nordpass logo

How to Password Protect a ZIP File

Lukas Grigas
Cybersecurity Content Writer

Today, data compression is an integral part of the workplace. Just think about it. It’s likely you have received or sent out a ZIP file sometime this week. What makes ZIP files so ubiquitous is their ability to carry more data at faster speeds than simply sending individuals files.

Essentially, ZIP is a type of file format that is used to compress and archive multiple files together into a single location or file with the .zip extension.

While ZIP files might be great for transferring data quickly and easily, they are not famous for their security. But there’s a way to up the security of ZIP files and the way, as you might’ve guessed, is through passwords.

Today we’re looking at how you can password protect a ZIP file to ensure that the file is protected. Even if it happens to land in the wrong hands, its contents will remain secure.

How to password protect a ZIP file on Windows

The following instructions apply to most popular and active Microsoft Windows operating systems such as Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, and Windows 11.

To password protect a ZIP file on Windows, first you will need to download a free and open-source file compression application called 7-Zip. Once you have downloaded 7-Zip, you need to install as you will use it to password protect a ZIP file. So without further ado, here’s how you password protect a ZIP file with the help of 7-Zip:

  1. Select the File or Folders that you want to compress into a ZIP file.
  2. Right-click and in the drop down menu locate 7-Zip.
  3. Select Add to archive.
  4. In the menu window, locate the Archive format section and select zip.
  5. Locate the Encryption section in the menu window.
  6. Type in the password that you wish to use into the Enter password field.
  7. Retype the password in the Reenter password field.
  8. Click OK.

That’s it. Now your ZIP file is password protected and is safe from the praying eyes.

Level up your online safety

With advanced features.

How to password protect a zip file on macOS

Password protecting a ZIP file on macOS is, in essence, a very similar process to how you password protect a ZIP file on the Windows operating system. However, instead of 7-Zip, macOS users should download Keka — which is an equivalent app to 7-Zip — and use it to compress and password protect files.

  1. Once you have downloaded the Keka app, you need to install it and launch it.
  2. Close the Preferences window.
  3. In the smaller window, enter your password and repeat it.
  4. Now drag and drop the Files or Folders that you want to compress on top of the Keka app window.
  5. Select the location where you want to save the new ZIP file and click Compress.

That’s it. You’re all done.

How to open a password protected file

To open a password protected ZIP file, all you need to do is simply double click and enter the correct password. Once you enter the password, the ZIP file will be decompressed and you will be able to view its content. Note that this applies to both Windows and macOS computers.

Store and securely share passwords with NordPass

Passwords are a fact of life. We use them every day for protecting our online lives. Here’s a quick fact: an average internet user has to handle around 100 passwords. The number is huge. But that’s where NordPass comes in. It’s a secure and intuitive password manager.

With NordPass, you can safely store and access passwords, credit card details, personal information, and notes. Additionally, you can securely share passwords with other NordPass users with a Premium Plan. You should use the NordPass secure item sharing feature as a quick and easy way to share passwords that protect your ZIP files.

Thanks to the NordPass Autosave and Autofill features, you will no longer need to type your login credentials. Advanced security features such as Password Health and Data Breach Scanner allow you to identify whether any of your passwords are vulnerable or if your data has ever been compromised in a breach. These days, a password manager is an essential security tool for any person who wishes to protect their data and identity online.

Subscribe to NordPass news

Get the latest news and tips from NordPass straight to your inbox.