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Sounds like you're sorted, but just in case you're curious....

Having sync enabled but with no sync server specified may actually have been the root of your problem. When syncing, compression happens as part of the process. If you're not syncing anywhere, the app needs to do it periodically. If the app thinks you're syncing when you're actually not, compression might never happen.

It may not have appeared to do anything right away, to disable syncing, but it probably scheduled a compression to happen soon.