Password protect files in Windows XP/Vista

hackingIf you want to ensure that only you can access a certain file, and users you allow access to the file, then the easiest way to do so is to zip (compress) a file with Winzip/Winrar or Windows’ own compression tool.

All you need to do is download Winzip or Winrar, install the program and select the file you want to protect. Depending on whether you want to use Windows or a third party tool to protect the files, follow one of the three instructions below. The process is very similar and the result is always the same – you ‘package’ the file and add a password to it, so that only users who know the password can open the file.

Windows’ Compression Tool:

  • Right click on the file, select Send to and then in the new menu select Compressed (Zipped) Folder. A new folder/file with the same name will be created, but with a .zip extension.
  • Next, right click on the new file and select Explore. Under File, select Add Password, enter something that you can remember and confirm it. Now only you will be able to open the folder and access the document (and users who receive your password).
  • If you want to add another file (for example Doc2) to the compressed folder (the new file you created), simply right click on Doc2, select Copy, then right click on the new folder and select Paste. Repeat this step if you have more files to add to the new, protected folder.


  • Right click on the file and select Winzip from the menu. Next, select Add to Zip file.
  • In the new menu, you’ll see a Password button in the right bottom corner. Click on it, enter your password and click OK.
  • Click on Add and your new password protected folder will be created.
  • You should see the file in the open winzip window. Close the window and test your password access.


  • Right click on the file and select Add to Archive from the menu.
  • In the new menu, select the Advanced tab and then Set Password button.
  • Enter your new password and click OK. Then click OK once again to create your new password protected file with .rar extension.
  • File name will be the same, unless you want to change it (Archive Name under the General tab)

Note 1: File names will be visible to users who do not have the password. They won’t be able to open the file though.

Note 2: These compressed folders can be deleted without having to enter the password.

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