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If you have Windows XP:

1. Using Windows Explorer, locate the first file you want to zip.
2. Right click on the file and select Send To and Compressed (zipped) Folder. This will create a new compressed folder with the same name as the file, except with the extension .zip.
3. Right click any other file you want to compress and select Copy.
4. Right click on the compressed folder you created in step 2 and select Paste. The copied file was pasted into the compressed folder. Repeat this until your compressed folder contains all the files you want.
5. Right click on the compressed folder and select Explore.
6. In File, select Add a Password. Enter the password and confirm the password.

B. If you have an earlier version of Windows:

1. Download a zip utility. WinZip is very popular, and an evaluation version is available free.
(Other zip utilities are here: »www.freedownloadscenter.com/Util ··· ilities/)
2. Using Windows Explorer, locate the first file you want to zip.
3. Right click on the file and select WinZip and Add to Zip File.
4. In Add to Archive, enter the path and name you want your zip file to have.
5. Click Password and enter the password you want the zip file to have.
6. Click Add.
7. On the WinZip window that appears, click Add and select any other files you would like to add to your zip file.
8. When you are done, select File and Close Archive.

If you are creating a password protected zip file for the purpose of sending a virus to an anti-virus company, use the password infected and state the password is infected in the email the zip file is being attached to. In this special case, the password protection is simply to prevent the virus from tripping alarms and being disinfected before it reaches the anti-virus company.

Some tools for making "password protected zip files" (compressed folders) may use the term "encryption" or "encryption key." Encryption key is technically the more accurate description. They are talking about the same thing, though.

(Don't worry if an unencrypted copy of the zip file is created in your TEMP directory when you enter the password. The work-file will be deleted by the zip utility when it terminates. If your zip utility fails to do that, contact the zip utility vendor. - Keith2468 2008-07-21)

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • I have to use WinRAR right?

    2014-05-06 07:44:39

  • Thanks! Help in a pinch on an XP machine.

    2014-04-10 09:50:09

  • Brilliant. Thankyou!

    2014-01-24 09:56:20

  • i cannot locate add a password in file. i dont know what version of windows i have either.

    2013-12-10 23:12:51

  • Thank you so much..

    2013-10-29 01:04:01

  • It will very useful Thank you

    2013-09-12 03:00:09

  • Tank U, Tahnk U wery muchly. Tis works goodly wif me

    2013-08-27 14:16:06

  • thank u so much..... :)

    2012-02-29 12:56:23

  • Thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

    2011-10-18 07:29:32

  • Thanx wery much

    2011-10-09 11:01:26

  • thanks a lot, to me in my workplace, where no third-party software allowed, this knowledge is very helpful...

    2011-08-05 03:11:04

  • Any idea what encryption algorithm this uses, and how secure it is presuming you use a good password?

    2011-07-18 16:11:32

  • great straight forward advice thanks

    2011-06-15 15:28:21

  • Thanks! I kept trying to use the password function in Winzip, but it would not stick. This way worked. Don't know how you knew the syntax of these steps, but thanks again!

    2011-04-28 15:58:21

  • Just tried the steps in Section "A" but it does not work. It allows the zip file to be opened without the password; the password is only asked when an extraction is attempted.

    2011-02-07 15:07:23

  • Many thanks. It works fine.

    2010-11-03 12:36:50

  • ya... working good... thanks....:-)

    2010-10-03 11:01:12

  • THANK YOU for the help!!!

    2010-08-11 12:51:14

  • I like the description, but it takes ages to add a password to a zipped file containing a large number of files. Is there any quick way to add a password to zipped file only? I do not understand why the Windows XP's utility adds password to each and every file. In my opinion, this is an inefficient way of adding a password. There should be something better than this.

    2009-09-28 21:54:00

  • This was exactly what I needed in a short and simple response. Thank you

    2009-09-16 19:24:18

  • thanks, its very useful. keep posting.

    2009-09-03 07:32:54

  • this is good! excellent info they provide and its really works... Thank you...

    2009-07-24 05:09:09

  • Good Work!

    2009-05-11 13:38:47

  • RE "A" above Is there anyway that the cmd unzip can be used to retrieve the passworded file?

    2009-01-30 10:12:25

  • This is just what I needed. Thank you soo much!!

    2009-01-09 14:11:52

  • this works well but not on movie files..(.mpg)the files just open the same?

    2008-08-25 18:44:18

  • good information

    2008-07-22 06:36:25

  • Only one problem with this (it seems)... When you double click the file to open it, and yes, enter the password... It creates a copy of the file (un protected) in the local/temp directory... Have you noticed this? Is there a way around that (feature?)

    2008-06-12 23:49:32

Expand got feedback?

by keith2468 See Profile edited by Wildcatboy See Profile
last modified: 2010-11-26 10:41:59