Windows Only

These instructions only apply to Windows computers. 7-Zip is not available for Mac computers.

Install 7-Zip onto your computer if it is not already installed. You can download the 7-Zip installer from the 7-Zip homepage at If you are a current College of Education faculty or staff you may send a technical support request to if you require assistance with this.
Locate the existing folder that has the files you want to encrypt. Alternatively you can create a new folder and copy just the files you need to encrypt into that new folder.

Click on the folder once to select it and then right-click on it. From the menu that appears select 7-Zip | Add to archive...

In the 7-Zip window that appears, set the following options and press the OK button when done:

  • Create SFX archive: Enabled
  • Encryption method: AES-256
  • Encrypt file names: Enabled
  • Specify a strong password
  • Optionally change the file name for the self-extracting encrypted archive you are creating

The self-extracting encrypted archive file will now be created and appear in the same location as the folder you encrypted. The self-extracting encrypted archive file will only run on a Windows computer. So whomever you are sending this file to needs to have access to a Windows computer so they can double-click on the file to extract its contents.

Send Password Separately Using Different Medium

Do not communicate the password to the receiver of the self-extracting encrypted archive file using the same medium which you used to send the file to them. For example if you emailed the file to them, do not also put the password to the encrypted file in the same email or even in a separate email. Communicate the password using a different medium such as via phone, fax, or in-person.