Encrypt a Hard Drive or Flash Drive Before Shipping

This article will show you how to encrypt your data onto a flash drive or hard drive. The first thing you will want to do is download and install the 7-zip program. Click on either icon below that applies to your computer (32 bit or 64 bit):

How can I tell if my computer is running a 32-bit or a 64-bit version of Windows?

Follow the instructions below:

  1. Right-click on the Start button and then left-click on System.
  2. Under Device Specifications, you can view the System type.
  3. Once you have successfully installed the 7-zip program, proceed to the following steps below.

Steps to Encrypt

  1. Right-click on the files or folder you wish to compress and encrypt.
  2. From the pop-up menu, select Add to archive...
  3. In the dialog window, note the name of the 7z file that will be created.
  4. Change the Archive format to 7z (It may be selected by default).
  5. Change the Encryption method to AES-256 (It may be selected by default).
  6. Enter and verify your password.
  7. Click OK.


Ensure you are making a note and copy of the password you entered when encrypting the hard drive or flash drive. The password cannot be retrieved if you lose it or misplace it.

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