How to Password Protect a ZIP File

Want to send lots of private pictures or files over the internet? Can't email several files all at once? The best way to do it is to create a Zip file. Here is a short guide on creating password-protected Zip files using 7-Zip, WinRAR, and WinZip.

Although creating password-protected Zip files can be a great option to keep your data hidden from stalkers or hackers, consider using a VPN to remain invisible on the internet and safely share files or pictures with anyone.

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how to password protect a zip file

Wondering how to protect your ZIP files by using passwords or encryption? You have come to the right place. In this detailed guide, you will learn:

What are Zip files and why should we encrypt them?

Best Answer: Zip files can easily organize your data into a single file. This means you can store tens and hundreds of files at a single location only by creating a Zip file. Plus, you can share Zip files with your friends or coworkers via email, Skype, WhatsApp, or USB drive.

But you must know one thing about Zip files: They are not secure. Period! Collecting all files or items or images and putting them in a single Zip file doesn’t make them secure. The benefit to Zip files is that you are freeing up some space on your computer only.

If you are using WinRAR, WinZip, or 7-Zip, then you can use the default encryption option to make the file secure. Although the built-in encryption protocols are a bit weak, you must always encrypt files while creating a Zip folder.

The best way is to password-protect Zip files and easily hide your personal files from everyone on the internet. In this case, you can smartly protect your private data even if someone stole the Zip files online or using a USB drive.

Plus, technology geeks like us know how risky it is to email files to each other. That’s why we put a password on each Zip file before sharing it with our coworkers via email, Slack, or Skype.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Password Protect a Zip file

Summary: We are going to show you how to create a zip file and make it password-protected for extra security. The following steps are easy and you can make a zip file within a minute using our detailed guide.

On 7-Zip:

  1. Download 7-Zip from here.
  2. After launching 7-Zip, you will see several folders below.
  3. launch 7 ZIp
  4. Browse for the folder to create a Zip file. I picked “My Pictures.”
  5. browse folder to protect
  6. Click on the folder and press the “Add” button.
  7. add folder or file
  8. A message will prompt you asking about the destination of your zipped file. Also, you can use encryption and set a password for this file.
  9. set your password for the file
  10. Once you have entered the password, click on OK and you are done.
  11. click on ok

Now you can see the .7z file extension that is password protected.

On WinRAR:

  1. Download WinRAR from here and launch the app.
  2. Choose any file from your computer.
  3. choose file
  4. Right-click on the file and choose “Add to archive…”
  5. add to archive
  6. Click on “Set password” option.
  7. click set password
  8. Enter your new password.
  9. enter password
  10. Once you have entered the password, click on OK.
  11. click on ok
  12. Now you can see a zip file besides the original folder.
  13. find your protected zip file
  14. Click on the newly created zip file.
  15. find newly created
  16. Enter the password to access the file.
  17. put password to access

On WinZip:

  1. Download WinZip from here.
  2. Open WinZip from the search bar.
  3. Choose the Create/Share option from the menu.
  4. choose create/share option
  5. The folders will appear on the left side. Browse and search for the folder you wish to create a zip file.
  6. browse for the file
  7. I choose “Feedback” (you can pick any folder that you like.)
  8. pick file of your choice
  9. Click on the zip button below.
  10. click on the zip button
  11. Click on “Save As.”
  12. click on save as
  13. Now choose “Tools” from the main menu bar.
  14. choose tool from menu bar
  15. Click on “Encrypt.”
  16. tap on encrypt
  17. Enter a password for your zip file and you are done.
  18. place a good password

How to Open a Password Protected 7-Zip file

Follow the steps below:

  1. Launch 7-Zip from the search bar.
  2. Click on the password-protected folder (Below, I am choosing the same folder as above).
  3. Enter the password that you set previously and click on OK.
  4. Now you can easily access the folder.

Is 7-Zip File Safer than WinZip and WinRAR?

Yes! 7-Zip is more secure than both of them although they are almost similar. You can use the .7z file extension to encrypt folders with air-tight security, which is something WinZip and WinRAR don’t offer to its users. If you are sending WinZip and WinRAR compressed files online, then email providers can access these files.

This is a lesser-known fact that .7z file extension can protect your Zip files whenever you share them online. Another question privacy concerned users like you may ask is, “Can I regularly use the extension for zipping my file?” The answer is yes because it has a simple user interface without any annoying pop-up ads of dialog boxes.

The bottom line is you can rely on the 7-Zip extension for protecting your Zip files.

The Safest Ways to Share Zip Files or Any Files for that Matter (2 Methods)

Learn some pro safety tips right here that IT guys won’t tell you! Using a cloud storage service like OneDrive, Dropbox, or Google Drive won’t help. Once someone can crack your account password, you can lose all the files and say goodbye to your private data forever.

Subscribing to Jumpshare and Securely Send might seem like a good option for file sharing but it is risky. Like cloud storage services, hackers can penetrate your account on these free online file sharing services as well. What about USB drives? Sounds great but…what if you want to send a file to a person living in another country?

Let us assure you that sharing files safely is still easy and anyone can do it. If you are scratching your head and wondering how to safely share a large file that has private images, videos, financial documents, or prenup agreements, follow the steps below:

  1. Create a Password-Protected Zip File

    As discussed earlier, you can easily create a Zip file and encrypt the folder with a strong password. In this way, you can make sure no one can access the files inside the folder and the date remains safe wherever you send it.

    What’s the catch? You still have to use Gmail, iCloud, or Yahoo, which have weak security, for sending zip files.

  2. Use a VPN or Virtual Private Network

    The easiest way to protect your online data is to use a VPN connection on your device. You can switch on a VPN to hide your online identity when you send files on the internet. In this way, you can protect your private data from internet service providers, surveillance agencies, and hackers.

    What’s the catch? A VPN connection might slow down file sharing speed.

Congrats! You are now smarter than before….

We hope now you can easily and safely create a zip file anytime. As the flagbearer of online privacy, we are always on the lookout for you and sharing the latest information on how you can be safe on the internet as well.

More from PureVPN:

  • Have you heard of LastPass? A reliable password manager
  • Tell me more about a VPN and how does it work?