Zipping a file reduces the size of the file and thereby makes the transmission of the file easier and more robust. Zip clients allow the user to set up a password on the zip files whenever they are opened. This allows a security check and only those people can access the file who know the password.
If you want to password protect your files in a zip folder, you need a zipping client. This client can be any zipping application which also supports password integration. We will look at the most popular zip clients and go through the method on how to password protect your zipped files.
Method 1: Using WinRAR
WinZip is a file archiver and compressor which supports almost all platforms (Windows, iOS, macOS, and Android) and enables you to either compress or decompress files. It has been around since 1995 and is the ‘go-to’ choice for almost all major workplaces and personal use. Before we begin, make sure that you have the WinRAR client installed on your PC. You can download it from its official website.
- Download the client and install it on your computer. Launch the application and click on the Add button present at the near top of the screen. Do select the file you want to add using the explorer down below and then click Add.
- Select the zipped file name and change the archive format if need be. Now click on Set password.
- Select the password you want to set and then click OK. Now click OK again on the previous window when you are redirected and the archiving process will begin.
- Now whenever you open the archive, you will be required to enter the password before you are granted access. You can double-check this by opening the archived file after the archiving process.
Now if you want to add the password for an already existing compressed file, we can use the Convert archive utility and set the required password. You don’t have to decompress and then compress again to add the password if you forgot.
- Open your WinRAR application, click on Tools and select Convert Archive.
- Make sure that the option zip is checked in Archive types. Now select Add and choose the compressed file where you want to add the password to.
- Click on Browse to select the location where you want to save the archived file and then click on Compression.
- Click on Set password and type in the password you want to set against the zipped file.
- Click OK for the process to proceed. The wizard will convert the files and the archived folder will be available to you in a matter of seconds with a protected password.
Method 2: Using 7-Zip
7-zip is a free software which is open source and has the same functionality of WinRAR. Unlike WinRAR, 7-zip doesn’t ask you to purchase the full version of $ 30 to continue functioning. Even though you can dismiss the popup in WinRAR, it still irritates the user. The method to add password using 7-zip is quite simple and can be done in a similar way to what we saw earlier.
The downside of this freeware is that you cannot add a password to already compressed files. You need to first decompress them and then compress them again using this wizard,
- Right-click on the file or folder which you want to compress and select 7-Zip > Add to archive.
- Now select the Archive format and enter the password under Encryption. You can also change the Encryption method to your choice.
- Press OK to save and exit. Now you can check the archive by opening and see if the password prompt is there.
Method 3: Using WinZip
WinZip is also one of the old players in the archiving history and has ranked as one of the top choices for zipping and archiving files. It allows a simple interface with the same functionality as other archiving utilities. However, like WinRAR, WinZip also prompts you to purchase the full version which is around $40. Still, you can use the trial version and get your compressed files password protected.
- Install WinZip on your computer, launch it and select Add.
- Now you will be asked to confirm your actions to add new files to the archive and a small window will pop up. Click on Encrypt added files.
- Enter the password you want to set and click Press Add and the archive will be created which will be protected with a password.
- Test the Zip file and see if it prompts for a password when you open it.
We have listed the most popular clients for setting a password to your compressed files. The prices mentioned may change without notice. If you get into some problem when adding the password to the archive, mention in the comments below and we will do our best to assist you.