How to Disable WinRAR Encryption

by Aaron Parson

The file compression and archiving utility WinRAR allows archive creators to set passwords for files compressed using ZIP and RAR compression. You can set a default password, after which WinRAR will encrypt every archive you make, or set the password individually for a single archive. To disable WinRAR's encryption on future archives, you only need to remove the default password. To disable it for an existing archive, extract it and recreate the archive with no password.

Removing Default Password

Open WinRAR. If you have a default password set, you will see a red key icon in the lower-left corner of the program.

Open the "File" menu and click "Set default password."

Leave both password fields blank and click "OK." The key in the corner will turn gray, indicating WinRAR will not encrypt your future archives.

Unencrypting an Archive

Open an encrypted archive within WinRAR.

Click "Extract To," pick a location on your computer to temporarily store the extracted files and click "OK."

Enter the password for the archive, and then press "OK."

Select all the files you just extracted from the archive in WinRAR's window and click "Add."

Type a name for the new archive, and then click "OK." WinRAR will create a new archive with the same contents as the old archive without encryption.


  • To change the encryption to a new password rather than remove it, open the "Advanced" tab after clicking "Add." Push "Set Password" and type in a password to use on the new archive.


  • This method applies to WinRAR version 4.20 and may vary slightly or significantly in other versions.

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