Encrypt and Password Protect a .zip on a Mac using Terminal or Automator Service

I recently needed to provide some sensitive documents to someone and the quickest method was email. However, I wanted to secure the contents (even just a little) before sending.

I was able to quickly complete the task using the Terminal and entering the following command string thanks to an article I found on imore.com. First change your directory in the terminal as this will eliminate the user path file structure being included in the saved zip.


Later, I thought this might be something I’d need to do again and I wondered if there might be a way to turn this into a service or app. There are are several options out there, but this method from Macworld has seemed to work great. I included the instructions below…

OpenAutomator and choose “Service” (the gear). Change “Service receives selected” to Files or folders in “Finder.app”

Add the “Run Applescript” step and then copy the code below and replace all the code in the “Run Applescript” command with this code. 

Choose save, naming it something like “Make Protected Zip”, then test it by going to the finder and selecting one or more files/folders. Scroll down to the “Services” Menu and select the service with the name you just saved as.

on run {input, parameters}
	set dialogResults to display dialog "Name for zipped file (no extension)" default answer "Archive" buttons {"OK", "Cancel"} default button "OK"
	if button returned of dialogResults is "OK" then
		set passwd to "x"
		set passwd_2 to "y"
		repeat while passwd ≠ passwd_2
			tell application "System Events"
				set passwd to text returned of (display dialog "password for zipped file" default answer "" buttons {"OK", "Cancel"} default button "OK" with hidden answer)
				set passwd_2 to text returned of (display dialog "Please reenter your password" default answer "" buttons {"OK", "Cancel"} default button "OK" with hidden answer)
			end tell
		end repeat
		set archiveName to text returned of dialogResults
		tell application "Finder"
			set archiveFileName to archiveName & ".zip"
			-- Append on a number if file exists.
			set suffix to 1
			set theFileExists to true
			repeat while theFileExists
					set archiveFile to ((container of (item 1 of input) as Unicode text) & archiveFileName)
					if exists file archiveFile then
						set archiveFileName to archiveName & suffix & ".zip"
						set suffix to suffix + 1
						set theFileExists to false
					end if
				end try
			end repeat
		end tell
		set itemStr to ""
		repeat with thisItem in input
			set itemPath to quoted form of (POSIX path of thisItem)
			tell application "Finder"
				set parentFolder to POSIX path of (container of thisItem as alias)
			end tell
			set itemStr to itemStr & " " & itemPath
		end repeat
		set zipFile to quoted form of (parentFolder & archiveFileName)
		set cmd to "zip -P " & passwd & " -rj " & zipFile & " " & itemStr & " -x *.DS_Store"
		do shell script cmd
	end if
end run

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