How to Open Password Protected Zip Archive?

Updated on Augist 17, 2022

Encryption of Zip files always keep your data secure. We all know, password or encryption code becomes vital during unzipping the archive. If you don’t remember the password to your password-protected ZIP archive, it becomes impossible to access the content of it. In this article, a simple manual method is explained to crack the password of the Zip file. However, if you have the password and yet cannot access the content of the file, this must be due to corruption in the file. In such situation, all you need is a reliable tool to repair the Zip archive, download the SFWare Zip file repair tool and fix the issue in just 3 steps.

Often, we prefer using Zip format to compress large number of files to single file. One of the advantages of using Zip file is, it prevents data leakage. You can encrypt Zip file in Windows PC by providing a password to restrict usage of content from other users. Once you set the password, the Zip file will be locked. No one can unlock password protected Zip file without that specific given password which you had used to lock the Zip file.

If you forgot the password, the process of extracting a Zip file becomes impossible. Because, you would not be given any choice to recover the password for the file. If you are wondering how to find the password for encrypted Zip file, do not worry! Here is a workaround you can try to find the password of your Zip archive.

How to Unlock Encrypted Zip Files Without Password?

Without a password, it is impossible to open an encrypted Zip files. However, with the help of command line interface you can try cracking a password. Below given steps describe how to crack ZIP file password using CMD.

Important Note: As the process involves command prompt application, you should be aware of the commands. However, the method has low recovery rate (it doesn’t always assure the result and the chances of password recovery is less than 50%). If the typed commands are incorrect, content present of the Zip archive may be compromised.

6 Simple Steps to Crack Zip Archive Password using CMD

To perform this procedure, you need to download John the Ripper, the open source software used for Zip file password cracking. Since the tool is open source, user should be download and use it on his own risk. The free tool is available for all the operating systems and can be used on any platforms like Windows, MacOS, Linux.

Step 1: Download the free tool, unzip the files from downloaded file and save it in another unique name that you can remember. Let’s say John.

Step 2: Open the folder you just saved in the name of John >> click on Run folder.

Once you Run the folder, create a new folder (you can use the Ctrl+Shift+N key to create the new folder.), name it as crack and place inside the Run folder.

Step 3: Newly created crack folder will have the password-protected file that you want to crack. Copy and paste the password protected file in the newly created crack folder.

Step 4: Close all the folders opened on your screen and open Command Prompt utility. To open command prompt, type cmd in the search box and select command prompt.

Now, type the command "cd desktop/john/run" then click "Enter".

Step 5: In the next command line, type "ZIP2john.execrack/YourFileName.ZIP>crack/Key.txt" then click "Enter". This creates a ZIP file password hashes that could be used to crack your ZIP file password.

Replace "yourfilename" in the command with the actual name for the file you want to find the password

Step 6: once the password hash file is created, use it to crack the ZIP file password by giving a command "john–format=ZIP crack/key.txt" then click "Enter".

You can see that the ZIP password will be cracked. You can make use of the cracked password to open the password encrypted ZIP file.

Unzip (Extract) the Zip Archive with the Password

Once the password is recovered, you can try extracting the encrypted Zip fie using the password.

Step 1: Locate the zipped folder that you want to extract files or folders from

Step 2: To unzip all the contents of the zipped folder, right-click the folder, select Extract All.

Step 3: When it prompts for the password, enter password you know.

All files will be extracted to the location you would want to save the files on your computer.

What if you cannot access the content of the Zip archive and you get a message Zip folder is empty, even after cracking the encryption code/password? What if your Zip file is corrupted or damaged due to uncertain reasons while transferring the file or while trying to crack the password?

How can a password protected Zip file get corrupt?

Here are a few reasons that may lead password protected Zip files to get corrupt.

Is it Possible to Repair Corrupt Password Protected Zip File?

Irrespective of the reasons that lead to ZIP file corruption, it can be fixed using reliable ZIP file repair utility - SFWare Repair Zip File. This Zip Repair tool would be the right choice for you in such situations to solve all errors related to ZIP and ZIPX archives.

SFWare Zip File Repair tool can easily extract contents of an invalid or corrupted compressed zipped folder that refuse to open in any extractor tool on Windows. The software meticulously scans broken/corrupt password protected ZIP archive and extracts data from it. Besides, the tool repairs ZIP file on any Windows operating systems. With SFWare you can repair the password encrypted Zip file with utmost ease. Just click on the download button and access your zip file content in 3 steps.

How to Repair Corrupt/Damaged Password Protected Zip Archive?

Note: SFWare Repair Zip File Tool surely repairs the damaged or corrupt ZIP File. However, to access the data and to open the archive, you may need your password.

Steps to Repair Corrupt Encrypted Zip File

Download and install the application on your computer. Launch the application and follow the main screen procedures to rebuild the Zip file.

1. Use Browse button to choose your password protected ZIP file which you want to repair

Browse the ZIP file to repair

2. Start the repair process by clicking on Repair button. The program initiates the scan and starts fixing your password protected ZIP archive

ZIP file Scanning process initiates

3. You can monitor the repair process by looking at the progress bar

Verify the ZIP file repaired

After completion of ZIP repair process, the tool displays all files and folders from repaired Zip file. Lastly, save your repaired Zip file to desired location by clicking on Save button.


With the help of the procedures explained in the article, you will be able to crack the password used to encrypt the Zip archive. it is always rewarding to remember the important code to decrypt the Zip file. If you face trouble or errors even after password has been input on the screen, that must be due to Zip file corruption or damage in the file structure. In such situations, SFWare Zip File Repair tool comes in handy to fix any issues with ZIP/ZIPX archive.