​Encrypting Using 7-Zip

This document details the steps to encrypt a file or folder using 7-Zip. 7-Zip is free compression and encryption software, allowing encryption of documents and data files using an industry standard encryption algorithm combined with a user-chosen password.


- Files to encrypt.

- A computer running Windows Vista, 7, 8 or 10.

- 7-Zip 15.0 or later installed on your PC - if not already installed, please contact the ISD Helpdesk to request an install.

Compress and Encrypt


Right-Click on the file or folder that you want to encrypt and you'll see a 7-Zip option. Click [Add to Archive].



The 'Add to Archive' window will open; the default name for the archive will be the original file name, but you can use a different name if required.

The compressed archive will be created in the original file's location, unless you choose to specify a different one.

Enter a password that will be used to encrypt the file. You should use a strong password (with a combination of upper/lower case letter, numbers and symbols) with a minimum length of 12 characters. A long and complex password is more resistant to being broken via what are called 'brute-force attacks' and guesswork.

Do not forget the password as the encrypted file cannot be opened without it!

The remaining fields can be left as their default values.


Click [OK] and the encrypted file will be created at your chosen destination.

Opening a 7-Zip Encrypted File/Folder

 1. Right-Click on the 7-Zip encrypted archive and select [Open Archive].


2. Click the files you want to open and select [Extract].


3. Select the location where the extracted files should be saved and click [OK].


4. Enter the password used to encrypt the file/folder and click [OK].


5. The file/folder will be unencrypted and extracted to its original format at your chosen location.