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How to Create a Password Protected ZIP File

Zip is a proprietary archive file format that supports data compression. It is convenient for saving and transmission. For safety, people always store sensitive data on archive files with encryption before sharing or sending to others. How do you pack files or folders to an archive? What kind of compression software should you use?

Here this article will show you 2 ways to create an encrypted compressed file.

Option 1: Create an encrypted Zip file with WinZip

If you have WinZip installed on your computer, use these steps below to encrypt zip files. If your PC has installed with WinRAR, refer to make password protected Zip files with WinRAR.

Part 1: Create an encrypted zip file

Step 1: Start WinZip peogram.

Step 2: Click the Encrypt toggle in the Actions pane.

Click the Options button that now displays in the Actions pane to set the encryption level.

Turn on encryption to lock a zip file

Step 3: In the File pane, select and add files to Zip, click Add to Zip.

Create an encrypted zip file with Winzip

Step 4: Enter a password when the Encrypt dialog displays. Learn more on how to set a shorter password.

Enter an 8 characters password

Step 5: In the Action pane, click Save as.

Part 2: Add password to an existing Zip file

If a file is already compressed, it may be zipped by Windows 10 built-in Compressed Folder Tools or other tools, you still can encrypt data in an existing Zip file with WinZip. To do this:

Step 1: Right-click on the Zip file in a folder window.

Step 2: Choose WinZip > Add to

Add password to an existing Zip file

Step 3: Turn on Encrypt. Enter a password when WinZip asks for a password.

Add password to an existing Zip file

Step 4: Then click OK, and save this setting.

Save encrypted zip file

Option 2: Make a password protected Zip file with 7-Zip

7-Zip is the best free open-source file compression utility for Windows. Use these steps, you can easily make a password protected zip file.

Step 1: Download the 7-zip installer and install this program.

Go to download 7-zip installer. Run the program and install 7-zip to your computer.

Make a password protected zip file

Step 2: Create an archive file with 7-zip.

When installation is completed, locate the file/files/folder you want to zip. Select one item or more, right-click and select: 7-Zip > Add to archive.

Create an encrypted archive file

Step 3: Set a password for archive file.

In Archive format option, choose zip. Under the Encryption section, enter a password in the first field and reenter the same password into the second password field. Then select the appropriate method of encryption.

Set a password for archive file

Step 4: Click OK to create the compressed archive.

You will now have a new file with a .zip file extension in the same folder as the file/files/folder you selected to compress in Step 3.

generated a compressed archive

Add a File or Folder to an Existing ZIP File

If you need to add a file to the zip archive, you can simply drag and drop the new file onto the existing .zip file.

Add a file to the zip archive

If you try to open a file inside the zip file, you will be prompted for entering the password you set previously.

Unpack the password protected zip file

Note: If you have forgotten the password, you might not access to these files. If you want to recover password, you can use ZIP Password Refixer to recover the encrypted zip file.

How to Choose appropriate methods of 7-Zip encryption.

ZipCrypto is known to be relatively weak, and cannot be expected to provide protection from individuals with access to specialized password recovery tools.

AES-256 is stronger encryption, and now AES-256 is supported only by 7-Zip, WinZip and some other ZIP archives. If you have important security requirements for your data, you should use AES encryption.

Choose appropriate encryption methods