How to Open Password-Protected ZIP File without Password

Forgetting the password to your ZIP file or even having to download a ZIP file online that is requiring a password can be so frustrating. However, with our tips on how to open a password-protected ZIP file without a password, you do not have to worry anymore.

ZIP files are currently the most widely used file extension used to archive several files and create extra space on your computer. More so, ZIP files also come with a great feature that allows you to encrypt your folders to store sensitive information. It will always require you to put a password each time you try to access the file.

Generally, ZIP files are opened using free programs like WinZip and 7-ZIP software. The simplest way to open encrypted Zip file without password is by entering the password when required. However, the problem arises when you either forget the password or download a file without a password.

We have painstakingly provided you with a detailed step-by-step guide on how to unlock and open ZIP files without password.

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Method 1. Open Password Protected ZIP File with NSIS

NSIS, which stands for Nullsoft Scriptable Install System, is an excellent way of opening a password-protected ZIP file without a password. The NSIS is a magical software that decrypts and converts a Zip file by turning it into an accessible .exe file. You can then download and install the downloaded file back to a ZIP file type. After which, you can open the ZIP file without a password.

Although this method can be cumbersome and tricky, it is, however, a very effective method. Here’s a step by step guide on how to open password-protected ZIP files with NSIS:

Step 1: Firstly, download and install the NSIS software that is compatible with your computer. After successfully installing it, run the installed software.

Step 2: After running the software, click on “Installer based on the ZIP file” under the compiler.

Open Password-Protected ZIP File with NSIS

Step 3:  After step 2, a new window will appear. On the new window, click on “Open” and then locate the protected ZIP, import it to the NSIS software.

open zip file in zip2exe

Step 4: After successfully importing the ZIP file into the NSIS software, the next thing to do is select a download path by clicking “Browse” and then choose your preferred storage path. After that, click on “Generate.” 

choose zip file path for exe in zip2exe

Step 5: After the generation process is complete, locate the new EXE file in your chosen download path on your computer.

Step 6: Once you locate the EXE file, run the file by double-clicking it. After its successful installation, your password-protected ZIP file becomes unlocked. After which, you can open the ZIP file without any password.

It is worth mentioning that this method might sometimes not be able to unzip all password-protected ZIP files. In cases like this, you can make use of other ways we have provided in this article.

Method 2. Open a Password Protected ZIP File with ZIP Password Recovery

When it comes to finding the easiest and effective way to open a ZIP file without password, the ZIP password recovery stands out. Although there are several tools available, Passper for ZIP has proven to be above par. It is not just easy to use; it is also reliable and gives the needed result in only a few steps. It is also worth mentioning that the Passper for ZIP supports unlocking files locked using 7ZIP, PKZIP, and WinZIP.

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Step 1: Firstly, download Passper for ZIP from their official website. Then install and run the software.

open password-protected ZIP file with passper for zip

Step 2: Import the protected ZIP file into the Passper ZIP password recovery. After importing the ZIP file, you can choose one of the four available options and then click “Recover” to start the password recovery process.

choose recovery method in passper to open ZIP without password

Step 3: After it has successfully recovered the ZIP password, it gets displayed on the screen. Copy the password and then use it to open the ZIP file.

open zip file without password successfully with passper

Find below a brief description of the four recovery methods available.

  • Combination Attack: This method allows you to indicate the set of symbols, letters, and numbers. Also, it helps to create several password combination options.
  • Dictionary Attack: This method uses lists from available dictionary such as popular names, frequently used passwords, or celebrity names to generate the password.
  • Brute Force method: This brute force attack method uses continuous logins and key searches to generate numerals, alphabets, and characters that; predict the password.
  • Mask method: This method is an upgrade of the brute force attack method. It comes in handy if you know the length of the password, the initial or ending of the password.

Method 3. Open Encrypted ZIP File with Online Zip Password Cracker

In recent times, desktop applications are now widely taking over by online web services. The case of how to open encrypted ZIP files online is now one of the easiest and fastest way to achieving the same result. Below is a step by step guide on how to open ZIP file without password. But please be aware that your data may not be safe because it has to be uploaded to the internet.

Step 1: The first step is to launch a web browser. After that, in the search bar, type online Zip cracker.

Step 2: After it loaded completely, click on the website suggested. When the site opens, locate your password-protected ZIP file on your computer by clicking on “Browse.”

open ZIP files without password online

Step 3: After it successfully imported the protected ZIP file, you will be required to provide an email address. The email will receive the open ZIP file after the password recovery process is successful.

Step 4: After completing the steps above, wait for feedback from the online service. There is no fixed duration or time frame for which there will be feedback. Receiving the result can take hours or weeks, depending on the strength of the password and the queue of files awaiting unzipping.  

Method 4. Open Encrypted ZIP File Using CMD

Another way to open encrypted ZIP files is by using CMD, which stands for Command Prompt. CMD is one of the oldest methods, and it already comes with your computer. However, to successfully open an encrypted ZIP file, we will need the help of a command prompt line tool named John-the-Riper.

For novices, John the Ripper is a free open source tool for Password Cracking, and it is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems. To open ZIP file without password using CMD, follow the following steps below:

Step 1: Firstly, get John the Ripper to your PC.

Step 2: After successfully downloading the tool, extract it to the desktop.

Step 3: After it’s unzipping, rename the XYZ folder to John.

how to open zip without password using cmd

Step 4: Next is to open the newly renamed folder John and then open the folder named Run.

Step 5: In the Run folder, make a folder with the name Crack.

create crack folder to remove password from zip file

Step 6: After creating the folder with the name Crack, paste the encrypted password ZIP file in the folder.

copy paste locked zip file to crack folder

Step 7: Return to desktop and now run Command Prompt line tool extracted there.

Step 8: When it opens, type cd desktop/john/run.

Step 9: The next step will be to create Password Hashes to crack the ZIP file. To achieve this, type “zip2john.execrack/>crack/key.txt”.

For this tutorial, the folder name should be “,” while “ABC123″ is the password.

create password hash for zip

Step 10: At this point, password hashes creating is successful. After this, check for the file key.txt in the Crack folder for password hashes.

check password hashes in key txt

Step 11: It is now through the hash file that cracking the ZIP file is possible by using a simple command.

Step 12: At this stage, type johnformat=zipcrack/key.txt”. After this, the file’s password will begin the cracking process.

zip file password cracked

It is important to note that the harder and more complex the password is, the longer it takes to get cracked.


In all, opening a password-protected ZIP file without a password may seem like a difficult task. However, with the right knowledge and information, it can be a stroll in the park. We have discussed in detail four different methods of how to open ZIP file without password.

These methods include opening a password-protected ZIP file with NSIS and Passper for ZIP. More so, we discussed how to unlock ZIP file with online ZIP password cracker as well as how to open encrypted ZIP file using CMD.

We know it can be frustrating not being able to access a ZIP file due to a forgotten password or unknown password. With this detailed guide, you can now easily unzip any ZIP file that has been password protected.

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