How-To Geek

How to Hide Zip Files Inside a Picture Without any Extra Software in Windows

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Since images are read from the header down, and zip files are read from the footer up, you can easily merge them as one single file , and no one will ever know. Read on to find out how.

Embedding Zip Files Inside Image Files

We tested this procedure using .png, .jpg, and .gif files and it worked with all three file types.

The first thing you will need to do is drill down into the directory that’s holding both your image file as well as your zip file, so press the Win + R keyboard combination, type cmd into the run box and hit enter. When the command prompt opens, use the cd command to change directories.

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All it takes to merge the files is one simple copy command, the trick is to use the /B switch, which creates a binary file.

copy /B picture.gif+YourMenu.zip newfile.gif

This assumes:

  • The original image is named picture.gif
  • The zip file you want to hide in your image is called YourMenu.zip
  • The combined image file will be called newfile.gif

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The result is a file that can be opened with an archiving program, such as 7-Zip or WinRAR, as well as with an image editor.

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To access your hidden files again, open the 7-Zip File Manager, navigate to the newfile.gif file, and extract your hidden files from the image file.

Taylor Gibb is a Microsoft MVP and all round geek, he loves everything from Windows 8 to Windows Server 2012 and even C# and PowerShell. You can also follow him on Google+

  • Published 07/25/12

Comments (20)

  1. handy dude

    clever!! will use it to customize my files in my flash drive.

  2. bluelord

    awesome.. so that means that a zip file can look like an image and be unzipped.. :D how cool !!!

  3. kashiqirphan

    I am able to create a “newfile.gif” but not able to open it with 7-zip or WinRar

  4. Taylor Gibb

    @kashiqirphan make sure you are include the /B switch, if you dont it will create a new file but you wont be able to open it, as you described.

  5. Slimjim

    How simple! A pity jpg is not consistent although my one effort with a jpg worked fine. A great use for this is that it allows tagging of zip files in Windows Explorer by hiding them within a jpg.

  6. rob

    Just as an FYI – back in the day this was one way virus’ use to get delivered.

    Pretty much all AV programs can sniff these out so it’s no longer a good delivery system but they do tend to pop up on occasion.

  7. PhantomTurtle

    Thats really cool, anyway to do it in Linux?

  8. Taylor Gibb

    @PhantomTurtle You can use cat, “cat zipfile.zip giffile.gif >> newfile.gif” that should do the trick

  9. K.C. Cheah

    Interesting! This is why I love How To Geek so much – there are always interesting, educational and stimulating articles. Can really learn a thing or two from HTG. Never missed checking into HTG everyday, whenever possible! Keep Up The Good Work!!!

    Rgds, from the distant Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

  10. Dorothy

    Now if I can just think of something to hide in a pic. Well, there is my formula for turning base metal into gold. Or my blueprint for Maxwell’s Demon. I should save that one for Miss October!

  11. Jason

    cool, I just hid the blueprints to the Death Star and Iron Man’s suit in one single gif image of Pamella Anderson :)

  12. Keith

    @Jason Awesome…except for Pamela Anderson. She’s past her peak and I don’t mean age.

  13. D

    What is the /b switch? Is that batch copy?

  14. k

    @D it’s a binary option.

  15. xanhellx

    Is a there size limit for the file size?

  16. xanhellx

    *the zip file

  17. prem

    thats relly nice one
    what about other commands……
    tried changing .gif to .jpeg worked fine but tha reverse……oh no….why….?

  18. abu

    nice! I tried it with a jpg image nd it works. So, how do i reverse it??

  19. jAddict

    but how to show the file size as jpg or gif itself…

  20. Savoxit

    Nice artic :D

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