How to Add a Password to a Zip File: The Complete Guide

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Zip files are an easy way to archive information without the loss of quality that's usually associated with compression. Rather than taking up gigabytes of space on your hard drive, you can transform that data into a zip file worth only megabytes of space. But not all the zip files you have are your old papers from history class; some might even be pretty important. If that's the case, it's worth keeping your private things private with a password. Here's how to add a password to a zip file in a few easy steps.

Why should you password-enable your zip file?

To put it simply, you might password-enable a zip file for the same reason you put a password on anything else — so people can't look inside. Security needs vary wildly from person to person, but if you're someone who values their privacy, a password on a zip file is probably the most basic level of security you can take with them. Anyone who has the file will be unable to open it without the password, putting an extra layer of security between your valuable data and anyone who might get their hands on it.

How to add a password to a zip file

If you want to password protect a zip file in Windows 10, start by opening the WinZip program that you used to create the zip file in the first place.

Next, click on the "Create/Share" option in the top left area.

Along the right side of the program, there should now be an "Actions" section. The first option below that should have a lock symbol and the word "Encrypt" beside it. Click the switch next to it so that it is set to the On position.

After that, you just need to find the file you wish to zip. This can be done by clicking and dragging a file from your desktop or other folders into the WinZip program screen or by navigating to the file you want to encrypt through the WinZip program's "Files" section in the lower left side.

If done correctly, you should see a new popup appear labeled "Encrypt" as the file zips (before this, you may get a caution message talking about the encryption used here, but you can just click OK). On the popup, you will find two fields to input your password; the first to select the password you want, the second to confirm that the password is the same both times. When you are satisfied with the password, click the OK button.

Once this is done, a new popup should appear labeled "Add Complete" accompanied by a breakdown of your file's size before and after zipping. Click the OK button. You should now see your file in the center of the WinZip program.

With your file successfully zipped, all you need to do now is save it. Do this by clicking the save icon labeled "To PC or Cloud" and select where you would like the file to save to. As you do this, you can rename your file if desired. Once you're satisfied, click the "Save" button to create your password-protected zip file.


Internet security should be a concern for everyone. Whether you're keeping your work documents safe against bad actors or just preserving old family photos on the computer, keeping your data where it needs to be and out of the hands of people it doesn't belong to is important. Zip files already help you to save space, but by using password protection and encryption technology, they can also aid you in keeping yourself safe. Take full advantage of WinZip's security features and start password-protecting your zip files today.

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