Do you want to protect your ZIP files with a password? While Windows doesn't have a built-in option to do this, you can use some free apps, such as WinRAR or 7-Zip, to put the password on your Zip files.
Of course you have to remember to write down your password in a safe place, for example using a password manager , so that you can find the keyword immediately when you want to open your .Zip files
- Password protect Zip files using 7-Zip
- How to password protect an archive with WinRAR
Password protect Zip files using 7-Zip
7Zip is an open source and free app that you can use to create and extract archive files in various formats, such as ZIP or RAR. Thanks to this app, you can choose the files to add to the new archive, put the password and let the app protect the contents of the file.
The first thing to do is, of course, download and install the totally free 7-Zip app on your Windows PC.
Once the installation is complete, simply open a File Explorer window and locate the files to add to your ZIP file. Select all the files to be included in the .zip archive, right- click on any file and select the 7-Zip> Add to archive option from the menu that opens on the screen.
At this point, you should see a window called “Add to archive”. Go to the "Encryption" section on the right, then click on the "Enter password" field and type in the keyword you want to use to protect the file. Enter the same password in the “Re-enter password” field.
Now all you have to do is click on the drop-down menu "Encryption method" and choose "AES-256" (one of the safest encryption) and press the OK button at the bottom to create the password-protected zip file archive .
When you try to open this archive, you will be asked to enter the password to extract the files and use the files inside.
How to password protect an archive with WinRAR
If you've been using a Windows computer for a long time, you've probably used or heard of WinRAR. This file compression app allows you to create and extract files from many types of archives, including .ZIP files of course. If you know WinRar better, you can also use this app to put the password to a file archive.
So, first of all download and install the free version of WinRAR from the official website on your computer.
As soon as the installation is finished, open a File Explorer window, then, find and select the files you want to add to your safe archive. At this point click the right button of the mouse on one of the selected files and choose the option “Add to archive” from the menu.
In the "Archive name and parameters" window, click on the "Set keyword" button,
then in the "Enter the keyword" window, select the "Enter the keyword" field and type in your password. Type the same password again in the “Re-enter password for verification” field. Well, at this point click on the "OK" button found at the bottom of the window.
In the “Archive format” section, you have to choose “ZIP” so that WinRar creates an archive with ZIP extension. Once you have finished modifying the various options, to create the file archive, click on the “OK” button so that WinRAR creates the new ZIP archive protected with the chosen password.
By following the simple instructions that we have explained to you in the previous lines and using only free software, you can keep your important files and data safe on your computer or on an external SSD .