You can Compress files by making them a zip file. There are lots of free and paid software available to create zip files. In this tutorial, I am going to discuss how to compress files and how to password protect the file with a well know zip software 7-zip.
Windows has a built-in feature to zip and unzip files. But it may not work with big files. If your file size is less than 4 GB, you can use the Windows zip feature. It is always better to have a good zip program in your system.
7-zip has widely used software in the world. It is open-source software. It is one of the best among free zip software. It not only compresses the files, but it will also give you the option to password protect the archive file. Another good feature in 7-zip is, it will be included in Windows right-click feature.
How to compress files with 7-zip
- Download 7-zip from http://www.7-zip.org/download.html. Install software.
- Go to your file or folder. Right-click on file or folder.
- Click “7-zip”.
- Click “Add to Archive”. You will see the “Add to archive” window shows that in the below screenshot.
- You can change your “Archive” name. Or keep it as it is.
- It is better to select “Archive Format” as 7z. You can also select zip from the dropdown. 7z format gives a high-compression level compare to zip format. I have tried with the 726MB folder. It produced a 714Mb zip file in zip format. It produced 695 MB zip file in 7z format. So it is better to use the 7z format. Don’t worry about unzipping 7z format. Any other zip program can unzip the 7z format.
- Keep compression level “Normal”. Because there is a minimal effect on other options.
- If you want, you can try the “Split to volumes, bytes” option. It is useful when you have a very big file and if you want them to split into multiple files. You can leave it empty.
- Type a password and confirm in the fields under encryption. You can enter a password only if you want to password protect your files. Otherwise, you can leave it empty.
- Click “Ok”.
Now your zip file is ready. Remember, if you want to get more compression levels and more speed, you must buy Winrar. Because, in my opinion, no other free zip software gives more compression levels than 7-zip.