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Articles Fundamentals Password Protect a .ZIP file

We send emails and attachments all the time.. we don't really think about the security of these attachments, we just assume that only the eyes of the sender and the receiver will see them.  You may even have an encrypted or secure email connection, but realize that email transmission is only as secure as the weakest layer in the transport of the email.  This layer may and most likely will be completely out of the sender or receiver's control.

One way we can help to combat this is to "zip" or compress files/folders and apply a password to the zipped file (archive) before it gets attached and sent.  Then, you could attach the password protected zip file and send the password in a separate email (or better yet, call the recipient and TELL them what you're going to be using for the password).

So, how do we password protect a zip file?  Let's see if we can explain it step by step using a nice free utility called 7zip.

 Firstly, we need to have 7zip installed on our computer.  You can get 7zip by downloading the executible file from http://www.7zip.org.

Once you've downloaded and installed 7zip, it's time to get zipping!

If I have multiple files I would like to send in one email, I like to create one folder and put them all in that folder.  That way, I can just add that folder to the archive (zip file) and all files inside will be done in one fell swoop.

So, I have my folder with files in it.  Now, right click on the folder and select 7zip, then Add to archive...


Add to archive


Next, change the archive format to zip, the encryption method to AES-256 (which is a stronger encryption), and if you like, check the "show password" box and enter your password for the archive (otherwise you'll have to enter the password twice.  Next, Click OK.


Archive details

 That's it! Now simply attach your newly password protected .zip file to your email and send it off.  When the recipient attempts to extract the zip file, they will be prompted for the password!


0 #2 computerguy 2013-05-06 06:49
No, the recipient does not need to have 7zip installed. It will ask for the password when they attempt to open the files in the archive.
0 #1 Tony 2013-05-05 13:59
Does the recipient have to have 7-zip installed too?

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Thank you so much for the efficient service on my computer. I'm sure it enjoyed your attention. You were right I probably had a bad connection, since I lost two computer's to lightening I unplug it a lot. I will be more careful in the future. Everything is working just fine now. I keep telling people about you so hope my advertising pays off for you. Take care.
Margaret Bender - 29 Aug 2013
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