6 Ways To Password Protect a Folder in Windows.
Password protecting your files and folders in Windows is the best way to ensure that no one gets unauthorized access to them. Unfortunately, Windows does not offer a reliable way to add password protection to files or folders. Don’t worry, we know a few handy ways to password protect Windows folders and files. In this post, we will show you four ways to password protect folders in Windows, each suited to your specific needs.
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Password protection folders in Windows
1. Use the built-in encryption
Windows comes with built-in encryption to protect the folder and its contents from other users and content on the public network. However, encryption is only available on Windows 10 Professional or Enterprise editions. If you’re using the Standard or Home edition, you’re out of luck.
Right-click the folder you want to encrypt, select Properties from the context menu and select Advanced from the General tab. Now select the “Encrypt content to protect data” checkbox and click “OK”. Click on Confirm on the popup that appears and you’re done. The folder should now be encrypted.
The folder will turn green, confirming that it has been encrypted. Now only you can access this folder when you are logged into your Windows account. Other users will need to enter a password to access it. Unfortunately, if someone has access to your computer that you are logged into, they will be able to access the folder. Unreliable.
You can remove encryption in the same way, after which the folder will become visible and accessible to all Windows users.
2. Simple password managers
If you just need to protect your files and folders on your Windows 10 PC from family members or colleagues and you can live without encryption, simple password protection is for you. This software may not be able to protect your data from hackers and other intruders, but they are ideal for quickly and easily securing folders.
Wise Folder Hider is a simple and free password manager that can protect your files with two different folders. Install and run the program and you will be prompted to create a password. You will use this to password protect folders in Windows 10. You can also try Easy File Locker.
Make sure you use a strong password that is not obvious so that people cannot guess it. And if you’ve forgotten your password, contact the company with your PayPal Transaction ID (only works if you’re a premium user) and they’ll retrieve the password for you. It is impossible to recover the password for free users, as the program does not require registration.
Note: Unfortunately, the free version of Wise Folder Hider is chock full of other less useful software like SpyHunter. So, make sure you reject the installation carefully.
In the main interface, you can use the buttons above to hide files, folders and even the contents of the USB stick. After you hide, you will need to click Open next to each item to make them available in Windows 10 Explorer. Once you close the Wise Folder Hider window, the items are hidden again.
Alternatively, you can click the upside-down arrow next to the item and select Set Password to create an additional password. Other users will need to provide a master password and an additional password to open such files / folders.
Before uninstalling Wise Folder hiding software (or any other folder hiding software) make sure you show all files and folders, otherwise all your files will be lost forever.
3. Password protect folder in Windows 10 with 7-Zip
7-Zip is a popular archiving tool that is used to extract compressed files. Did you know that it can also password protect your data with strong encryption? If you do not need to frequently access the folder and its contents, you can encrypt and compress it so that other users cannot access it without a password.
After installing 7-Zip, right-click the folder and select “Add to Archive” from the 7-Zip menu.
In the compression settings, enter the encryption password in the lower right corner and then click OK to encrypt the folder. This will create a new compressed folder in the same location that can only be extracted using the password you just created. Now you can delete the unprotected folder so that no one can access it. Ideally, you don’t need to delete the original folder, because then someone will be able to access it from the recycle bin or even restore it using some kind of data recovery tool. This is why I recommend safely deleting the original folder / file using CCleaner.
Unfortunately, you will have to extract the folder every time you need to access its contents, and delete the unprotected folder when re-encrypting it. It is a tedious process, but at the same time safe. You also have the option to securely send or share the encrypted folder online via email or cloud storage.
4. Password protect folders in Windows using an encryption application
The best way to protect your data is to encrypt and protect it with a password, and for that you need the help of third party encryption software. There are many encryption programs available, but most of them encrypt the entire contents of the drive. Encrypting and decrypting an entire drive can take a long time.
One way is to create a small dedicated drive to store all of your sensitive data. For this purpose VeraCrypt is a great software that will encrypt and password protect folders in Windows 10.
Once installed, VeraCrypt makes it easy to create an encrypted volume where you can store your data. Click the Create Volume button on the main interface and follow VeraCrypt’s instructions to create an encrypted volume. You just need to click Next on most of the pop-ups and enter the disk size and password you want to use.
Also Read: How to Encrypt USB Drive with VeraCrypt
After the encrypted volume is created, click the “Select File” button in the main interface and select the volume you just created. Now click “Mount” and enter the password to mount the disk. You will be able to see the newly encrypted drive next to your regular drives. Now you can simply move files and folders to this drive to encrypt it.
Note. The encrypted volume you created may not be accessible, but you can still delete it. So it won’t stop people from deleting sensitive data.
5. Hide files and folders in two different ways
There are two ways to simply hide files and folders in Windows 10. No need to enter a password or anything else. The first method is simple: you select the file or folder you want to hide and choose Hide Selected Items from the toolbar above.
If you want to see all hidden files and folders, just open the folder and select Hidden items to see everything. This method is not very safe and can be used by almost everyone who knows about it.
Therefore, there is another way. This one is more obscure and requires more work. Most people don’t know about this either. You will hide folders as a system folder to keep them hidden even if someone selects the Hidden Items option above. To do this, open a command prompt with administrator rights and enter the following command. attrib + s + h “C: Users username here Desktop Top Secret”
Replace “username here” with your computer username and “top secret” with the folder you want to hide as a system folder. To display files and folders, repeat the same command, but this time with a minus sign. attrib -s -h “C: Users username here Desktop Top Secret”
This is it. Again, this is not very secure, but a quick and easy way to hide information if you don’t want everyone to know. It depends on the person’s age and computer literacy before you start using this method.
6. BitLocker Drive Encryption
The best way to secure and password protect files and folders on Windows 10 computers is to use BitLocker. This requires Windows Pro or Enterprise edition and a TPM chip on your computer. The steps are a little tricky and lengthy, but this is the highest level of security you can get on a Windows computer. It will encrypt everything on that drive using AES 256-bit encryption. Here’s a step-by-step guide to using BitLocker to encrypt and protect files and folders in Windows 10.
Conclusion: password protection folders on Windows 10
Using software like Wise Folder Hider is definitely the easiest way to password protect a folder in Windows 10. However, if you have sensitive data and want something more secure, you should encrypt it with 7-Zip or VeraCrypt. … Do you know any other ways to password protect Windows 10 folders? Let us know in the comments below.
Also Read: How To Create Your Own Folder Lock Software For Free