How to Create a Password-Protected Zip File

Do you want to make sure that you secure sensitive files before you store or send them? Do you want to learn how to add a password to a zip file so only selected people can open it? In this guide, we’ll teach you how to create a password-protected zip file.

One of the biggest advantages of being in the information age is that valuable data is a click away. However, this also means that it’s the same case for hackers and your most valued data. Even if you’re passing a file offline, there is always a risk of having unwanted parties opening it.

The surest way to protect a zip file is to use password protection. Below, we’ve listed some ways on how to do it. Keep reading to learn more about password-protecting and encrypting your zip files.

Why Password Protect a Zip File?

Hackers are attacking even clouds since corporations and businesses are using them more. A Forbes report says that cloud-related attacks increased by 1350% in some industries. It’s why you always need to have an updated security system on your computer.

Remember that 86% of data breaches occur for financial gain. If you want to make sure that all your data is safe from malicious third parties, take extra precaution.

While it’s good to have firewalls, antivirus, and antimalware software, you can take it a step further. If you want to be extra sure about your data privacy and security, password-protect zip files.

Zip files reduce the size of files, making them the ideal format for sharing online. If you don’t want to send your files through the internet, manual transfer via flash drive is a good alternative. Zip files are also ideal for this, especially for large files and folders.

How to Create a Zip File With Password Using WinRAR

Now, let’s discuss how to password-protect a zip file. On the subject of dealing with zip files, WinRAR may be one of the first things that come to your mind. WinRAR is a Windows tool used for data compression, encryption, and archiving.

You can use it to open files in the RAR and ZIP formats. You can also use it to create zip files from other file formats. The first step to using WinRAR to create an encrypted zip file is to download and install it on your PC.

Once you finish installing it, right-click on the file that you want to encrypt. Next, look for the “Add to archive” option from the right-click menu and click on it. Afterward, the “Archive name and parameters” dialog will open.

Enter a name for the file you want to protect. By default, WinRAR will save the file as a RAR file, so make sure you select the ZIP format. The last step is to click on the “Set password” button and enter the password you want to use.

How to Use 7-Zip to Password Protect a Zip File

Another useful tool for compressing groups of files into archives is 7-Zip. It’s an open-source file archiving tool that you can get online for free. To start, download, install, and run 7-Zip on your computer.

Once the software opens, look for the folder that you want to password-protect. Select the folder and then click on “Add” in the upper-left corner of the window. You can also drag and drop the folder into the interface of 7-Zip.

You can also right-click the folder and select “Add to archive” under 7-Zip. Any of the two methods will open an “Add to Archive” dialog. You’ll see a ton of presets in the dialog, but you only need to focus on three.

Those three are the archive name, format, and encryption. Enter the archive name that you want to use for the file and then select the zip format. Next, head right to Encryption and enter a password.

You can use the default encryption method, ZipCrypto, or the AES-256 encryption method. AES-256 has stronger encryption, but only a few ZIP archivers support it. If you want to get an archive that’s compatible with most archivers, use ZipCrypto.

Wait for the compression to finish. Don’t forget to delete the original after the encryption. Now, you have an encrypted archive.

How to Create a Password-Protected Zip File on macOS

Notice that you can’t add password protection to folders on a Mac. However, you can create an encrypted disk image with the Disk Utility app. You’ll end up with compressed image files that use a .DMG format.

To start, create a new folder in Finder and move all the files you want to protect in it. Next, use Spotlight to look for and open the Disk Utility app. Click on “File” at the top-left corner of the screen and select New Image, then go to “Image from Folder.”

Look for the folder that you want to encrypt and click on “Choose.” Name the folder, add tags, and select read/write from the Image Format drop-down menu. Use 128-bit AES encryption.

Next, add the password and then click Choose. Save the change and wait for the Disk Utility app to complete the process.

Don’t forget to test the new image to check that the attempt was successful. Try to open and unzip files on your Mac with the password you used. Don’t forget to delete the folder and empty the Trash to make sure that the remaining copy is the encrypted one.

Folder Encryption With Windows 10 Pro

Windows 10 also has a built-in protection system. Below, we’ve got a guide on how to create a password-protected zip file with Windows 10 Pro. First, right-click the file and look for “Properties” at the bottom of the menu.

When a window pops up, click on “Advanced” under the General tab. Check the box next to “Encrypt Contents to Secure Data.” Click OK and then Apply. Wait for the encryption to finish.

Now, you can open the file only with the password you use for the account.

Protect Your Data

That ends our guide on how to create a password-protected zip file. Now that you know a variety of ways to protect your data, you can take a breath.

Don’t forget to take other steps to protect your data, other than adding password encryption. If you want to see more content that’ll help improve your data security and privacy, check out our other posts now.

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