How to Password Protect and Encrypt Files using 7-Zip for Windows

7-Zip can password protect and encrypt any file you put in a zip folder, regardless of the file extension.

  1. Navigate to the 7-Zip download page which could be found here
    Download 7 ZIP file options for Windows

  2. Click the correct .exe for your operating system, and save it to your computer.
    Download 7 ZIP file options for Windows

  3. Click "Install" then once it's finished, click "Close."
    Z-Zip Setup Destination folder with option to Install or CancelInstall Z-Zip Destination Folder loading bar. Options below for closing the panel or canceling

  4. Find the file you want to encrypt, right click it, navigate to 7-Zip>Add to archive...
    7-Zip installed on Desktop page with a dropdown menu adding it to the archive

  5. You will be presented with this screen.
    Add to Archive Panel

  6. Change the archive format to "zip" to make your zip folder.
    Add to Archive Panel. Archive Format changed to ZIP

  7. Create a password for the document, re-enter it, then change the encryption method to AES-256, then press "OK."
    Add to Archive Password ecryption added

  8. A zip folder will then be created in the directory your file was in that is both encrypted and password protected with the password you gave it.

    NOTE: If you lose or forget a password, Excel cannot recover your data.
    NOTE: Never email the password to the file in the same email. Either relay the password over the phone or send it using other means like a text message. Do not email the password to the recipient. 



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