Password Protect a Zip File on Windows 10 (With Images)

This guide focuses on showing you how to password protect .zip files on Windows 10, using all the best tools you could possibly need.

Compressed files, also known as .zip files, are one of the most convenient ways of transferring data from one computer to another. You can essentially pack gigabytes upon gigabytes of files into a single place, then send it to just about anyone in a single transfer. Because of its great use, many people look to protect their .zip files with a password to ensure only those with permission can unpack the contents.

Password Protect a Zip File


Password Protect a Zip File on Windows 10

This guide focuses on showing you how to password protect .zip files on Windows 10, using all the best tools you could possibly need. Ensure that your files are in the right hands by applying a password only you know and only you can share.

If you put the files you'd like to protect in a zip file, you can then apply a password.
  1. In Windows Explorer, highlight and right-click on the files you would like to put into a zipped file.
  2. Select Send to, then Zip folder (compressed).
  3. Double-click the zipped file, then select File and Add Password.

Let's dive into the methods in detail.


Method 1. Use Windows 10’s Encrypting File System (EFS)

Windows 10 doesn’t offer password protection for compressed files or folders, however, you can still take steps to ensure the safety of your files.

Using the Encrypting File System (EFS) encrypts the data of your folder or .zip file and generates a decryption key that acts as a password. Only people with the exact, correct key will be able to decrypt the contents.

Note: This method is not available on Windows 10 Home. You can purchase Windows 10 Pro on our website for a great price.

Use Windows 10 EFS


  1. Right-click (or press and hold on touch-enabled devices) the .zip file or compressed folder which you want to protect, then select Properties.
    Windows 10 Efs
  2. Click on the Advanced button.
    Advanced tab
  3. Place a check the Encrypt contents to secure data box. Click OK to close the Advanced Attributes window.
    encrypt contents to secure data
  4. Click Apply. Choose either Encrypt the file and its parent folder (recommended) or Encrypt the file only, then select OK to close the Confirm Attribute Changes window.
    click appls
  5. Make sure to backup your decryption key. If this key is lost, you won’t be able to properly view the contents of the protected file or folder again.

If you desire proper password protection, you’ll need to use third-party tools. For this, we recommend one of the two software below. It’s fully up to your personal preference — both applications get the job done.

Method 2. Use WinRAR

WinRAR is an application that allows you to create and manage .zip files, including password protection. The free trial allows you to indefinitely manage your compressed files, and regular updates ensure that your experience is always the best.

You can download or purchase WinRAR by clicking here. After installing the application, follow the steps below to learn how to password protect a .zip file with WinRAR.

  1. Open the .zip file with WinRAR.
    WinRAR file
  2. Click on Tools from the menu, located in the top-left corner of the WinRAR window.
    WinRAR tools
  3. Select Convert Archives. You can also use the Alt + Q keyboard shortcut in WinRAR to access this feature quicker.
    convert archives
  4. A popup window will appear on your screen. Click on the Compression… button.
    compress files
  5. Click on the Set password… button.
    set password
  6. In the Enter Password field, type in the desired password, then enter it again in the Re-enter password for verification field.
    confirm password
  7. Click OK. A new window will appear displaying “Are you sure you want to encrypt converted archives?”. Click Yes and allow WinRAR to process the request.
    finish setting password
  8. After WinRAR has applied the password, click Close. Now, you can securely share the .zip file with anyone.

Method 3. Use 7-Zip

If you’re looking for a different application to manage your .zip files in, we recommend 7-Zip. It’s easy to learn and efficient to work with, allowing even beginners to take full advantage of the convenience of .zip compression.

You can download or purchase 7-Zip by clicking here. After installing the application, follow the steps below to learn how to password protect a .zip file with 7-Zip.

  1. Select the file or files you want to include in your password protected .zip archive.
  2. Press right-click on your mouse, then hover over the 7-Zip option with the cursor. This will expand another context menu.
    select 7-zip
  3. Select the Add to archive… option.
    start encryption
  4. In the Encryption section, enter and reenter a password by typing in the fields. If desired, you may select an encryption method using the drop-down menu.
  5. Click OK to create the .zip archive with password protection.

Final thoughts

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