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Password request prompt

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Why PeaZip asks for password / may not browse the content of some archives

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Why PeaZip asks for password / may not browse the content of some archives

PeaZip, like any archive management utility, needs the user to provide the correct password to work on encypted archives, in order to extract encrypted files and in some cases even to list the content of the archive.

The person who created the archive is the only one to know the password, and the only one that should be contacted to obtain the password.
Current revisions of mainstream archive formats like (7Z, ARC, PEA, RAR, and ZIP) uses strong file encryption, and it is unlikely to be possible to brute-force it if the password is not known or it was forgotten.

In some cases PeaZip may not be able to browse archive's content because the file is corrupted or out of standards: PeaZip will always let the user in control of chosing if entering a password for trying to decrypt the archive any time an unreadable archive is encountered - even if the file extension is not usually associated with archives supporting encryption, as it can be easily changed to fool unexperienced users.

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An archive can be unreadable for various reasons, but in any case when this occour PeaZip let te user in full control about deciding if trying to decrypt it:
  • The archive header is encrypted and it's not possible to read it before providing the right password; in PeaZip's file/archive browser you can enter the password clicking the proper context menu entry or clicking on the locker icon in the status bar encryption utility or pressing F9
Hint: if you have to work on different archives with the same password you will not need to re-enter it since it will be kept until you change it or close PeaZip. If you open different instances of PeaZip each will start with no password and can keep a different password.
  • Few archivers will not create entries with the names of directories, leaving missing entries in the archive's root (or leaving it empty). PeaZip will then have no item to show when browsing archive's root, but still can correctly extract, list and test the archive, including the "hidden" content, and still can show archive's content in flat mode (clicking on the expand browse archive icon or pressing F6) or using filters. However, most archivers will either follow the common convention of saving the name of the directory in the root path of the archive, creating archives which doesn't raise this problem in PeaZip's archive browser. From version 2.1 PeaZip auto-switches to flat view mode if succeds in detecting this problem.
  • If none of the aforementioned cases apply, the archive may just unfortunately be corrupted (it can happen quite frequently, i.e. when there is an error during a download of a file) and you will need to re-download it from a trusted source or restore it from a reliable backup copy.
If you suspect an archive file is corrupted you can do following things:
  • when downloading a file from the web or while saving a mail attachment, check if the download is reported to have been completed correctly (please note some download managers and some mail client make the file available for users before the actual download is completed!)
  • check if the size of the archive is the one expected
  • check if the checksum/hash of the file is the one expected - some sources reports checksum/hash of files for allowing users to perform this integrity check
  • open the file with an hexadecimal editor to see if its content seems normal or if it is higly uniform filled with zeroes (to reduce fragmentation some downloaders pre-allocates the full size of the downloaded file, then replaces the content with the actual file)
  • try to download it again or try to find another, more reliable source (or mirror) of the same file, see if other online users had encountered problems with the same archive
  • finally, try to open it with a different extraction utility that may be more error tolerant: please note that this may not be a good thing to do, as relying on less stringent error checks on the archive may result in unexpected and undetected errors in the extracted files.
Hint:  official PeaZip packages NEVER asks users a password to be installed: if that happens please don't trust that package and rely only on official packages published on PeaZip official website or reliable software publishers.

Topics: peazip password, password request, password prompt, freeware archiver, encryption, decryption, unreadable archives, corrupted archives.

Related articles: How to extract encrypted archives?, How to encrypt files?, Manage 7Z files, Extract ACE files, Open RAR file type, Handle ZIP archives, Extract ZIPX files

FAQ > Tips and tricks > PeaZip prompts password request / PeaZip is asking password

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