Data security always holds paramount significance in safeguarding your information. When files are zipped, they become compressed into one file for easier sharing and storage, but this also means that anyone who gains access to it can view its contents. To ensure that only authorized people have access to the content of a zip file, you can password-protect it. 

In this article, we will explain how to password-protect a zip file on Windows 10. 

How to Password Protect a Zip File on Windows 10?

With the help of this guide, you’ll learn how to keep your data safe while still being able to share it with other people. Let’s get started!

Encrypting Your Zip File 

The first step in securing your zip file is encrypting it. Encryption is akin to using a key to lock a door; without the correct key (the password), the door (in this case, the zip file) remains inaccessible. 

To encrypt your zip file on Windows 10, you’ll need to make use of a built-in utility called “Windows Explorer”. Yes, the very same tool you use to navigate through your computer’s files and folders can also be used to password-protect your zip files. 

Do remember, though, that while this method is convenient and doesn’t require any additional software, it’s not the most secure. It uses ZipCrypto encryption, which, while sufficient for most purposes, might not stand up to a dedicated hacker’s efforts. If you’re managing exceptionally sensitive data, you might contemplate employing more robust encryption techniques through third-party software. But for most users, the protection offered by Windows Explorer is more than enough.

To encrypt a zip file, you’ll first need to create the zip file. This is as simple as selecting the files or folders you want to compress, right-clicking, and choosing “Send to > Compressed (zipped) folder”. 

Once you have your zip file, it’s time to add the password.

Stay with us as we delve deeper into this process in the following section – walking through each step, making sure you have all the information you need to password-protect your zip file on Windows 10.

Password Protecting Your Zip File 

First, you’ll need to open the zip file in Windows Explorer. To do this, simply double-click the zip file’s icon or right-click and select “Open”. 

Now that it’s open, you can add your password protection by clicking “File” and then “Set default Password”. 

You will now be prompted to enter and re-enter your password. Make sure you use a strong, unique password – one that you’re confident no one else will be able to guess.

If you want to increase the security of your zip file even further, consider enabling the “Encrypt contents to secure data” option. 

This will give your file an extra layer of protection by encrypting the contents, preventing anyone without the password from being able to open it. 

Once you’ve set your password and encryption settings, simply click “OK” to save your changes. Your zip file is now protected with a password – only those who know the assigned password will be able to open it!

Limitations of Encrypted Zip Files 

Although encrypting a zip file is an effective way to protect its contents, it isn’t perfect. For example, if the wrong password is entered multiple times, the encryption will be broken and the files can then be accessed without needing a password. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you only share the password with people that you trust and to remember the password yourself. 

In addition, encrypted zip files cannot be opened on devices running older versions of Windows such as XP or Vista. If someone tries to open an encrypted zip file on a device running an old version of Windows, they will need to upgrade their operating system first. 


Password-protecting a zip file is a great way to ensure that only authorized people can access its contents. By encrypting the files with the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm, you will be able to keep your information safe and secure. Nevertheless, it remains crucial to keep the password in memory and refrain from sharing it with individuals you do not have complete trust in. 

Additionally, remember that zip files encrypted with AES cannot be opened on devices running older versions of Windows. With these tips in mind, you can now password-protect your zip file and keep its contents safe from unauthorized access.