By Yuka / Last update November 2, 2022

What’s SMB Compression?

Windows Server 2022 SMB Compression

SMB, or Server Message Block, is a protocol used to transfer files over a network. As you know, the growth of cheap storage and massive network bandwidth over the past decade has had an immediate effect: files have become larger and less efficient.

Windows Server 2022 introduces SMB compression feature, which allows administrators, users, or applications to request compressed files as they are transferred over the network. Compressed files will consume less network bandwidth and take less time to transfer, at the cost of slightly increased CPU usage during transfers.

Keep reading to know how Windows Server 2022 SMB automatically compresses files.

Request compressed files in Windows Server 2022 with SMB Compression

You can configure SMB compression in Windows Server 2022 via 2 built-in copy tools.

Using Robocopy.exe

ROBOCOPY, for "Robust File Copy", is a file replication command for Microsoft Windows. To use compression when copying files with Robocopy:

  1. Open Start, search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  2. Type the following command to copy files over the network with SMB compression in Windows Server 2022 and press Enter.

 ROBOCOPY c:\source\path\folder \\destination\path\folder /compress

Note✍: In the command, remember to specify the source and target path for the path in your environment.

Using Xcopy.exe

XCOPY is a command used for copying multiple files or entire directory trees from one directory to another and for copying files across a network. To use SMB compression when copying files with Xcopy:

  1. Open Start, search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  2. Type the following command to copy files over the network with SMB compression in Windows Server 2022 and press Enter:

  XCOPY c:\source\path\folder \\destination\path\folder /compress

Note✍: In the command, remember to specify the source  and target path for the path in your environment.

After you complete the steps, file transfer between the source and destination will be a lot faster as a result of compression, making the files smaller.

▶ What if you want to always compress?

You can configure an SMB client to always request compression.

  1. Press Win + R to open the Run box.
  2. Type Regedit and press Enter.
  3. Navigate to the following registry subkey:

 ☞ HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanWorkstation\Parameters

  1. Create a new REG_DWORD value name:
  • EnableCompressedTraffic

Create a New Value Name

  1. Set to a value of: 1
  2. Close the Regedit. This setting takes effect immediately, no reboot is required.

Create and Compress Windows Server Image Backup with the Best Software

The above two methods are a bit difficult for some users who do not understand computer technical skills. There is another method that allows you to transfer files over the network faster, and it will compress files automatically to save disk space.

AOMEI Bacupper Server provides you with 4 backup types: System Backup, Partition Backup, Disk BackupFile Backup and Cloud Backup. And 3 different compression levels: None, Normal (default) and High. The high level compresess backup image to smaller ones but takes more time. In addition to compression, it also has many other features.

It enables you schedule automatic backup in all the server systems and PCs. You can configure daily, weekly, monthly, event triggers, USB plug in etc. 
It also supports incremental or differential backup that helps save space and time.
It is able to delete old backup images automatically to free up disk space completely. Thus, you don't worry about the Windows Server backup disk full issue anymore.
✸ It allows you to transfer files to different storages, containing internal/external hard drive, NAS, network location, USB flash drives, etc. 
✸ It supports multiple OSes including Windows Server 2022, 2019, 2016, 2012, 2011, 2008, 2003 and Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP, etc.

Next, I will show you how to transfer files on Windows Server 2022 and configure the compression level of this image backup. Please download AOMEI Backupper. Install and launch it.

Download Free Trial Windows Server & PC
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(PS: The trail version is available within 30 days, to protect files continuously with least space, please upgrade server trial version. This page offers a $100 discount for server users and up to 40% off the premium version.)

Step 1. Click Backup in the left panel and select File Backup.

File Backup

Tips✍:
 If you have an AOMEI account, you can also backup files to AOMEI Cloud with the Cloud Backup feature. And it offers you 1TB of free cloud storage in 15 days.
 If you want to protect the OS of Windows Server 2022, choose System Backup.

Step 2. Click Add Folder or Add File to select the data you want to transfer.

Add File Or Folder

Tip✍: Click the funnel icon next to the selected folder, you can use filter settings to customize file inclusion or exclusion and backup files with a certain file extension.

Filter Settings

Step 3. Here, I choose to transfer Windows Server 2022 files to NAS, click on the inverted triangle icon beside the destination box and choose Select a network location -> Add Share or NAS Devices, enter the address to add it as target path, then select a folder to receive the backup.

Add Network Location

Step 4. Click Options to configure the compression level of your backup, you can keep using normal compression or change it to high compression.

 ✬ None: Data will be imaged without any compression, so the image file size will be equal to your original data.
✬ Normal: Data will be compressed to a moderate level. It is a recommended compression level. (Default)
✬ High: A much higher compression level is used during the backup. The image file will be smaller than other levels but the backup will take longer to complete.

Compression Levels

Furthermore, you can set daily, weekly, monthly backup in the Schedule Backup, incremental and differential backup or automatic backup cleanup in the Backup Scheme. Among them, the last one is the most direct way to resolve backup image and disk usage issues. 

Schedule Settings General

Step 5. After confirming all your settings, click on Start Backup.

To Sum Up

You can use 2 Windows built-in tools to help Windows Server 2022 SMB automatically compress files. But this seems a bit troublesome for some users without technical skills. Conversely, AOMEI Backupper helps you tbackup or sync files between 2 Windows Servers with ease. It doesn't require any skill to operate, and novices can get started quickly.

In addition, if you plan to upgrade your Windows Server, this software can help you protect your operating system and data. Try it at once!