Getting Started with SecureZIP (Windows)


This article will help you begin using PKWARE’s SecureZIP, a compression and encryption tool for Windows that does the following:

  • Compresses files and folders into archives
  • Encrypts files and folders
  • Compresses and encrypts file attachments in Microsoft Outlook

Note: You must reboot your computer after installation for the Microsoft email integration to work (please see the section for Microsoft Outlook Users below).



Downloading and Installing SecureZIP

Visit the Software Download Service via My Pitt (  Search for SecureZip and download the appropriate file for your operating system.

  1. When you download SecureZIP, you may see a File Download – Security Warning window. If this window displays, click Run to download SecureZIP. It is safe to run the file.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  2. You may see a Security Warning window. If this window displays, click Run to install SecureZIP. It is safe to run the file.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  3. You will be prompted to select a location to extract the file. Select a location, check the box next to Run after extract: install.bat, and then click OK.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  4. You may be prompted to confirm the location of the extracted file. Click Yes.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  5. An extraction complete message will display. Click OK.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  6. You will be asked if you want to run install.bat. Click Yes.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  7. cmd.exe window will briefly display while SecureZIP is installed. Once the windows disappear, SecureZIP has been successfully installed.
     Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)


Launching SecureZIP

To launch SecureZIP, click shortcut icon on your desktop. You can also click the Start menu, select All Programs, select SecureZIP, and click SecureZIP for Windows.

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Creating an Encrypted Archive

  1. Launch SecureZIP and click the Add Files button.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  2. Select the files you want to add (use CTRL-click to select multiple files).Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  3. Click Add to List, and then click OK.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  4. In the Save Archive As window, choose a name and location for your archive and click Save.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  5. Enter and confirm a passphrase to encrypt the archive. The red X will change to a green checkmark when you have entered a passphrase of sufficient length (8 or more characters). Click OK to compress and encrypt your file(s).

    TIP: To create a compressed archive without encrypting it, leave the passphrase fields blank and click the Skip button.

    Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)

Extracting Files from an Encrypted Archive

You can open and extract (unzip) the contents of any secure zip file (archive) on your computer.  

  1. Open the archive by double-clicking on it. Click the Extract Files button.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  2. In the Extract Files window, select a destination folder and click Extract.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  3. If the file has been encrypted, you will be prompted to enter a passphrase. Enter the passphrase and click OK.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  4. Log window will display the successful extraction. Click Close. To view the extracted files, go to the destination folder you selected in step 2.


Using SecureZIP with Microsoft Outlook

SecureZIP integrates with Microsoft Outlook, allowing you to compress and encrypt email attachments as well as the body text of your email message. The following steps illustrate how to use SecureZIP with Microsoft Outlook.

Sending an encrypted attachment, or an encrypted attachment with encrypted message body:

  1. After installing SecureZIP, you must re-boot your computer. Once you have re-booted, launch Microsoft Outlook.
  2. Create a new email message. Type your message body text, and include any attachments as you normally would in Outlook.
  3. Click the SecureZIP tab and ensure that the SecureZIP and the SecureZIP Encrypt buttons are highlighted. When these options are selected, you will automatically be prompted to encrypt your attachment before it is sent.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  4. When you are finished composing your message and have attached the file(s), click Send.
  5. A window will display asking if you would like to zip and encrypt your message. You can encrypt the attachment or you can encrypt both the attachment and the body of your email message. Select the options you prefer, and then click Next.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
    Note: If a window displays indicating that SecureZIP could not locate public keys for all of the recipients, select Encrypt with passphrase for recipients without certificates. Then click Continue.
  6. Enter and confirm a passphrase for encryption and click OK.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)


Opening a zipped and encrypted attachment in Outlook

To open an attachment:

To open an attachment, double-click on the zipped attachment. SecureZIP will launch, and you will see the contents of the archive in the main SecureZIP window. A lock icon next to a filename indicates that the file has been encrypted.

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There are two options for opening an encrypted attachment:

Method 1

  1. Double-click a file to open it. If it has been encrypted, then you will be prompted for the passphrase (which you will need to obtain from the person who sent the message). Enter the passphrase and then click OK. The file will open.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)

Method 2

  1. Select the files you want to open within the SecureZIP window (use CTRL-click to select multiple files) and click Extract Files.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  2. Choose a destination for your archive and then click Extract again.
  3. Enter a passphrase and click OK. All the files you selected will be un-encrypted and saved at once to the destination folder you chose.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)

Opening an encrypted email message:

If the email message body text you receive has been encrypted, the message body will read as follows:

"This message was encrypted by SecureZIP(R) by PKWARE. To view this message, open the .ZIP attachment in SecureZIP. To view this message from the Microsoft Outlook Reading pane, double click the message to have SecureZIP open it in a new window. If you do not have SecureZIP, you can download a copy at Alternatively, you can use the free ZIP Reader by PKWARE(R). A copy of ZIP Reader is available at If you received this message on a mobile device, we recommend you read the message from your desktop/laptop computer using SecureZIP."

There are two methods for opening an encrypted message from Outlook using SecureZIP.

Method 1:

Opening an encrypted message from the email message list pane in Outlook

  1. Double-click the message from the Outlook message list.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  2. You will be prompted to open it. Click Yes.
  3. Enter the passphrase and click OK. Your message will open in Outlook.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)

Method 2:

Opening an encrypted message from the preview pane in Outlook

  1. Double-click the attachment from the Outlook message preview pane, and then click Open.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  2. SecureZIP will open with its main window displayed.Uploaded Image (Thumbnail)
  3. Double-click on the message in the main window, enter the passphrase, and the encrypted message will open.

    NOTE: When you open an encrypted message from the Outlook preview pane, it opens with whatever application is associated with .eml files on your computer (such as Outlook Express). If you want your message to open in Outlook (as opposed to your default .eml email client), Method 1 is recommended.


Using SecureZIP with other email clients

  1. Create an archive using SecureZIP (see Creating an Encrypted Archive at the beginning of this document).
  2. Attach the archive you created to your email message as you normally would. You will not be prompted to encrypt the email message body text.
  3. Send your message with its attachment as you normally would.


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Article ID: 136
Tue 7/25/23 10:04 AM
Thu 3/28/24 9:23 AM

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