How to password protect your zip files

Picture of How to password protect your zip files
There are a large variety of reasons why you'd want to password protect a file or set of files. Some legit and some downright nefarious. I believe it's not really my place to make that distinction for others but I was asked to explain how to do this easily and so I've written this instructable to answer these questions. Please note that no "security measures" are truly secure and if you write something with a computer, there's nothing you can do to protect it that someone else smarter than you (or using tools developed by someone smarter than you (curse you script kiddies!!!)) can't undo. The advice "don't get caught" can only go so far and so I recommend being very selective about what you save and assume is safe.

Anyway, enough blather on to the good stuff!

Step 1: Get WinRar

Picture of Get WinRar
I don't mean to plug for any company in particular and I'm sure there are many other vendors who have products that can do the same things but WinRar can do everything I want regarding archives and that's really all I need . . . So step one is to go to WinRar's website, download their latest version, and install it on your machine.
dvanhoof2 years ago
Sadly this doesn't password protect tha t"zip file" it ecrypts the files within. I am pretty sure that in previous version of Winzip and possible WinRar that you could set a password on the zip file so it could not be opened without the password, any idea why that function was taken away?
Kaelessin (author)  dvanhoof2 years ago
If you read carefully (see step 1) you'll note that I am using winrar here and it does support password protection. I can't speak for winzip since I do not use it.
This is a bit of an ancient instructable though that was built mostly for a few people I knew so I wouldn't have to repeatedly explain it ;)
 what does "encrypt the names" do?
hg3416 years ago
you useing vista? and i dont like winrar i can never get it to work right
Kaelessin (author)  hg3416 years ago
I am . . . that's unfortunate . . .I've never had any issues with it so I'm probably a lousy source of troubleshooting . . .
hg341 Kaelessin6 years ago
oh well i use 7zip
Kaelessin (author)  hg3416 years ago
yep that's a great tool too . . . a friend of mine just happened to send me the info on winrar first and I tend to, out of laziness, stick with what I know
zeinir6 years ago
thanks man your the bomb
Kaelessin (author)  zeinir6 years ago
lol no problem
berky936 years ago
thanks - for some reason I didnt know winrar could password protect zip files. well you can never know it all!
Kaelessin (author)  berky936 years ago
yup it's quite a clever little app. glad this drew your attention to that side of it!