How to Password Protect a Zip File on Mac

Charlotte Daniels

Mac, Tutorials

Are you looking to password protect a zip file on your Mac? Password protecting your files adds an extra layer of security, ensuring that only authorized individuals can access the contents. In this tutorial, we will walk you through the steps to password protect a zip file on Mac using built-in tools.

Step 1: Create a Zip File

To get started, you’ll need to create a zip archive of the files you want to protect. Select the files or folders you wish to include in the zip file, right-click, and choose “Compress” from the context menu. This will create a compressed .zip file containing all the selected items.

Step 2: Rename the Zip File

Before adding a password, it’s important to rename your zip file to something recognizable. Right-click on the newly created zip file and select “Rename” from the menu. Enter a descriptive name for your zip file and press Enter.

Step 3: Open Terminal

To add a password to your zip file, we’ll be using Terminal, which is a built-in command-line interface on macOS. Launch Terminal by going to Applications > Utilities > Terminal or by using Spotlight Search.

Step 4: Navigate to Your Zip File Location

In Terminal, use the “cd” command followed by the directory path where your zip file is located. For example:

  • $ cd /Users/YourUsername/Documents/

Replace “YourUsername” with your actual username and “/Documents/” with the correct folder path where your zip file is located.

Step 5: Set Password for Zip File

Once you’re in the correct directory, use the following command to set a password for your zip file:

  • $ zip -e

Replace “” with the actual name of your zip file.

Step 6: Enter Password

After executing the command, Terminal will prompt you to enter a password. Type in a strong and secure password, but make sure it’s something you can remember.

Step 7: Verify Password Protection

To verify that your zip file is now password protected, navigate to the location of your zip file using Finder. Double-click on the zip file, and you should be prompted to enter the password you set earlier.

Congratulations! You have successfully password protected a zip file on your Mac. Remember to keep your password secure and not share it with unauthorized individuals.


If you ever need to remove the password from a protected zip file, simply repeat Steps 3-4 to navigate to the directory where your zip file is located. Then execute the following command in Terminal:

  • $ unzip -d UnzippedFolderName

This will create an unencrypted folder containing all the contents of your previously protected zip file. You can then delete or keep this folder as needed.

That’s it! Now you know how to easily protect and unprotect your important files using passwords on Mac.

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