and it said it was in use, but it really wasn’t. If this ever happens to you, you can follow these simple steps to ‘reboot’ your computer without ‘rebooting’ it.

Press CRTL + ALT + DEL
Goto the ‘processes’ tab and click explorer.exe once and then click ‘end process’.
Now, click File > New Task and type explorer.exe
Everything should be fine now! If the problem is major, I would recomend actually shutting down then starting up again.

69)Kill Chrashed Apps Quicker
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
Add or Edit Sring = HungAppTimeout, Value = 1000-5000
Cuts time for Windows to recongize a crashed application and allow you to kill it; default is 5000(for 5 seconds)

70)Remove Compression Option In Disk Cleanup
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\M*cro$oft\Windows\Curr entVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Compress old files
Delete the Default Value Key and the next time you start Disk Cleanup, it will skip the compression analyisis

71)Create a Shortcut to Lock Your Computer
Leaving your computer in a hurry but you don’t want to log off? You can double-click a shortcut on your desktop to quickly lock the keyboard and display without using CTRL+ALT+DEL or a screensaver.

To create a shortcut on your desktop to lock your computer:

Right-click the desktop.
Point to New, and then click Shortcut.

The Create Shortcut Wizard opens. In the text box, type the following:
rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation

Click Next.
Enter a name for the shortcut. You can call it “Lock Workstation” or choose any name you like.
Click Finish.
You can also change the shortcut’s icon
You could also give it a shortcut keystroke such CTRL+ALT+L. This would save you only one keystroke from the normal command, but it could be more convenient.

72)Instantly Activate a Screensaver
Turn on a screensaver without having to wait by adding a shortcut to your desktop:

Click the Start button, and then click Search.
In the Search Companion window, click All file types.

In the file name box, type *.scr
In the Look in box, choose Local Hard Drives (C or the drive where you have system files stored on your computer.
Click Search.
You will see a list of screensavers in the results. Pick a screensaver you want. You can preview it by double-clicking it.
Right click on the file, choose Send To, and then click Desktop (create shortcut).
To activate the screensaver, double-click the icon on your desktop

73)Software not installing?
If you have a piece of software that refuses to install because it says that you are not running Windows 2000 (such as the Win2K drivers for a Mustek scanner!!) you can simply edit HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/M*cro$oft/Windows NT/CurrentVersion/ProductName to say M*cro$oft Windows 2000 instead of XP and it will install. You may also have to edit the version number or build number, depending on how hard the program tries to verify that you are installing on the correct OS. I had to do this for my Mustek 600 CP scanner (compatibility mode didn”t help!!!) and it worked great, so I now have my scanner working with XP (and a tech at Mustek can now eat his words).

BTW, don”t forget to restore any changes you make after you get your software installed. You do this at your own risk.

74)Stop Windows Messenger from Auto-Starting
If you’re not a big fan of Windows Messenger simply delete the following Registry Key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\M*cro$oft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\Run\MSMSGS

75)Add/Remove optional features of Windows XP
To dramatically expand the list of applications you can remove from Windows XP after installation, navigate to C:\WINDOWS\inf (substituting the correct drive letter for your version of Windows) and open the sysoc.inf file. Under Windows XP Professional Edition RC1, this file will resemble the following by default:

[Version] Signature = “$Windows NT$”

IndexSrv_System = setupqry.dll,IndexSrv,setupqry.inf,,7
TerminalServer=TsOc.dll, HydraOc, TsOc.inf,hide,2
fp_extensions=fp40ext.dll,FrontPage4Extensions,fp4 0ext.inf,,7


The entries that include the text hide or HIDE will not show up in Add/Remove Windows Components by default. To fix this, do a global search and replace for ,hide and change each instance of this to , (a comma). Then, save the file, relaunch Add/Remove Windows Components, and tweak the installed applications to your heart’s content.
Cool, eh? There are even more new options now under “Accessories and Utilities” too.

76)Create a Hidden User Account
This tweak allows an account that is normally displayed on the Welcome screen to be hidden from view. To log on using the account it’s necessary to use the Log On To Windows dialog box similar to the one in Windows 2000 i.e. press CTRL+ALT+DEL twice.

[Start] [Run] [Regedit]

Cu rrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList

Modify/Create DWORD Value of Data type REG_DWORD Named [Type Name of Account to be Hidden]
Setting for Value Data: [0 = Account is Hidden / 1 = Enabled]

Exit Registry / Reboot
While the account is hidden on the Welcome screen, note that the account profile will be visible in C:\Documents and Settings or wherever user profiles are stored as well as in Local Users and Groups.

77)QoS (Quality Of Service) Bandwidth Reserve Setting
By default, Windows XP reserves 20% of the connection bandwidth for QoS traffic. This tweak allows the setting to be altered to a different percentage of connection bandwidth. If the system uses more than a single adapter for network connections, each adapter may be set individually by navigating to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Servic es\Psched\Parameters\Adapters\{Adpater-ID} rather than HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\M*cro$oft\Win dows\Psched
[Start] [Run] [Regedit]
Go to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\M*cro$oft\Win dows\Psched

Modify/Create DWORD Value of Data type REG_DWORD Named [NonBestEffortLimit]
Setting for Value Data: [Enter as a Percentage / Default Value = 20]

Exit Registry / Reboot

78)Remove Links Folder in Favorites
The Links folder is part of Favorites whether it’s being accessed through Internet Explorer or the Favorites menu in the Start Menu. This tweak will remove it from those locations.

[Start] [Run] [Regedit]
Go to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\M*cro$oft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar

Modify/Create String Value of Data type REG_SZ Named [LinksFolderName]
Value Data: [Set the String Value to a blank string]

Open Internet Explorer and manually delete the Links folder from Favorites Menu.
The Links folder will not be recreated.

Exit Registry / Reboot

79)Enable/Disable Active Window Tracking to Mouse Movements
When the mouse is moved over an open window it automatically sets the focus to that particular window. It does not bring the window to the foreground of the open windows.

[Start] [Run] [Regedit]
Go to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Mouse

Modify/Create DWORD Value of Data type REG_DWORD Named [ActiveWindowTracking]
Setting for Value Data: [0 = ActiveWindowTracking Disabled / 1 = ActiveWindowTracking Enabled]

Exit Registry / Reboot

80)Auto Reboot on System Crash
By default, when the Windows XP operating system crashes an automatic reboot of the system occurs. While this behavior can be convenient, the downside is the error message accompanying the crash is not visible. Often times this information can be a great help in troubleshooting the source of the crash. This behavior can be modified in two ways; via the registry or using the System Properties property sheet.

[Start] [Run] [Regedit]
Registry Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\CrashControl

Modify/Create DWORD Value of Data type REG_DWORD Named [AutoReboot]
Setting for Value Data: [0 = AutoReboot Disabled / 1 = AutoReboot Enabled]

Exit Registry / Reboot
Open System Properties via Start > Control Panel > Performance and Maintenance > System
[System Properties may also be opened using the WinKey+Pause key combination]
Select the Advanced tab and then click Settings in the Startup and Recovery section
In System Failure section, clear the checkbox next to Automatically Restart
Click OK and OK to exit.

81)Uninstall Programs Manually
Just because Windows XP has the Add/Remove Programs feature it doesn’t mean your application will appear in the list. Furthermore, even if it does appear, it’s no guarantee that the uninstall feature will work. When you run across one of these situations the items listed below will help in getting rid of the application. Be aware that these steps may not remove everything associated with the application and can impact other applications on the computer. Have a backup or restore point and use caution.

Find the directory for the application and delete all the files in the directory. Delete the directory.
Open regedit and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE and find the folder for the application. Delete the folder.
Open regedit and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE and find the folder for the application. Delete the folder.
To remove the application entry from Add/Remove Programs (if present) open regedit and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\M*cro$oft\Windows\Curr entVersion\Uninstall and find the folder for the application. Delete the folder.
Some applications have Services attached to them. If this is the case, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Servic es, locate and delete the service.
In Windows Explorer, navigate to the individual user settings and delete program references. Common places to check would be:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs and delete relevant entries.
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup and delete relevant entries.
C:\Documents and Settings\%YourUserID%\Start Menu\Programs and delete relevant entries.
[Do this for each User ID listed]
C:\Documents and Settings\%YourUserID%\Start Menu\Programs\Startup and delete relevant entries.
[Do this for each User ID listed]
If no entries were found in the previous step and the application launches automatically, navigate to
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\M*cro$oft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows
and delete the entry.

82)Create a right-click command prompt option
You can right-click a folder to get a list of actions you can apply to it. Here?s a way to create an action on that right-click menu that opens a command prompt window with that folder as the current directory. In a text editor such as Notepad, type the following exactly:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell\Cmd Here]
@=?Command &Prompt Here?
[HKEY_CLASSES-ROOT\Folder\shell\Cmd Here\command]
@=?cmd.exe /k pushd %L?
Save the file with any name you want, with a .reg extension. Then double-click the saved file and choose Yes to merge the file?s information into the Registry. You can delete the file. Right-click any folder and you?ll see the CommandPrompt Here option.

83)Erase the swap file at shutdown
You might be concerned about someone browsing your users? swap files and gathering up little bits of their sensitive data. A remote possibility, to be sure, but it could happen. For that extra measure of security, go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Session Manager\Memory Management
Set the ClearPageFileAtShutdown DWORD to 1. This will make shutdowns take longer, because it overwrites everything in the swap file with zeroes. Don?t turn this feature on unless you have a serious security threat.

84)Change the desktop cleanup frequency
Through Display Properties (Desktop tab, Customize Desktop button, General tab), you can turn on and off a feature that runs the Desktop Cleanup Wizard every 60 days. You don?t have an option to set a different interval there, but you can change the interval in the Registry. To do so, go to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\M*cro$oft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\Explorer\Desktop\CleanupWiz
Change the Days Between Clean Up Value to some other number of days (in decimal format).

85)Sort menus alphabetically
When you install a new program for a user, it doesn?t find its place in the alphabetical Start menu hierarchy right away; it hangs out at the bottom for a little while. If your users employ the Classic Start menu, they can re-alphabetize it manually by right-clicking the taskbar and choosing Properties, clicking the Customize button next to the Classic Start Menu, and clicking the Sort button. With the Windows XP style of Start menu, however, you don?t have an equivalent button. To make Windows always alphabetize the list, remove the permissions from the Registry key that controls the sort order for the Start menu. To do so, go to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\M*cro$oft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\Explorer\MenuOrder
Choose Edit | Permissions and click the Advanced button. Deselect the Inherit From Parent The Permission Entries That Apply To Child Objects check box and then click Copy when the Security dialog box pops up. Click OK and clear the Full Control entry for your account and all security groups you are a member of. Leave only Read permission.

86)Prevent programs from loading at startup
Remember back in the good old days of Windows 3.1 when you could open up the Win.ini file in a text editor and remove an item from the RUN= line to disable it from running at startup? With Windows 9x and above, the Win.ini file became less useful because 32-bit programs were set to run at startup from within the Registry instead.

One way to selectively disable programs from loading at startup is to use MSCONFIG (from the Run command) to deselect certain items. Another way to remove them is to edit the Registry directly. Consider the following locations:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\M*cro$oft\Windows\Curr entVersion\Run
for applications that start up for all users
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\M*cro$oft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\Run
for applications that start up when the current user logs on
Remove the entry for a program by right-clicking it and selecting Delete to prevent it from loading.

87)Change categories in the Control Panel
Windows XP?s Control Panel is broken down by category in the default Category view, but the group to which an item belongs is not always obvious. If you disagree with M*cro$oft?s assignments, you can switch them around. To assign a different category to an item, go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\M*cro$oft\Windows\Curr entVersion\Control Panel\Extended Properties\
{305CA226-D286-468e-B848-2B2E8E697B74} 2

Find the item you want to change and double-click it to bring up a dialog box. Change the item?s DWORD value to your preference. Use the Table given below as a guide (shown with decimal numbers, which is the way you should enter them).
DWORD value to set
Other Control Panel Options 0
Appearance and Themes 1
Printers and Other Hardware 2
Network and Internet Connections 3
Sounds, Speed, and Audio Devices 4
Performance and Maintenance 5
Date, Time, Language, and Regional Options 6
Accessibility Options 7
Add or Remove Programs 8
User Accounts 9

88)Grouping multiple open windows
Windows XP will group multiple open windows (IE windows for example) into one group on the task bar to keep the taskbar clear. This can be annoying at times – especially when comparing different web pages because you have to go back to the task bar, click on the group and then click on the page you want and then you only get one page because you have to click on each one separately. I think the default for this is 8 windows – any combination of apps or utilities open.

You can modify this behavior by adding this registry key at:
HKEY_CURRRENT_USER\Software\M*cro$oft\Windows\Curr entVersion\Explorer\Advanced\
add a Dword value of type REG_DWORD named [TaskbarGroupSize]
modify “TaskbarGroupSize” entry to be the number of windows you want open before XP starts to group them on the task bar.
A value of 2 will cause the Taskbar buttons to always group
Another tweak is to disable or enable recent documents history. This can be done at:
HKEY_CURRRENT_USER\Software\M*cro$oft\Windows\Curr entVersion\Policies\Explorer\
this key should already be present – if it isn’t you’ll need to add it:
Add a Binary value of type REG_BINARY named [NoRecentDocsHistory]
modify it so that value reads 01 00 00 00

89)Disable Ballon Tips
To disable Ballon tips in Windows XP do this registry tweak

Go to : HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\M*cro$oft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\Explorer\Advanced
Create a new DWORD value, name it EnableBalloonTips, and set it equal to 0. If EnableBalloonTips is already there and equal to 1, set it equal to 0. Quit the registry editor, log off, and log back on. Voila! Your computer will stop talking down to you.

90)Change the CHKDSK countdown time
When you schedule CHKDSK to run at the next boot, the system will prompt you to press a key to cancel the operation while CHKDSK is running. The system will display a countdown during that cancel period. The default value is 10 seconds. To Change this open up Regedit and locate:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Session Manager\AutoChkTimeOut
You can change the value to anything from zero to 259,200 seconds (3 days). With a timeout of zero, there is no countdown and you cannot cancel the operation

91)Clear the Page File (virtual memory) when shutting down XP
As mentioned above, the page file is an area of your hard disk that Windows uses as extra memory space to store files and data that are currently being used. Of course, since Hard drives are magnetic storage devices, and not dynamic like RAM, the data stored in the page file stays there until it is cleared or over-written.
This data may possibly contain unencrypted passwords or other sensitive information since many third party programs do not bother to encrypt data that is being passed to the memory, even though it may end up on the page file. A simple registry change can force Windows XP to clear the page file each time it shuts down. Note that enabling this will increase the time it takes your system to shutdown.
Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Session 
Manager\Memory Management
Modify the ClearPageFileAtShutdown value to ’1′
For customization

92)Stop the ‘last access update’ from taking up system resources
Every time a directory on an NTFS drive is accessed by Windows XP, it updates that directory and every subdirectory with a time stamp to indicate the date of access. In folders with a lot of subdirectories, this can add considerable overhead to whatever your PC happens to be doing. This process can be disabled through the registry:
Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINES\System\CurrentControlSet\Contr ol\FileSystem.
Create a new DWORD value called ‘NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate’ and set the value to ’1′

93)Keep Windows operating data in main memory
Windows XP contains several tweakable memory settings in the registry, one of which is the DisablePagingExecutive registry key. This controls whether the operating system will transfer its essential driver and kernel files to the ‘virtual memory’ (the page file on the hard disk). It defaults to allowing this.
Obviously, transferring portions of the system to hard drive memory can considerably slow things down, and it appears that Windows XP does this periodically, whether or not the system is actually low on physical memory (RAM). If you have 256MB of system memory or more, try this registry tweak to force Windows to keep its operating data in main memory:

Open Regedit.
Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Se ssion Manager\Memory Management.
Select the DisablePagingExecutive value to ’1′

94)Set power options
You can easily edit Windows XP’s power options to affect such things as how long it takes the monitor to turn off (if ever) when the machine is idle, and whether your Hard drives will spin down after a certain period of idle time to save energy and wear and tear. To edit XP’s power options:

Go to ‘start\control panel\power options.’
From here you can choose one of several set power schemes, or change the settings on the three main power saving options, turn off monitor, turn off hard disks and system standby.

95)Set monitor refresh rate
CRT, or Cathode Ray Tube monitors, though differing from televisions in several respects, share one important characteristic. Like TVs, the picture you see is constantly being redrawn on the screen. This refreshing action is the cause of the almost imperceptible flicker seen in the typical computer monitor image.

Now, the slower the monitor refreshes itself, the more perceptible this flicker is, and the more perceptible the flickering is, the more likely you are to suffer from eyestrain, headaches and general fatigue as a result of it. Windows XP defaults to a refresh rate of just 60Hz, meaning that the screen redraws itself 60 times a second. This is pretty much the lowest acceptable rate, and higher refresh settings can have a considerable positive effect on computer experience.
Let’s look at how to change them.
Note that refresh settings are limited to a certain degree by the capabilities of your video card, and to a much greater degree by the capabilities of your monitor.
Every monitor has a maximum refresh rate it is capable of displaying at a given resolution (for example, a typical 17-inch monitor of a few years ago will happily crank out 85Hz or more at a resolution of 800×600, but may only be capable of 60Hz at 1600×1200).
If this refresh rate is exceeded, the image will be distorted and unusable.
Older CRT monitors, especially 15-inch or smaller ones, tend not to be capable of a refresh rate much over 60Hz, especially at resolutions greater than 640X480. Also, setting the refresh rate does not have the same effect on LCD or flat panel monitors, as their screens are not redrawn in the same way.
To change your monitor refresh rate: Right click on an empty space on your desktop (no icons) and select ‘properties.’ Click the ‘settings’ tab and choose the ‘advanced’ button. Now choose the ‘adaptor’ tab and click the ‘show all modes’ button.
This presents you with a list of resolution, colour and refresh rate options that your video card\monitor combination is capable of displaying. You can experiment with these settings by using the ‘apply’ button. Note that a refresh rate of 75Hz or above is generally recommended, (keep in mind most monitors do not support settings higher than 85Hz).
After you set the refresh rate, you may feel a little uncomfortable for a short while as your eyes adjust, but rest assured you will grow to appreciate the difference in ease of viewing.

96)Giving a password to the ‘Guest’ user account
Windows XP contains a guest account (turned off by default in XP Pro) that has the rather unique distinction of not having a password. Not only does the account not have a password, you can’t even set one. As you can see, if this account is active, it presents a slight security risk. Fortunately, there is an easy way to assign a password to the guest account:

To apply a Password to the guest account:
Using an account with administrative privileges, go to the command prompt (‘start\run’ then type ‘cmd’) and enter the following command:
‘Net user guest password’
Now go to ‘start\control panel\user accounts’ and activate the guest account if it is not already. You will be able to assign and change its password.

97)Creating a desktop shortcut for locking your computer
If you use your computer in an area where others may have access to it, and there are things on your system you would rather have kept confidential, locking your desktop when you leave the computer is an essential task. Here’s a recipe for a desktop shortcut that will lock your computer in two easy clicks:

Right click on an empty area of the desktop and choose ‘new’ then ‘shortcut.’ The create shortcut wizard will open; in the first text box, type ‘%windir%\System32\rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation’ and then give your shortcut an appropriate name on the next page, and hit ‘finish.’
You will notice that the shortcut you created has a blank icon. To select a more appropriate one, right click on the shortcut and hit ‘properties.’ In the ‘shortcut’ tab, click the ‘change icon’ button.
In the ‘look for icons in this file’ box, type ‘%SystemRoot%\system32\SHELL32.dll’ then click ‘ok’ to see a range of icons for your new shortcut. Choose an appropriate icon. Your desktop locking shortcut is now ready for use. Test it out.

98)Add, Clear or remove the ‘my recent documents’ menu
In Windows XP Professional, the Start menu contains a ‘My Recent Documents’ folder that holds 15 of your most recently accessed documents. If, for privacy reasons, you would like to remove this feature, or at least clear it, read on:

Right-click the start button, select ‘properties’ then ‘customize.’ Select the ‘advanced’ tab. At the bottom, in the ‘recent documents’ section, you have the options to clear the list, or remove it completely.
If you are using Windows XP Home and you would like to have the ‘my recent documents’ folder available to you: Right-click the start button, select ‘properties’ then ‘customize.’ Select the ‘advanced’ tab. Now place a checkmark in the ‘list my most recently opened documents’ check box.

99)Disable simple file sharing (XP Professional only)
Windows XP uses a new streamlined method of sharing files, called ‘simple file sharing,’ by default. This method is similar to the system used with Windows 9x/ME in that it does not check user credentials before allowing access to the share. The only option you can specify is whether remote users have the ability to change the share by adding editing or deleting files.

If you desire more security for your shares, you can revert to the higher security method of sharing files used in Windows 2000. This allows you to specify whether individual users on your system are allowed to access each share, and whether they can change the shared data or only read and copy it.
To implement this: Go to ‘my computer.’ Select ‘tools’ from the menu and click ‘folder options.’ Choose the ‘view’ tab. Find and uncheck the ‘use simple file sharing’ box. Click ‘ok’.

100)’Rolling back’ a faulty device driver
Windows XP has the ability to store previous versions of the device driver for certain hardware devices like video cards and sound cards. This enables you to ‘roll back’ and replace a driver that is having problems with a proven older version. Obviously, this only works if you have previously updated that device with a new driver.

To ‘roll back’ a driver: Right click ‘my computer’ and select properties, then the ‘hardware tab’ then the ‘device manager’ button. Locate and highlight the hardware device you wish to roll back the drivers on. Press the ‘properties’ button.

101)Compressing files and folders to save space
Windows XP includes a built in compression utility which can save you some valuable space on your hard disk by archiving little used files. Working similarly to compression programs such as PKZIP and WINRAR, the built in software reduces the space your files take up on the disk at the penalty of increased disk access time for the compressed files in question. There are several ways of compressing data on your system:

If you have a pre-existing folder and would like to compress everything in it, right click on the folder, select ‘properties’ then the ‘advanced’ button at the bottom. In the ‘compress or encrypt attributes’ section, check the ‘compress contents to save disk space’ option.
If you wish to create a compressed folder for a file or folder separate from the one it is in now, right click on the item you wish to compress and choose ‘send to\compressed (zipped) folder.’ This will create a new compressed folder in the same location as the original file or folder.

That's It for this part.. Read another one for more tweaks.. :)