Delete file in password-protected archive without entering password?


  1. Posts : 6
    Windows 10
       #1

    Delete file in password-protected archive without entering password?


    I just noticed that files within an already password-protected WinRAR (.rar) archive can be deleted without entering the password first. You have to enter the password to open, copy or anything else for the file, but straight up deleting is okay? Is this the normal functionality of archives? Doesn't seem very logical

    Sorry if this is outside the scope of these forums or not in the right forum but I am puzzled about this.

    Thanks
    Last edited by 10isokayIguess; 09 Nov 2019 at 22:07.
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  2. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 10,779
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #2

    Generally any compressed group of files in a .rar, .zip or other format that is password-protected will require that password to do anything with the archive, needs the password just to open the file. When I was running WinZip some time ago I could use it to convert a .zip file to a self-decompressing .exe file to extract the contents into a Folder.
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  3. Posts : 6
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Berton said:
    Generally any compressed group of files in a .rar, .zip or other format that is password-protected will require that password to do anything with the archive, needs the password just to open the file.
    Yeah when I try to open the file or anything else it requires the password but not when deleting. That's why I am confused.
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  4. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 10,779
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #4

    10isokayIguess said:
    Yeah when I try to open the file or anything else it requires the password but not when deleting. That's why I am confused.
    If you can't open the compressed file without the password how are you seeing the file in it you want to delete? It is possible to delete, copy or move a compressed file without having the password.
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  5. Posts : 6
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Berton said:
    If you can't open the compressed file without the password how are you seeing the file in it you want to delete? It is possible to delete, copy or move a compressed file without having the password.
    I open the archive and can see the list of files but as soon as I double click a file it asks for the password. But deleting the file from the same interface requires no password.Delete file in password-protected archive without entering password?-archiveuntitled.png
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  6. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 10,779
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #6

    What program are you using with the .rar archive [doesn't appear to be File Explorer]?
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  7. Posts : 6
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #7

    Berton said:
    What program are you using with the .rar archive [doesn't appear to be File Explorer]?
    It opens with WinRAR (5.7.1)
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  8. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 7,756
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 20H2 Build 19042.928
       #8

    WinZip is the same. Passwords protect the contents from unauthorised extraction not from unauthorised viewing of the list of contents i.e. WinZip passwords apply to contents' extraction and are not a file-open protection like, say, an Excel file-open password. Entries in the list of contents can be deleted without any password being required.

    To prevent files being deleted from an encrypted WinZip archive you need to zip the files up into an encrypted zip file then zip the zipped up file itself into another encrypted file.
    - Test1.zip is encrypted and contains 1.doc, 2.doc, 3.doc
    - Test2.zip is encrypted and contains only Test1.zip
    - To get 1.doc, 2.doc, 3.doc a double extraction must be performed and passwords must be entered.
    - To open Test1.zip within Test2.zip requires the Test2.zip password so unauthorised deletion of Test1.zip contents cannot be done.
    - Test2.zip can still be deleted within File explorer.
    - Test1.zip cannot be deleted within Test2.zip because an empty WinZip file cannot be saved.

    See Filenames display without entering the password when an encrypted Zip file is opened - WinZip - Knowledgebase for a better explanation.

    Denis
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  9. das10's Avatar
    Posts : 2,824
    Win 10 pro 20H2
       #9

    In addition to the comments above, note that if when setting the password for the .rar archive, you tick the box to "encrypt file Names", then the archive contents cannot even be viewed without entering the password first.
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  10. ricardobohner's Avatar
    Posts : 305
    Windows 10
       #10

    I think there are two types of encryption you can use in rar files simple password (still allows you to see the file names) and password + header (which don't allows you to see the contents of the rar before providing the password)

    If you use password + header encryption it is not possible to delete single files inside the rar but of course you can still delete the whole rar file.
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