Is it possible to add a password to an existing zipfile with 7zip without going to all the trouble of unpacking it and re-packing it again?

  • What platform (Linux, Windows, ...) are you using? – whitequark Nov 25 '10 at 2:14
  • @Dennis: well, if you are writing this seriously, it's sad, and if not, it's not funny anyway. (And what if I'd say that regular 7zip executable won't run on Windows 3.11?) – whitequark Nov 25 '10 at 3:07
  • I run windows 7 and ubuntu linux 10.10, depending on what needs doing. 7zip is cross platform though so what difference does that make? – matt wilkie Nov 25 '10 at 16:33

By nature if you want the file to be encrypted, it needs to be unpacked and repacked, since the whole archive needs to be encrypted with the password.

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    That's the correct answer ;) - Even if a program gives you an option to add a password to a ZIP file in one single step it will internally repack all files. – BlaM Nov 27 '10 at 15:27
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    @BlaM thanks for the clarification. Though thinking about it more carefully, the "going to all the trouble" bit is really about avoiding my trouble, not the computer's. ;-) So I'd be okay with that option, which doesn't seem to available anyway. – matt wilkie Nov 29 '10 at 0:20

Would it work for you to zip the zip file? Use no/low compression and encrypt the original zip file. Its a lot quicker than repacking the original files.


You can password-protect an existing ZIP file with zipcloak.

EDIT: T. Furukawa crafted a patch for zipcloak that adds a password option, so batch processing is much easier: C:\>for %f in (*.zip) do zipcloak -p password %f.

If you prefer a GUI, both WinRAR and PeaZip can batch encrypt existing archives.

  • In WinRAR: Select ZIP files > Tools > Convert archives > Compression... > Set password...

  • In PeaZip: Select ZIP files > Convert > Enter password / keyfile (optionally set algorithm to ZipCrypto under the Advanced tab for compatibility with Windows' built-in ZIP handling)

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    zipcloak isn't 7zip as OP asked for :/ – nmz787 Nov 19 '16 at 2:18
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    Jeez guys, this is actually by far the best answer if all you want to do is password-encrypt an existing zip. It doesn't answer exactly the question as asked, but why downvote?? – Raman Oct 22 '20 at 21:41

Yes, you can do it with 7-Zip, following below steps without doing any extract and repacking

  1. Right click files you want to add to zip
  2. 7-Zip -> Add to archive...
  3. New window opens with default name for new zip file.
  4. Next to that drop down box, there is a square button with three dots over it (Browse)
  5. Select existing zip file into which you want to add files
  6. Over already open window, Right-Bottom there is 'Encryption' block, with text boxes to input intended password, give inputs there
  7. Click OK
  8. Congrats

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