How to Password Protect ZIP Files in Windows and Mac

Compressed files can cram terabytes of data into a single location and distribute it to almost anyone in a single transfer. Compressed files are commonly known as.zip files. They are one of the most convenient ways to transfer data between computers. Many people want to defend it because of its widespread use. Only those with authorization can unpack the contents of zip files using a password.

What Is A Password Protected Zip File?

The phrase “password protected” denotes that the sender has password-protected the file. You won’t be capable of accessing or view its content unless you have the correct password. File encryption is the process of encrypting files.

It “scrambles” or ciphers the data in the file, resulting in the unreadable ciphertext. You can only access the data’s content by giving the correct password. It will unscramble the data and return it to readable “plain text.”

password protect zip file

Zip format for compressing files without sacrificing data quality. The file format is ideal for sending several files or folders. It allows you to compress everything into a single file, resulting in a smaller file size.

A password-protected zip file has been encrypted with file encryption. It requires the correct password to unlock and gain access.

Encryption Method to make password-protected ZIP file in Windows 10

  • Password Protect ZIP Files (Windows System Tools)
  • Password Protecting ZIP Files with Software
  • Winrar
  • WinZip
  • 7-Zip
  • Encrypting File Folders (macOS Standard Tools)
  • How To Open A Password-protected Zip File

1. Password Protect ZIP Files (Windows System Tools)

Microsoft Windows 10 includes a built-in tool for password-protecting files and folders. Windows password protection may also safeguard ZIP files from illegal access. 

You can still open the file without being prompted for a password. The content of a file can also be viewed and processed without making any changes. With a key issued by Windows and stored in your user account, the file is password secured.

While you are attached to your user account, you have access to the file. Other users, on the other hand, will be prohibited access. However, it only works as a password-protected ZIP file in a few applications. Sending password-protected ZIP files is not supported by this capability.

Follow these steps to enable password security for your files:

  • Click on the ZIP file you want to password secure with the right mouse button.
  • To open the file properties, select the “Properties” option from the shortcut menu.
folder properties
  • To launch the “Advanced Attribute” dialogue window, click “Advanced” under the “General” tab.
attributes advanced
  • Choose the check box near “Encrypt contents to secure data” in the “Advanced Attributes” dialogue window.
Encrypt contents to secure data
  • Click “OK” to close the “Advanced Attributes” dialogue window and “OK” or “Apply” to save the changes to the file properties.
  • A padlock has been added to the file icon. It means that the file in question is password-protected. 

If the option is disabled by default, follow these steps.

  • Press Windows + R, then type services.msc into the search box.
services.msc
  • Double-click Encrypting File System (EFS) and set the Startup type to Automatic under General.
Encrypting File System (EFS)
Automatic under General.
  • Apply and then OK.
  • Restart your computer.

2. Password Protecting ZIP Files with Software

A. WinRAR

WinRAR is a program that lets you generate and manage a new zip file. Also, it helps to protect them. With the free trial, you can control your compressed files forever. Regular upgrades ensure that your experience is always the finest.

  • Download or buy WinRAR. After you’ve installed WinRAR, follow the steps below to learn how to password-protect a.zip file.
  • WinRAR can be used to open the.zip file.
  • In the corner (top-left) of the WinRAR window, select Tools.
  • Convert Archives is the option to choose. In WinRAR, the Alt + Q keyboard shortcut can be used to access this feature quickly.
Convert Archives
  • On your screen, a popup window will appear. Select Compression from the drop-down menu.
Compression
  • Set a password by clicking the Set password button.
Set a password
  • Type the chosen password in the Enter Password area, then re-enter it in the Re-enter password verification field.
Type the chosen password
  • Click the OK button. “Are you want to encrypt converted archives?” will appear in a new window. Allow WinRAR to process the request by clicking Yes.
  • Close WinRAR when it has applied the password. You can now send the.zip file to anyone in a secure manner.

B. WinZip

WinZip, a compression software, offers a more natural and faster manner. It’s the most used way to safeguard zip files while also lowering their size.

Regardless of whose operating system you use, you can safely follow the procedures below.

Create a Zip file

  • To do so, open a folder window.
  • Locate the files and folders you need to compress and highlight (select) them.
  • In the highlighted area, right-click.
  • Choose one from the WinZip submenu of the context menu that appears.
    • Add to archive: To customize the name of your Zip file, the compression type, encryption, and conversion choices.
Add to archive
  • Zip (x): Create a Zip file with the default compression method and the name specified in the menu. This method does not allow you to select any further options.
  • It’s time to make the Zip file.

Password-protected Zip file.

  • To password-protect a WinZip archive, follow these steps:
  • Open WinZip and go to tools after selecting the file you need to encrypt. 
  • Select Encrypt from the drop-down menu.
Select Encrypt
  • WinZip will prompt you for a password before encrypting all of the files in the Zip file. You may not be able to modify the encryption strength depending on the technique you employ.
encryption strength
  • Suppose a Zip file has already been encrypted. It will be decrypted before being re-encrypted with the password and encryption technique you provide.

C. 7-Zip

7-Zip is a program that I suggest to protect archive format. It’s simple to use and learn. Even beginners may benefit from the simplicity of.zip compressed folder.

  • Get 7-Zip for free or buy it. After you’ve installed 7-Zip, follow the steps below to learn how to password-protect a.zip file.
  • Choose the file(s) you’d like to include in your password-protected.zip bundle.
  • Right-click on your mouse, then move the pointer over the 7-Zip choice. It will bring up a new context menu.
  • Select the option to add to the archive.
  • Enter and reenter a password in the Encryption section by filling in the slots. You can choose an encryption mechanism from the drop-down menu if desired.
  • To create a password-protected.zip archive, click OK.

3. Encrypting File Folders (macOS Standard Tools)

The Apple operating system macOS does not have any native facilities for password-protecting ZIP files. You can use picture files to encrypt the folders where ZIP files are stored. To do so, take the following steps:

  • In Finder, macOS’ default file manager, make a new folder.
  • Put all of the ZIP files you want to protect in the folder you just made.
  • The macOS hard drive service software should now be open. It can be done via a Spotlight search.
  • Choose “Image from Folder” under “New Image” from the “File” menu bar above.
  • Choose the folder holding the files you want to secure from the drop-down menu and click “Open.”
  • Give the image a title and save it somewhere.
  • Select the encryption method.
  • Enter a password and then click “Choose” to confirm your selection.
  • Ensure the image format is selected to “Compressed” and click “Save” to finish the procedure.
  • The encrypted image is saved in the chosen place as a.dmg file.
  • To access the password-protected file, select the image by double-clicking on it and inputting your password.
  • If necessary, the password for opening the image file can be saved in the user account’s keyring.
  • If you are no longer utilizing the protected files, eject the image using Finder. Otherwise, they will be accessible without requiring a password.

How To Open A Password Protect Zip File?

You can use ZIP encryption, which Windows support, to password-protect ZIP files. Without entering the password, you can see the names of the files found inside the archive.

  • To open a password-protected ZIP file in _File Explorer, double-click (or double-tap) on it.
  • However, unless you give the correct password, you will be unable to open the files included within the ZIP file.
  • When you double-click or double-tap a file contained within the password-protected ZIP file. File Explorer will prompt you for the password. Press OK after you’ve typed it.
  • You can see the contents of the file you wish to open if you enter the correct password.

Conclusion

Zip Folder is a great way to keep your data safe. Password-protecting exceedingly intimate photographs, information, or data. Just make sure your password is kept safe and secure. 

FAQs

How do I protect a zip file from an email?

To open the Zipped Folder Manager, double-click the zipped folder with your left mouse button. Select Add a Password from the File menu. Type your password in the Add Password Box. In the Confirm Password box, type the same password again.

Can Windows 10 open password-protected zip?

Password-protected ZIP files can be opened. It needs Windows’ integrated file compression and decompression utility. You may encounter problems when opening the ZIP files or extracting them to a new location on your computer.

Why can’t I password protect a folder?

Select Properties by right-clicking (or tapping and holding) a file or folder. Select the Encrypt contents to safeguard the data check box from the Advanced menu. To close the Advanced Attributes window, select OK, then Apply, then OK.

Can you password protect a zip file?

In the Actions panel, click the Encrypt toggle. To set the encryption level, click the Options button in the Actions window if you haven’t already. When the Encrypt dialogue appears, type a password. Save the Zip file to your computer.