How to Password Protect a Zip file in MacOS

zip folder

It’s rather simple to create a zip file on your Mac. Don’t believe me? Well, we’re going to walk you through the process. Creating a password-protected zip file takes a little more effort, but is still relatively easy.

How to Zip and Unzip files

We’ll start out with how to zip or compress a file on your Mac.

  1. Find the file or folder you want to zip.
  2. Right-click by holding two fingers down on your Mac trackpad or right-click the button on your mouse.
  3. Select “Compress” whatever the name of your file or folder is, and click your trackpad or mouse. Now the file or folder is zipped to the located you’ve chosen.                                                                                                             zipfolder

Macs use a built-in Archive Utility, so it doesn’t get any easier than that. Your file’s zipped.

To unzip a file or folder on your Mac, double-click it with your trackpad or mouse. Or:

  • Right-click on the zipped file or folder with your trackpad or mouse and scroll to “Open With” and select the application you want, if you have something other than the Archive Utility for unzipping files or folders.  Archive Utility

How to Create a Password-Protected Zip File

This will require using the Terminal application on your Mac. Navigate to the Terminal application by your preferred method or use one of the methods we’ve listed below.

  1. Use the shortcut/hotkey: Command + Space bar. This will open the Spotlights search bar on your Mac. Type “Terminal” in Spotlight, then double-click on Terminal to open it. Alternatively, you can go to Finder, scroll down to “Utilities,” and then select “Terminal” from the Utilities programs folder.
  2. In Terminal, type: “zip –e archive_name target_folder”
  • The “-e” instructs your Mac to create an encrypted zip file.
  • The “archive_name” is the name you want your archive called.
  • The “target_folder” is the folder or file you want to archive.
  1. The archive utility window will pop up for you to enter a password. Type a password and click OK.
  2. You’ll verify the password you’ve chosen by typing it in again when prompted. Then click OK to complete the password-protection process.

You’re all done! Now you know how to zip or compress files on your Mac, as well as how to unzip them. And you can also add a password to your zipped files that contain sensitive data or something you don’t want spying eyes to see.

Posted by Heather on June 29, 2016

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