Microsoft small business knowledge base

Article ID: 301325 - Last Review: May 14, 2009 - Revision: 3.0

This article was previously published under Q301325


When you create a compressed folder (ZIP file) that is larger than 2 gigabytes (GB), the file may no longer be readable, and may become corrupted. You do not receive any error message when you create the file, but you cannot read the file after you create it.

Note In Windows Vista and in Windows Server 2008, compressed folders can be larger than 2 GB. The folders are compressed by the DEFLATE64 algorithm. However, the DEFLATE64 algorithm is not backward compatible with earlier versions of Microsoft Windows.


This issue can occur because the size limit for compressed folders is approximately 2 GB.


To work around this issue, make sure that you limit the size of a compressed folder to 2 GB or less when you create a compressed folder.


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.To overcome this potential issue, a new function was introduced in 2003 Service Pack 1 that calculates the total size of all files before compression. If the combined file size prior to compression is greater than 2GB, Windows returns the error:
The compression cannot be performed because the size of resulting compressed folder is too large.

  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard x64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
kbenv kbprb KB301325
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