Zip Up Files to Hide Your Secrets [How to]

zip-icon Zip files are a great way to pack up a collection of files to send them to other people, usually in an email. At least three or four times a year, I run into someone who doesn’t know how to zip up a collection of files in Windows. I ran into three people in the last two weeks at work.

Years ago, you had to have a third party tool such as WinZip to create and open zip files. In 2001, Windows XP was released with built-in zip capabilities. Microsoft decided to call these compressed folders.

Not only is it easy to use the built in zip features in Windows, it’s also possible to password protect zip files so that others can’t open the files inside them. However, even though a zip file is password protected, you can still see a list of files inside it. I have always hated that, but I found a way around it.

Here is how to hide all of your top secret files in a zip file (or compressed folder).

First, let’s create two zip folders. You’ll see why we need two of them shortly.

To create a zip folder, right click into any folder or in an empty place on your desktop, and choose NewCompressed Folder.


Let’s choose Stuffand Top Secretas the names of the new zip files.

Now we can add some top secret files to our Stufffolder. I’m going to add a JPG picture to it here. I’ll open up Stuff.zipby double clicking it, then drag the JPG file into it.


Now let’s add the Stuffzip file to the Top Secretzip file.


Now we need to add a password to the Top Secretcompressed folder.


You’ll have to type your password in twice to confirm it.


That’s it. The next time anyone opens that zip folder, all they’ll be able to see is a file named If they try to open it or extract it, they’ll have to know the password you’ve set.


As you can see, all of the files inside the are hidden. That’s why we needed two zip files.

As a final cleanup step, you can delete the older copies of Stuffand the JPG. These are safely and securely inside the Top Secretzip folder now.


These techniques will work in all versions of Windows released after XP, as well as XP itself.

Here are some other ways to use zip files:

1. Compress and Zip Files Online Without Any Software
2. How to Fix Default Zip File Behavior
3. Open Zip Files Online
4. Repair Corrupted Zip Files
5. Unzip or Extract Files Online

Here are some other ways to hide files:

1. Lock And Hide Files & Folders
2. Windows Scripts: Show/Hide Hidden Files and Folders In Windows
3. Password Protect and Hide Personal Folders
4. Hide Drives From My Computer

If you have your own special way to hide secret data, let us know in the comments below.

IZArc2Go is a Great Free Portable Archive Manager

As you may already know, an archive file is a file that contains other files. You can think of an archive as a suitcase full of stuff that you can unpack when needed. I’m guessing that there are 20 or 30 common archive types out there, and Windows only knows how to open up a couple of them.

So what can you do when you run into an archive type you aren’t familiar with? You’ll need to get yourself a good flexible archive manager. Fortunately there are several free archive managers out there and many of them are up to the job.

I previously used 7-zip which works fine but is a little clunky looking and has a quirky interface. One day, I ran into a free portable app named IZArc2Go and I’ve been using it ever since. It works exactly as I expected it to work and it also has a nice looking face. The only extraordinary thing about it is the number of file types that it supports. I can pretty much count on almost never running into an archive I can’t handle with IZArc.


IZArc supports the following archive types:


It also supports opening the following CD/DVD image formats:


Here are a few of the features of IZArc:

  • · Create archives
  • · Add files
  • · Delete files
  • · Extract files
  • · Test files
  • · Repair archives
  • · Search for files in multiple archives
  • · Favorite Folders
  • · Full Drag & Drop of files/folders
  • · Open file with the program associated to that file type
  • · CheckOut feature
  • · Create a self-extracting archive
  • · Antivirus scanner option
  • · Excellent help file on F1 key
  • · 16 custom sets of buttons for a little variety on toolbar

IZArc2Go can be downloaded from the home page. One minor beef I have with this program is the fact that the portable version is only offered in an installer. I’d much rather see it offered as a ZIP file.

After launching the installer you’ve downloaded, you’ll soon see why the author has placed this freebie in an installer package. He’s decided that he’d like to get a little payoff. There’s an offer to install some sponsored software in there. I have no problem with that and you shouldn’t either. Just make sure you decide whether or not you want the offered software and move on.

Once you start using IZArc, I think you’ll agree with me when I say that it’s a pleasure to use.

Do you have any questions about archives or ideas you’d like to share? Be sure to add a comment below or email me. I’d love to hear from you.

Extract Multiple Archives With ExtractNow

Forget those days when you had to extract all your archives one by one. Now you can extract multiple archives with just a click. ExtractNow allows you to extract more than one archived file at a time, with one click of a  button.

Extract Now

All your archives are extracted quickly and easily with the help of ExtractNow. The program supports ZIP, RAR, ACE, JAR, ISO, IMG, IMA, IMZ, BIN, MP3, LHA, LHZ and SIT formats.

Extract Now


  • Supports ZIP, RAR, ACE, JAR, ISO, IMG, IMA, IMZ, BIN, MP3, LHA, LHZ, & SIT formats
  • Drag and drop files or folders from Explorer to extract them
  • Detailed history of extraction procedures
  • Simple user interface and sleek design in a small package
  • Recursively search through folders for archives
  • Delete files or close program after extraction options
  • Windows explorer file associations for ZIP, RAR, ACE, JAR, LHA, LHZ, SIT
  • Extract files into current directory, named folder, or favorite folder of choice
  • File type masking for ZIP, RAR, & ACE
  • System tray icon on Minimize
  • Write to file option allows logging of extraction procedures
  • Always on Top option

[ Download ExtractNow ]

Download Partial Files From Zip Archives

There are many times when you may require to download zip archives from the internet, however you may not require all the files from the archive, and thus waste bandwidth and disk space by downloading the entire zip file.

browse-zip extract-zip

A handy freeware tool called Load Scout, will help users to download only required files from a zip file hosted on the internet, saving users both bandwidth and disk space.

Continue reading Download Partial Files From Zip Archives