7-Zip is a widely used and one of the best free file archiving software out there for Windows 10. In addition to extracting and creating archives of popular file types, 7-Zip also supports creating password protected ZIP and 7z archives.
If you want to password protect a file or folder on your PC or want to encrypt a file or folder before sharing it with others, you can use the 7-Zip utility. The software uses the strong AES-256 encryption method to protect your files.
IMPORTANT: 7-ZIP doesn’t support encrypting file names when using the ZIP archive format. That is, anyone can open the password protected ZIP file and view the file names. He/she won’t be asked to enter the password to open the ZIP file. However, no one can open a file in the ZIP file without typing the correct password. If you don’t want anyone to view the file name as well, you need to use the 7z archive format instead of the ZIP format.
Create ZIP files with password using 7-Zip in Windows 10
Here is how to create a password protected ZIP file using the 7-Zip software.
Step 1: Download and install the 7-Zip application if not already installed on your computer.
Step 2: Right-click on the file(s) that you want to password protect, select 7-Zip, and then click Add to archive option. This will open the Add to archive dialog.
Step 3: Here, select the location where you would like to save the password protected ZIP file and then type a name for the ZIP file.
Step 4: Select the Archive format as ZIP (7z is the default one).
NOTE 1: As said before, select the default 7z archive format if you wish to encrypt the file name as well. The 7z archive format is supported by all popular archive software.
NOTE 2: With default settings, 7-ZIP doesn’t automatically delete the original files after adding a copy of them to the ZIP. If you want to automatically delete the original files, select the Delete files after compression option. Alternatively, you can manually delete the original files.
Step 5: Finally, make sure that AES-256 encryption method is selected, type a password using which you would like to protect the ZIP file and then re-enter the password. We suggest you use a strong password (containing numbers, upper and lower case letters, and special characters)
Click the OK button to create the ZIP file with the password.