Passwords

How To Make a Password-Protected Zip File

Joel Lim

|

December 7, 2023

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

how to make a password-protected zip file

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

Cybercrime is the number one risk when storing or sharing files online, which means you should ensure your zip files are as secure as possible. 

Adding a password to your zip file is another layer of added security to protect the contents, especially if they contain sensitive information. So, how do you make a password-protected zip file? We’ll explain everything you need to know about creating password-protected zip files. 

Key Takeaways 

  • Adding a password to your zip file secures the contents. It can help to prevent data leaks from cyberattacks. 


  • Use Windows Explorer, Mac Terminal, Keka, EFS, WinRAR, or 7-Zip to add a password to your zip file.


  • Zip files are a good idea when you need to send large amounts of information and want faster transfers.


6 Ways to Make Password-Protected Zip File

ways to make password-protected zip file

You can use many different platforms to password-protect your zip file. Here is a list of services to use to make it secure. 

1. Mac Terminal 

For Mac users, creating a password for your zip file can be done using the Terminal application on whichever IOS you use. 

Pros: 

The Terminal application is free for Mac users, and your zip files are fully compatible when sent to Windows and Linux users. 

Cons: 

The process can be a little confusing the first time. 

How to use:

Adding a password with this software takes a little know-how, so here’s a step-by-step guide to help you. 

  • Open the Spotlight Search bar and type in "terminal" or search in your applications folder 

  • Open the Terminal window

  • Create a new zip file by typing in the command "zip -er desiredfilename.zip" 

  • Drag the files you want to be added to the zip file and drop them in the Terminal window

  • Press the "Enter" button

  • Add your password according to the application instructions

While this may seem like a complicated method, if you follow these steps, you should have no problems.  

2. EFS - Windows 10 Pro

EFS is Windows 10's Encrypting File System. It’s a very simple encryption system available on Windows 10 Pro. 

Pros: 

This system is very easy to use for first-time users. 

Cons: 

It doesn’t generate passwords but decryption keys that act as passwords for the file. 

How to use: 

Here's how to generate a decryption key for your zip file:

  • Right-click on the zip file you want to protect  

  • Select "Properties" 

  • Select "Advanced" 

  • Choose the encrypt option you would like to use 

  • Select "Ok" 

For full password protection, we suggest using WinZip in addition to EFS. 

3. WinZip 

This is the recommended platform for Windows users who don’t have Windows 10 Pro. To add a password to zip files in most Windows computers, you'll have to use a third-party app like WinZip

Pros:

WinZip is compatible with Windows and is very simple to install on your Windows device. It’s easy to use with a quick three-step process, and it’s also free. 

Cons: 

WinZip may be free at first, but after 21 days, you must purchase the license to use the product. 

How to use: 

  • Open WinZip

  • Open the options menu and click on "Actions" 

  • Select the "Encrypt" option 

  • Set your password following the software's instructions 

WinZip is a good option for Windows users looking to add protection to their zip files.

4. Keka 

Keka is an app that lets Mac users easily add passwords to their zip files.

Pros: 

Keka is small but very simple to navigate, and it’s very affordable. With its Zip 2.0 legacy encryption for important zip files, the app offers users peace of mind.     

Cons: 

There is limited cross-platform availability.     

How to use: 

This app is very simple to use. Here's how:

  • Open the Keka app

  • Select "zip" as your file format 

  • Set your password 

  • Select the "Use AES-256 encryption" option 

  • In the files window of your device, select the files you want to protect

  • Drag and drop the selected into the Keka window 

5. WinRAR

WinRAR is a popular third-party application you can use to password-protect your zip files whether or not you created them on the application. 

Pros: 

WinRAR is so popular because it is compatible with most operating systems. What we like about this app is its fast and efficient speed. 

Cons: 

The app is free for only 40 days. After that, you need to purchase the program. Additionally, the compression and decompression speed is generally slower than other platforms.

How to use: 

  • Open WinRAR

  • Select "Open" and choose which zip file you want to protect

  • Open the menu bar on the left and select "tools"

  • Select "Convert Archives" 

  • Select "Compression" 

  • Click on "Set Password" 

What's great about using this app is you can change the password if you feel it may be compromised. 

6. 7-Zip 

The file archiver 7-Zip is a great alternative to WinRAR and one you can use to add a password to your zip files.

Pros: 

What makes 7-Zip a popular option for many people is it’s completely free and is an open-source file archiver. 

Cons:

One of the most common complaints about this application is that the compression speeds aren't as fast as other paid software. 

How to use: 

You don't need to open the 7-Zip app to use it, and we'll show you how: 

  • In your documents folder, select the files you want to protect 

  • Right-click on these files and open the 7-Zip menu

  • Select "Add to Archive," which will open the encryption menu

  • Create your password following the instructions 


When is Using a Zip File a Good Idea?

when is using a zip file a good idea

Zip files have been around for a long time and have always been a popular way to share large documents in one location. As technology has advanced, many people are moving away from using zip files because they perceive them as unsafe, but sometimes, using a zip file is a good idea. 

Sending Large Amounts of Information

Have you ever tried to send documents or folders over email only to be told the file size is too large? This is because email platforms have limits on the size of your content, and if you're sending multiple large documents, this can be challenging.

Instead of sending large amounts of information in small batches, you can compress all that information into one folder known as the zip file. 

Organizing and Sharing Large Files

Sharing large files can quickly turn into a disorganized system if you have a lot of them. 

Compressing all the information into one file means you’re able to keep track of which information is where. It helps you stay organized, and it helps the receiver of the files, as they don't have to sift through tons of muddled information.

When You Want a Faster Transfer

Zipped files are a much more organized way of transferring data but are also a faster option. You'll notice the transfer takes longer when sending large files, even with a fast internet connection. Compressing all that information into one smaller file will result in a faster transfer. 

5 Tips When Password Protecting Zip Files 

tips when password protecting zip files

Knowing how to create password protection for your zip files is just one aspect of keeping your files safe. Choosing a strong password and implementing smart safety practices are also important. Here are five tips to use when password-protecting your zip files. 

Ensure Your Password is Strong

Be sure that the password you pick is strong. Weak passwords are easily hacked. 

Owner of Planning Pod, Jeff Kear, advises:

“I recommend creating a unique randomized password for every login that’s at least 15 characters long with lowercase/uppercase letters, numbers and symbols.”

Ensure whatever password you create is easy enough to remember but hard enough that no one can hack it. You may want to try using a password generator like LastPass or Dashlane that uses algorithms to create one-of-a-kind passwords. 

Ensure Your Password is Unique

A unique password is harder to crack and is memorable to you. When picking out a unique password, do not use one you have already used. It’s likely compromised.

Social Media Marketing Manager at Vectra Digital, Rachel Parez, emphasizes:

“Passwords shouldn’t make sense. It’s easy to remember your birthday, anniversary or maiden name-passwords. Too easy. Use a random string of letters, numbers and special characters instead.”

Some people like using their pet's names, but this is not a safe option, especially if you have shared their names on social media. Choose phrases or words that don't fit to make a unique password. 

Write Down Your Password

Have you ever created a password only to forget it the next time you need it? This is common and time-consuming to change. We suggest writing down your password as soon as you create it. 

Just be sure to write it in a safe place. Don't add the password to a place where multiple people can see it. Keep it hidden in a safe spot you can remember. 

Don't Send the Password in the Same Email or Message

If you're sharing password-protected zip files with someone over email or messenger, you'll likely need to share the password with the receiver so they can open the files. 

However, sending the password in the same message as the files is a security risk if your email or message gets intercepted during the transmission.

Use Encryption Alongside Password Protect

While passwords add an extra layer of protection, they don’t completely eliminate the threat of someone gaining access to your files. 

Double up on your security by adding encryption alongside the password so there are two levels of security. You can use a platform with end-to-end encryption like Proton Mail

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to create a password-protected folder?

You can create a password-protected folder on EFS, Mac Terminal, and third-party apps like WinZIP, WinRAR, Keka and 7-Zip. 

Does password-protecting a zip file encrypt it?

No, password and encryptions are two different security measures. You'll need to use an encrypted platform like Proton Mail to encrypt a password-protected zip file. 

Can Windows open password-protected zip files?

Yes, you can use Windows to open password-protected zip files by extracting the file and then entering the password for the file the owner gave you. 

Is emailing a zip file secure?

Emails are not as secure as people think, so you should add a password, even if you send it through an encrypted platform like Proton Mail.

Passwords

How To Make a Password-Protected Zip File

Joel Lim

|

December 7, 2023

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

Cybercrime is the number one risk when storing or sharing files online, which means you should ensure your zip files are as secure as possible. 

Adding a password to your zip file is another layer of added security to protect the contents, especially if they contain sensitive information. So, how do you make a password-protected zip file? We’ll explain everything you need to know about creating password-protected zip files. 

Key Takeaways 

  • Adding a password to your zip file secures the contents. It can help to prevent data leaks from cyberattacks. 


  • Use Windows Explorer, Mac Terminal, Keka, EFS, WinRAR, or 7-Zip to add a password to your zip file.


  • Zip files are a good idea when you need to send large amounts of information and want faster transfers.


6 Ways to Make Password-Protected Zip File

ways to make password-protected zip file

You can use many different platforms to password-protect your zip file. Here is a list of services to use to make it secure. 

1. Mac Terminal 

For Mac users, creating a password for your zip file can be done using the Terminal application on whichever IOS you use. 

Pros: 

The Terminal application is free for Mac users, and your zip files are fully compatible when sent to Windows and Linux users. 

Cons: 

The process can be a little confusing the first time. 

How to use:

Adding a password with this software takes a little know-how, so here’s a step-by-step guide to help you. 

  • Open the Spotlight Search bar and type in "terminal" or search in your applications folder 

  • Open the Terminal window

  • Create a new zip file by typing in the command "zip -er desiredfilename.zip" 

  • Drag the files you want to be added to the zip file and drop them in the Terminal window

  • Press the "Enter" button

  • Add your password according to the application instructions

While this may seem like a complicated method, if you follow these steps, you should have no problems.  

2. EFS - Windows 10 Pro

EFS is Windows 10's Encrypting File System. It’s a very simple encryption system available on Windows 10 Pro. 

Pros: 

This system is very easy to use for first-time users. 

Cons: 

It doesn’t generate passwords but decryption keys that act as passwords for the file. 

How to use: 

Here's how to generate a decryption key for your zip file:

  • Right-click on the zip file you want to protect  

  • Select "Properties" 

  • Select "Advanced" 

  • Choose the encrypt option you would like to use 

  • Select "Ok" 

For full password protection, we suggest using WinZip in addition to EFS. 

3. WinZip 

This is the recommended platform for Windows users who don’t have Windows 10 Pro. To add a password to zip files in most Windows computers, you'll have to use a third-party app like WinZip

Pros:

WinZip is compatible with Windows and is very simple to install on your Windows device. It’s easy to use with a quick three-step process, and it’s also free. 

Cons: 

WinZip may be free at first, but after 21 days, you must purchase the license to use the product. 

How to use: 

  • Open WinZip

  • Open the options menu and click on "Actions" 

  • Select the "Encrypt" option 

  • Set your password following the software's instructions 

WinZip is a good option for Windows users looking to add protection to their zip files.

4. Keka 

Keka is an app that lets Mac users easily add passwords to their zip files.

Pros: 

Keka is small but very simple to navigate, and it’s very affordable. With its Zip 2.0 legacy encryption for important zip files, the app offers users peace of mind.     

Cons: 

There is limited cross-platform availability.     

How to use: 

This app is very simple to use. Here's how:

  • Open the Keka app

  • Select "zip" as your file format 

  • Set your password 

  • Select the "Use AES-256 encryption" option 

  • In the files window of your device, select the files you want to protect

  • Drag and drop the selected into the Keka window 

5. WinRAR

WinRAR is a popular third-party application you can use to password-protect your zip files whether or not you created them on the application. 

Pros: 

WinRAR is so popular because it is compatible with most operating systems. What we like about this app is its fast and efficient speed. 

Cons: 

The app is free for only 40 days. After that, you need to purchase the program. Additionally, the compression and decompression speed is generally slower than other platforms.

How to use: 

  • Open WinRAR

  • Select "Open" and choose which zip file you want to protect

  • Open the menu bar on the left and select "tools"

  • Select "Convert Archives" 

  • Select "Compression" 

  • Click on "Set Password" 

What's great about using this app is you can change the password if you feel it may be compromised. 

6. 7-Zip 

The file archiver 7-Zip is a great alternative to WinRAR and one you can use to add a password to your zip files.

Pros: 

What makes 7-Zip a popular option for many people is it’s completely free and is an open-source file archiver. 

Cons:

One of the most common complaints about this application is that the compression speeds aren't as fast as other paid software. 

How to use: 

You don't need to open the 7-Zip app to use it, and we'll show you how: 

  • In your documents folder, select the files you want to protect 

  • Right-click on these files and open the 7-Zip menu

  • Select "Add to Archive," which will open the encryption menu

  • Create your password following the instructions 


When is Using a Zip File a Good Idea?

when is using a zip file a good idea

Zip files have been around for a long time and have always been a popular way to share large documents in one location. As technology has advanced, many people are moving away from using zip files because they perceive them as unsafe, but sometimes, using a zip file is a good idea. 

Sending Large Amounts of Information

Have you ever tried to send documents or folders over email only to be told the file size is too large? This is because email platforms have limits on the size of your content, and if you're sending multiple large documents, this can be challenging.

Instead of sending large amounts of information in small batches, you can compress all that information into one folder known as the zip file. 

Organizing and Sharing Large Files

Sharing large files can quickly turn into a disorganized system if you have a lot of them. 

Compressing all the information into one file means you’re able to keep track of which information is where. It helps you stay organized, and it helps the receiver of the files, as they don't have to sift through tons of muddled information.

When You Want a Faster Transfer

Zipped files are a much more organized way of transferring data but are also a faster option. You'll notice the transfer takes longer when sending large files, even with a fast internet connection. Compressing all that information into one smaller file will result in a faster transfer. 

5 Tips When Password Protecting Zip Files 

tips when password protecting zip files

Knowing how to create password protection for your zip files is just one aspect of keeping your files safe. Choosing a strong password and implementing smart safety practices are also important. Here are five tips to use when password-protecting your zip files. 

Ensure Your Password is Strong

Be sure that the password you pick is strong. Weak passwords are easily hacked. 

Owner of Planning Pod, Jeff Kear, advises:

“I recommend creating a unique randomized password for every login that’s at least 15 characters long with lowercase/uppercase letters, numbers and symbols.”

Ensure whatever password you create is easy enough to remember but hard enough that no one can hack it. You may want to try using a password generator like LastPass or Dashlane that uses algorithms to create one-of-a-kind passwords. 

Ensure Your Password is Unique

A unique password is harder to crack and is memorable to you. When picking out a unique password, do not use one you have already used. It’s likely compromised.

Social Media Marketing Manager at Vectra Digital, Rachel Parez, emphasizes:

“Passwords shouldn’t make sense. It’s easy to remember your birthday, anniversary or maiden name-passwords. Too easy. Use a random string of letters, numbers and special characters instead.”

Some people like using their pet's names, but this is not a safe option, especially if you have shared their names on social media. Choose phrases or words that don't fit to make a unique password. 

Write Down Your Password

Have you ever created a password only to forget it the next time you need it? This is common and time-consuming to change. We suggest writing down your password as soon as you create it. 

Just be sure to write it in a safe place. Don't add the password to a place where multiple people can see it. Keep it hidden in a safe spot you can remember. 

Don't Send the Password in the Same Email or Message

If you're sharing password-protected zip files with someone over email or messenger, you'll likely need to share the password with the receiver so they can open the files. 

However, sending the password in the same message as the files is a security risk if your email or message gets intercepted during the transmission.

Use Encryption Alongside Password Protect

While passwords add an extra layer of protection, they don’t completely eliminate the threat of someone gaining access to your files. 

Double up on your security by adding encryption alongside the password so there are two levels of security. You can use a platform with end-to-end encryption like Proton Mail

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to create a password-protected folder?

You can create a password-protected folder on EFS, Mac Terminal, and third-party apps like WinZIP, WinRAR, Keka and 7-Zip. 

Does password-protecting a zip file encrypt it?

No, password and encryptions are two different security measures. You'll need to use an encrypted platform like Proton Mail to encrypt a password-protected zip file. 

Can Windows open password-protected zip files?

Yes, you can use Windows to open password-protected zip files by extracting the file and then entering the password for the file the owner gave you. 

Is emailing a zip file secure?

Emails are not as secure as people think, so you should add a password, even if you send it through an encrypted platform like Proton Mail.

Passwords

How To Make a Password-Protected Zip File

Joel Lim

|

December 7, 2023

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

how to make a password-protected zip file

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

Cybercrime is the number one risk when storing or sharing files online, which means you should ensure your zip files are as secure as possible. 

Adding a password to your zip file is another layer of added security to protect the contents, especially if they contain sensitive information. So, how do you make a password-protected zip file? We’ll explain everything you need to know about creating password-protected zip files. 

Key Takeaways 

  • Adding a password to your zip file secures the contents. It can help to prevent data leaks from cyberattacks. 


  • Use Windows Explorer, Mac Terminal, Keka, EFS, WinRAR, or 7-Zip to add a password to your zip file.


  • Zip files are a good idea when you need to send large amounts of information and want faster transfers.


6 Ways to Make Password-Protected Zip File

ways to make password-protected zip file

You can use many different platforms to password-protect your zip file. Here is a list of services to use to make it secure. 

1. Mac Terminal 

For Mac users, creating a password for your zip file can be done using the Terminal application on whichever IOS you use. 

Pros: 

The Terminal application is free for Mac users, and your zip files are fully compatible when sent to Windows and Linux users. 

Cons: 

The process can be a little confusing the first time. 

How to use:

Adding a password with this software takes a little know-how, so here’s a step-by-step guide to help you. 

  • Open the Spotlight Search bar and type in "terminal" or search in your applications folder 

  • Open the Terminal window

  • Create a new zip file by typing in the command "zip -er desiredfilename.zip" 

  • Drag the files you want to be added to the zip file and drop them in the Terminal window

  • Press the "Enter" button

  • Add your password according to the application instructions

While this may seem like a complicated method, if you follow these steps, you should have no problems.  

2. EFS - Windows 10 Pro

EFS is Windows 10's Encrypting File System. It’s a very simple encryption system available on Windows 10 Pro. 

Pros: 

This system is very easy to use for first-time users. 

Cons: 

It doesn’t generate passwords but decryption keys that act as passwords for the file. 

How to use: 

Here's how to generate a decryption key for your zip file:

  • Right-click on the zip file you want to protect  

  • Select "Properties" 

  • Select "Advanced" 

  • Choose the encrypt option you would like to use 

  • Select "Ok" 

For full password protection, we suggest using WinZip in addition to EFS. 

3. WinZip 

This is the recommended platform for Windows users who don’t have Windows 10 Pro. To add a password to zip files in most Windows computers, you'll have to use a third-party app like WinZip

Pros:

WinZip is compatible with Windows and is very simple to install on your Windows device. It’s easy to use with a quick three-step process, and it’s also free. 

Cons: 

WinZip may be free at first, but after 21 days, you must purchase the license to use the product. 

How to use: 

  • Open WinZip

  • Open the options menu and click on "Actions" 

  • Select the "Encrypt" option 

  • Set your password following the software's instructions 

WinZip is a good option for Windows users looking to add protection to their zip files.

4. Keka 

Keka is an app that lets Mac users easily add passwords to their zip files.

Pros: 

Keka is small but very simple to navigate, and it’s very affordable. With its Zip 2.0 legacy encryption for important zip files, the app offers users peace of mind.     

Cons: 

There is limited cross-platform availability.     

How to use: 

This app is very simple to use. Here's how:

  • Open the Keka app

  • Select "zip" as your file format 

  • Set your password 

  • Select the "Use AES-256 encryption" option 

  • In the files window of your device, select the files you want to protect

  • Drag and drop the selected into the Keka window 

5. WinRAR

WinRAR is a popular third-party application you can use to password-protect your zip files whether or not you created them on the application. 

Pros: 

WinRAR is so popular because it is compatible with most operating systems. What we like about this app is its fast and efficient speed. 

Cons: 

The app is free for only 40 days. After that, you need to purchase the program. Additionally, the compression and decompression speed is generally slower than other platforms.

How to use: 

  • Open WinRAR

  • Select "Open" and choose which zip file you want to protect

  • Open the menu bar on the left and select "tools"

  • Select "Convert Archives" 

  • Select "Compression" 

  • Click on "Set Password" 

What's great about using this app is you can change the password if you feel it may be compromised. 

6. 7-Zip 

The file archiver 7-Zip is a great alternative to WinRAR and one you can use to add a password to your zip files.

Pros: 

What makes 7-Zip a popular option for many people is it’s completely free and is an open-source file archiver. 

Cons:

One of the most common complaints about this application is that the compression speeds aren't as fast as other paid software. 

How to use: 

You don't need to open the 7-Zip app to use it, and we'll show you how: 

  • In your documents folder, select the files you want to protect 

  • Right-click on these files and open the 7-Zip menu

  • Select "Add to Archive," which will open the encryption menu

  • Create your password following the instructions 


When is Using a Zip File a Good Idea?

when is using a zip file a good idea

Zip files have been around for a long time and have always been a popular way to share large documents in one location. As technology has advanced, many people are moving away from using zip files because they perceive them as unsafe, but sometimes, using a zip file is a good idea. 

Sending Large Amounts of Information

Have you ever tried to send documents or folders over email only to be told the file size is too large? This is because email platforms have limits on the size of your content, and if you're sending multiple large documents, this can be challenging.

Instead of sending large amounts of information in small batches, you can compress all that information into one folder known as the zip file. 

Organizing and Sharing Large Files

Sharing large files can quickly turn into a disorganized system if you have a lot of them. 

Compressing all the information into one file means you’re able to keep track of which information is where. It helps you stay organized, and it helps the receiver of the files, as they don't have to sift through tons of muddled information.

When You Want a Faster Transfer

Zipped files are a much more organized way of transferring data but are also a faster option. You'll notice the transfer takes longer when sending large files, even with a fast internet connection. Compressing all that information into one smaller file will result in a faster transfer. 

5 Tips When Password Protecting Zip Files 

tips when password protecting zip files

Knowing how to create password protection for your zip files is just one aspect of keeping your files safe. Choosing a strong password and implementing smart safety practices are also important. Here are five tips to use when password-protecting your zip files. 

Ensure Your Password is Strong

Be sure that the password you pick is strong. Weak passwords are easily hacked. 

Owner of Planning Pod, Jeff Kear, advises:

“I recommend creating a unique randomized password for every login that’s at least 15 characters long with lowercase/uppercase letters, numbers and symbols.”

Ensure whatever password you create is easy enough to remember but hard enough that no one can hack it. You may want to try using a password generator like LastPass or Dashlane that uses algorithms to create one-of-a-kind passwords. 

Ensure Your Password is Unique

A unique password is harder to crack and is memorable to you. When picking out a unique password, do not use one you have already used. It’s likely compromised.

Social Media Marketing Manager at Vectra Digital, Rachel Parez, emphasizes:

“Passwords shouldn’t make sense. It’s easy to remember your birthday, anniversary or maiden name-passwords. Too easy. Use a random string of letters, numbers and special characters instead.”

Some people like using their pet's names, but this is not a safe option, especially if you have shared their names on social media. Choose phrases or words that don't fit to make a unique password. 

Write Down Your Password

Have you ever created a password only to forget it the next time you need it? This is common and time-consuming to change. We suggest writing down your password as soon as you create it. 

Just be sure to write it in a safe place. Don't add the password to a place where multiple people can see it. Keep it hidden in a safe spot you can remember. 

Don't Send the Password in the Same Email or Message

If you're sharing password-protected zip files with someone over email or messenger, you'll likely need to share the password with the receiver so they can open the files. 

However, sending the password in the same message as the files is a security risk if your email or message gets intercepted during the transmission.

Use Encryption Alongside Password Protect

While passwords add an extra layer of protection, they don’t completely eliminate the threat of someone gaining access to your files. 

Double up on your security by adding encryption alongside the password so there are two levels of security. You can use a platform with end-to-end encryption like Proton Mail

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to create a password-protected folder?

You can create a password-protected folder on EFS, Mac Terminal, and third-party apps like WinZIP, WinRAR, Keka and 7-Zip. 

Does password-protecting a zip file encrypt it?

No, password and encryptions are two different security measures. You'll need to use an encrypted platform like Proton Mail to encrypt a password-protected zip file. 

Can Windows open password-protected zip files?

Yes, you can use Windows to open password-protected zip files by extracting the file and then entering the password for the file the owner gave you. 

Is emailing a zip file secure?

Emails are not as secure as people think, so you should add a password, even if you send it through an encrypted platform like Proton Mail.

Passwords

How To Make a Password-Protected Zip File

Joel Lim

|

December 7, 2023

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

how to make a password-protected zip file

The intelligent digital vault for families

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Cybercrime is the number one risk when storing or sharing files online, which means you should ensure your zip files are as secure as possible. 

Adding a password to your zip file is another layer of added security to protect the contents, especially if they contain sensitive information. So, how do you make a password-protected zip file? We’ll explain everything you need to know about creating password-protected zip files. 

Key Takeaways 

  • Adding a password to your zip file secures the contents. It can help to prevent data leaks from cyberattacks. 


  • Use Windows Explorer, Mac Terminal, Keka, EFS, WinRAR, or 7-Zip to add a password to your zip file.


  • Zip files are a good idea when you need to send large amounts of information and want faster transfers.


6 Ways to Make Password-Protected Zip File

ways to make password-protected zip file

You can use many different platforms to password-protect your zip file. Here is a list of services to use to make it secure. 

1. Mac Terminal 

For Mac users, creating a password for your zip file can be done using the Terminal application on whichever IOS you use. 

Pros: 

The Terminal application is free for Mac users, and your zip files are fully compatible when sent to Windows and Linux users. 

Cons: 

The process can be a little confusing the first time. 

How to use:

Adding a password with this software takes a little know-how, so here’s a step-by-step guide to help you. 

  • Open the Spotlight Search bar and type in "terminal" or search in your applications folder 

  • Open the Terminal window

  • Create a new zip file by typing in the command "zip -er desiredfilename.zip" 

  • Drag the files you want to be added to the zip file and drop them in the Terminal window

  • Press the "Enter" button

  • Add your password according to the application instructions

While this may seem like a complicated method, if you follow these steps, you should have no problems.  

2. EFS - Windows 10 Pro

EFS is Windows 10's Encrypting File System. It’s a very simple encryption system available on Windows 10 Pro. 

Pros: 

This system is very easy to use for first-time users. 

Cons: 

It doesn’t generate passwords but decryption keys that act as passwords for the file. 

How to use: 

Here's how to generate a decryption key for your zip file:

  • Right-click on the zip file you want to protect  

  • Select "Properties" 

  • Select "Advanced" 

  • Choose the encrypt option you would like to use 

  • Select "Ok" 

For full password protection, we suggest using WinZip in addition to EFS. 

3. WinZip 

This is the recommended platform for Windows users who don’t have Windows 10 Pro. To add a password to zip files in most Windows computers, you'll have to use a third-party app like WinZip

Pros:

WinZip is compatible with Windows and is very simple to install on your Windows device. It’s easy to use with a quick three-step process, and it’s also free. 

Cons: 

WinZip may be free at first, but after 21 days, you must purchase the license to use the product. 

How to use: 

  • Open WinZip

  • Open the options menu and click on "Actions" 

  • Select the "Encrypt" option 

  • Set your password following the software's instructions 

WinZip is a good option for Windows users looking to add protection to their zip files.

4. Keka 

Keka is an app that lets Mac users easily add passwords to their zip files.

Pros: 

Keka is small but very simple to navigate, and it’s very affordable. With its Zip 2.0 legacy encryption for important zip files, the app offers users peace of mind.     

Cons: 

There is limited cross-platform availability.     

How to use: 

This app is very simple to use. Here's how:

  • Open the Keka app

  • Select "zip" as your file format 

  • Set your password 

  • Select the "Use AES-256 encryption" option 

  • In the files window of your device, select the files you want to protect

  • Drag and drop the selected into the Keka window 

5. WinRAR

WinRAR is a popular third-party application you can use to password-protect your zip files whether or not you created them on the application. 

Pros: 

WinRAR is so popular because it is compatible with most operating systems. What we like about this app is its fast and efficient speed. 

Cons: 

The app is free for only 40 days. After that, you need to purchase the program. Additionally, the compression and decompression speed is generally slower than other platforms.

How to use: 

  • Open WinRAR

  • Select "Open" and choose which zip file you want to protect

  • Open the menu bar on the left and select "tools"

  • Select "Convert Archives" 

  • Select "Compression" 

  • Click on "Set Password" 

What's great about using this app is you can change the password if you feel it may be compromised. 

6. 7-Zip 

The file archiver 7-Zip is a great alternative to WinRAR and one you can use to add a password to your zip files.

Pros: 

What makes 7-Zip a popular option for many people is it’s completely free and is an open-source file archiver. 

Cons:

One of the most common complaints about this application is that the compression speeds aren't as fast as other paid software. 

How to use: 

You don't need to open the 7-Zip app to use it, and we'll show you how: 

  • In your documents folder, select the files you want to protect 

  • Right-click on these files and open the 7-Zip menu

  • Select "Add to Archive," which will open the encryption menu

  • Create your password following the instructions 


When is Using a Zip File a Good Idea?

when is using a zip file a good idea

Zip files have been around for a long time and have always been a popular way to share large documents in one location. As technology has advanced, many people are moving away from using zip files because they perceive them as unsafe, but sometimes, using a zip file is a good idea. 

Sending Large Amounts of Information

Have you ever tried to send documents or folders over email only to be told the file size is too large? This is because email platforms have limits on the size of your content, and if you're sending multiple large documents, this can be challenging.

Instead of sending large amounts of information in small batches, you can compress all that information into one folder known as the zip file. 

Organizing and Sharing Large Files

Sharing large files can quickly turn into a disorganized system if you have a lot of them. 

Compressing all the information into one file means you’re able to keep track of which information is where. It helps you stay organized, and it helps the receiver of the files, as they don't have to sift through tons of muddled information.

When You Want a Faster Transfer

Zipped files are a much more organized way of transferring data but are also a faster option. You'll notice the transfer takes longer when sending large files, even with a fast internet connection. Compressing all that information into one smaller file will result in a faster transfer. 

5 Tips When Password Protecting Zip Files 

tips when password protecting zip files

Knowing how to create password protection for your zip files is just one aspect of keeping your files safe. Choosing a strong password and implementing smart safety practices are also important. Here are five tips to use when password-protecting your zip files. 

Ensure Your Password is Strong

Be sure that the password you pick is strong. Weak passwords are easily hacked. 

Owner of Planning Pod, Jeff Kear, advises:

“I recommend creating a unique randomized password for every login that’s at least 15 characters long with lowercase/uppercase letters, numbers and symbols.”

Ensure whatever password you create is easy enough to remember but hard enough that no one can hack it. You may want to try using a password generator like LastPass or Dashlane that uses algorithms to create one-of-a-kind passwords. 

Ensure Your Password is Unique

A unique password is harder to crack and is memorable to you. When picking out a unique password, do not use one you have already used. It’s likely compromised.

Social Media Marketing Manager at Vectra Digital, Rachel Parez, emphasizes:

“Passwords shouldn’t make sense. It’s easy to remember your birthday, anniversary or maiden name-passwords. Too easy. Use a random string of letters, numbers and special characters instead.”

Some people like using their pet's names, but this is not a safe option, especially if you have shared their names on social media. Choose phrases or words that don't fit to make a unique password. 

Write Down Your Password

Have you ever created a password only to forget it the next time you need it? This is common and time-consuming to change. We suggest writing down your password as soon as you create it. 

Just be sure to write it in a safe place. Don't add the password to a place where multiple people can see it. Keep it hidden in a safe spot you can remember. 

Don't Send the Password in the Same Email or Message

If you're sharing password-protected zip files with someone over email or messenger, you'll likely need to share the password with the receiver so they can open the files. 

However, sending the password in the same message as the files is a security risk if your email or message gets intercepted during the transmission.

Use Encryption Alongside Password Protect

While passwords add an extra layer of protection, they don’t completely eliminate the threat of someone gaining access to your files. 

Double up on your security by adding encryption alongside the password so there are two levels of security. You can use a platform with end-to-end encryption like Proton Mail

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to create a password-protected folder?

You can create a password-protected folder on EFS, Mac Terminal, and third-party apps like WinZIP, WinRAR, Keka and 7-Zip. 

Does password-protecting a zip file encrypt it?

No, password and encryptions are two different security measures. You'll need to use an encrypted platform like Proton Mail to encrypt a password-protected zip file. 

Can Windows open password-protected zip files?

Yes, you can use Windows to open password-protected zip files by extracting the file and then entering the password for the file the owner gave you. 

Is emailing a zip file secure?

Emails are not as secure as people think, so you should add a password, even if you send it through an encrypted platform like Proton Mail.

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