How to Password Protect a ZIP File on Windows

This knowledge base article explains how to create a password protected zip file otherwise known as a password protected compressed file.

It’s important to send the password using another form of communication, this could be by phone, text or letter. If you send it by email then there’s a greater chance of it being linked to the document you want to protect.

  1. Install 7-Zip from the Applications folder on your desktop.
  2. In Windows Explorer, browse to the file(s) you want to compress with 7-Zip.
  3. With the files and folders highlighted, right-click on one item and from the sub menu select 7-Zip > Add to archive…
  4. Change the Archive format option to zip to ensure the other person can open it without 7-Zip installed.
  5. Under the heading Encryption enter a password in the first and second fields. Ensure you do not forget the password otherwise you won’t be able to open the files inside without this.
  6. Next you must click OK to create the compressed archive (zip file).
    Note: Either set the Encryption method as ZipCrypto to maximize compatibility with other compression programs. Alternatively, change the Ecryption method to AES-256 if maximum security is needed. However, this may not be compatible with all encryption programs.You will now have a new file with a .zip extension in the same folder as the files you compressed.When you open the zip file and try to open a file inside it you will be asked to type in the password you set earlier.