I am unable to extract zip files secured with password using the Windows built-in compression utility. It prompted me for password and after I supplied one, it kept complaining "wrong password" although I'm pretty sure I entered the correct one.

The same problem occurred with 7zip too. I can only successfully extract the files using WinZip. However WinZip is proprietary and my company wouldn't want to pay for it. The zip files were created by our clients, we don't know how they created them. The zip files are just several hundred KBs.

Is there a way around this?

  • I'm surprised 7zip didn't work. (Not sure if WinZip has some proprietary algorithms, I didn't think they did.) Have you tried using, or do you know how to use, a Linux distro (just in case it's something wrong in your Windows machine)? 7zip and unzip utilities are also freely available in Linux and I generally find them to be more reliable. Unfortunately, without an example file, which I'm sure you can't give, not sure what can be done to analyse your problem.
    – jehad
    Jun 24, 2016 at 1:22

3 Answers 3


Well, you should ask them how they generated the files because encryption in zip is infamous for vendor extensions support for which varies.

That - or analyze the file to figure out which flavor of encryption it uses and then investigate its support among the programs.

WinZip can help you in this if it has some kind of "file info" command that gives relevant data.


Type the password into Notepad, then copy the password and paste it into WinZip, if it can extract the data then try and do the same for 7-zip and the Windows builtin. If it works for WinZip, but not for the other two, then your client probably compressed the file with a paid version of WinZip and that version is using proprietary encryption that the others can't access.


Try the below one - 360zip, it can be helpful. I've been used this one for months. A good alternative free. http://download.cnet.com/360-Zip/3000-2250_4-75915541.html

  • 2
    When recommending software it is customary to describe why and how it solves the users problem. See How do I recommend software my answers for some tips on what we expect here. That cnet page states that the software has a Chinese only interface, is that going to be a problem for non-chinese people? Signatures and signature lines are not welcome here and should be left on your profile page.
    – Mokubai
    Jun 24, 2016 at 6:28

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