Users who had used now “half-dead” Windows XP operating system before switching to Windows 10/8/7 have probably observed that in Windows 7 and above versions one cannot create a zip file with password without the help of third-party utilities.
In Windows XP (not sure if the feature was present in Vista), we could create a zip file and lock up it with a password by right-clicking on a zip file and then clicking Add a password option. In short, we didn’t need a third-party file compressing utility like 7-Zip in order to create a password protected zip file in Windows XP.
Even though Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 7 allow you create a zip file, you can’t create a zip file with password without the help of third-party tools.
Luckily, there are plenty of free tools out there to create a password protected zip file. In this guide, we will show you how you can use two popular tools WinRAR and 7-Zip (free) to create a zip file with password.
Using 7-Zip to create a zip file with password
IMPORTANT: If you use the 7-Zip to extract a password protected ZIP file, it won’t ask for the password to view the content of the archive. However, it won’t let you open or view files inside the archive without entering the password.
Step 1: If 7-Zip isn’t already installed, visit this page to download the same and then run the setup file to get it installed. As you likely know, 7-Zip is a free software. Separate setup file available for both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows at the download page. If you’re not sure what to download, download the one available for 32-bit.
Step 2: Now that 7-Zip is installed, right-click on the file that you would to create an archive and add password protection, click 7-Zip, and then click Add to archive option. This will open Add to archive dialog.
Step 3: Here, enter a name for your archive (or you can go with the default name), and then select archive format as Zip by clicking the drop down menu next to Archive format.
Step 4: In order to protect it with a password, move to the Encryption section, enter a password, re-enter the same, and finally, click OK button. This zip file will appear in the same folder where your original file is located.
Note that 7-Zip uses ZipCrypto as the default encryption method, but you can choose AES-256 by expanding the drop-down menu next to Encryption method under Encryption section. Also note that 7-Zip doesn’t automatically delete the original after creating an archive out of it. So, if the file is very confidential, you better delete it after creating a password protected archive out of it.
Using WinRAR to create password protected zip file
Step 1: Download WinRAR from here and install the same by double-clicking on the downloaded setup file and then following dead-simple on-screen instructions.
Step 2: Once installed, right-click on the file that you would like to password protect, and click Add to archive option to see Archive name and parameters dialog.
NOTE: If the above mentioned option isn’t appearing in the context menu (right-click), please follow our how to restore missing WinRAR entries guide.
Step 3: Here, Enter a name for your archive (password protected file in this case), and select ZIP as archive format. Be sure to select ZIP as archive format as WinRAR uses its .RAR as archive format with default settings.
Step 4: Finally, click on the Set password button to enter a password to protect your file. Once entered, re-enter the password for verification before hitting OK button.