I create a password-protected self-extracting archive using WinRAR. When I open the archive the executable asks me for a password. How can I change "Enter password for the encrypted file." to a custom prompt?

2 Answers 2


I don't think it is possible: most parts of the SFX archives can be customized, but for this part there is simply no command or interface available to change it. You can use the -p switch when calling the executable for suppressing the dialog (e.g. compressed_file.exe -pmypass), but that would defeat the purpose of the password protection.

If you do want password protection, you would I guess need some kind of installer creation software. With e.g. the Nullsoft Scriptable Install System you can configure it similarly to an SFX archive, plus it allows for custom user prompts with which you can mimic the password protection.

  • I would like to change the self-extracting executable created by WinRAR. Oct 20, 2011 at 17:04
  • @NorbertWillhelm: I know, but again, as far as I know I don't think it is possible. If suppressing the password isn't an option, then I see no other option next to looking into different solutions.
    – jro
    Oct 21, 2011 at 6:22

There is a solution available for Windows:

  1. Generate your self-extracting archive using WinRAR as you usually do. Download Resource Hacker for Windows.
  2. Open the file created within step 1 in Resource Hacker.
  3. Edit the main dialog resource 1031 of the dialog "GETPASSWORD1" in order to change the text of the static control, which is the first control of the dialog. You are also able to edit the caption of the dialog prompting for a password.
  4. Click on File/Save.
  5. Click on Action/Compile.
  6. Click on File/Save.

You can transfer these steps using any other resourde editor like Resedit.

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