7-Zip Encryption

7-Zip, provided by default on UWE computers, protects files by encrypting them within a compressed archive file which can be distributed as necessary and opened with a password. When an archive is encrypted, 7-Zip (or other compression tools like winzip) are required to access the information - the native windows compression tool is unable to use secure encryption methods.

7-Zip Encryption 1

To create the file, right click on the files or folders that you would like to encrypt, and select “7-Zip -> Add to archive…”

7-Zip Encryption 2

Enter the name you wish to give the file, and select “zip” as an archive format.

7-Zip Encryption 2

Make sure that the Encryption method is set to “AES-256”. This method is stronger than ZipCrypto and provides much greater security.

7-Zip Encryption 4

Enter a password of your choice here. You will need to provide this password whenever you wish to open files from within the encrypted archive. To ensure your data is properly protected, choose a strong password.

7-Zip Encryption 5

To Open an encrypted archive file, simply right click and select “7-Zip -> Extract Here” or “Open Archive”.

7-Zip Encryption 6

You will be prompted for a password to decrypt your files. Supply the password you entered previously when encrypting your files.

7-Zip Encryption 7

Note: When encrypting a zip file, only the contents of the files within the archive are protected – file names and directory listings are still visible to users without the password. If this information is sensitive and also needs to be protected, then change the archive format from “zip” to “7z” when encrypting, and tick “Encrypt file names”. Anyone you share this file with will need the password to see anything within – but they will only be able to do so using the 7-Zip utility, no other zip programs will be able to decrypt the file.


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