Security :: 7-Zip Windows Encryption

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7-Zip is an open source file archiver designed for Microsoft Windows. 7-Zip uses the 7z archive format, and can read and write to other popular archive formats. The program can be used from a command line interface, graphical user interface, or Windows shell integration. 

7-Zip may be used to create encrypted files or folder copies for moving information to a different device - for example copying and moving to an external flash drive, hard drive, or phone. It does not, however, replace the use of BitLocker for storing data on a fixed drive.

Note that Level 1 protected data must be permanently removed from portable devices and any devices not owned by HSU when there is no current and approved business need.

Installing 7-Zip

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Install using the default options.

Using 7-Zip

7-Zip installs with “Explorer extensions” that allows you to right click on items on the desktop or in Windows Explorer to compress files. The 7z file format is more efficient at compressing files than the standard .zip format, but it does mean that the person you are sending the file to will also have to use 7-zip.

  1. Right click on the files or folder you wish to compress and encrypt.
  2. From the pop-up menu, select Add to archive...
  3. In the dialog window, note the name of the 7z file that will be created.
  4. Change the Archive format to 7z,
  5. Change the encryption method to AES-256
  6. Enter and verify your password
  7. Click OK. The rest of the options can be left as default.


Right-click on the file, select Extract, and enter the password when requested. The data will be automatically decrypted and saved to the local hard drive "in the clear".