How To Password Protect A Folder In Windows 10


How to password protect a folder in Windows 10

It’s common for us to have computer data we’d prefer to keep hidden from the rest of the world, but not everyone is familiar with how to password-protect a folder on Windows 10. No matter if you’re trying to keep notes hidden from someone who has access to your computer or (hopefully) doing anything less drastic, you have the right to some kind of privacy. Thanks to Windows 10, you may save those sensitive plans or data in a hidden folder that is password secured, and you don’t have to spend any money on additional software to do so.

In terms of privacy, there is no such thing as being too cautious.

Because of this, we went back and conducted many rounds of internal testing, and we can now affirm that following this method exactly, step by step, is effective – at least from our perspective.

Also, make sure you have a record of the exact password you’re using to lock your folder someplace, just in case something happens to it.

Lastly, sure, the FolderLocker file may be reverse engineered by someone who is familiar with the procedure; but, this isn’t intended to keep tech-savvy individuals out; rather, it is intended to keep inquisitive family members that you don’t trust out.

  • It is not recommended to use a password that contains a space, since this may cause an issue with the batch file. Certainly, files stored in your restricted folder can display on the Recent Files list in a variety of applications, including Microsoft Word.

Following are instructions on how to password-protect an existing folder in Windows 10 so that you may fill it with documents you wish to keep hidden — as well as how to lock the folder, unlock it, and repeat the process.

How To Lock a Folder With a Password in Windows 10

To begin, right-click anywhere within the folder containing the files you wish to secure. 2. It is possible that the folder you wish to conceal is already on your computer’s desktop. ADVANCED:How to Change Your Password in Windows 102.From the contextual menu, select “New.” 3. Select “Text Document” from the drop-down menu. 4.Press the Enter key. It makes no difference what the file will be titled in the end. Once the locked folder has been created, you will be able to remove this text file. 5.To open the text file, double-click on it to activate it.

If “Control Panel” already exists, go to UNLOCK.

if percent if percent =n, move to the end of the loop If percent cho percent =N, then move to the next step.

goto CONFIRM:LOCK attrib +h +s “Control Panel.” ren Locker “Control Panel.” attrib +h +s echo Folder lockedgoto End:UNLOCKecho Folder lockedgoto End:UNLOCKecho Enter a password to unlock the folderset/p “pass= “if NOT percent pass percent = if NOT percent pass percent = Your-Password-Here goto FAIL control panel.

  • “ren “Control Panel.” Lockerecho Folder Unlocked successfullygoto End:FAILecho Lockerecho Folder Unlocked unsuccessfully Invalid password has been entered.
  • Lockerecho Locker successfully constructed, go to End:End 7.Look for the phrase “Your-Password-Here” anywhere in the text.
  • 9.
  • “Choose a save location.” Click on the “Text Documents (*.txt)” menu bar that appears next to the “Save as type:” option.
  • 12.Choose “All Files” as your selection.
  • 14.Click on the “Save” button.
  • The Locker folder has been created successfully!

17 – Open the FolderLocker file, since it’s time to secure the contents of that folder!

19.Press the Enter key, and the Folder Locker window, as well as the Locker folder, will be closed!

To unlock the folder, double-click the “FolderLocker” icon to bring it up in your browser.

The Locker folder has been reinstated.

Steps 17, 18, and 19 must be repeated in order to lock the folder once more.

We also have guidelines if you’re looking for information on how to reset Windows 10 PCs or how to reset your Windows 10 password. Finally, are you sick of Windows? We’ve put up a guide to help you decide whether or not you should purchase a Chromebook.

Windows 10 Security and Networking

  • Use the Windows 10 Parental Controls to keep your children safe. Find out what your MAC address is
  • Create a Wi-Fi hotspot on your Windows PC
  • Encrypt a folder with a password
  • And more. In Windows 10, you may create a Guest Account. Windows Hello Fingerprint Login should be enabled. Install and configure Windows Hello facial recognition
  • When is Cortana’s ever-present listening allowed? How to restrict Cortana’s ever-present listening in Windows 10
  • With Dynamic Lock, you can automatically lock your computer. Non-Windows Store applications should be blocked. Find Wi-Fi passwords that have been saved
  • Establish an Internet connection with a meter
  • Make use of the Find My Device feature. XBox One games may be streamed
  • All of our Windows 10 recommendations
  • Create a network drive on your computer
  • Create a limited number of user accounts. Children should be given time limits. People can be added to your taskbar.

How to Lock a Folder in Windows 10

  • To encrypt a folder, select it and then click Encrypt. PropertiesAdvancedEncrypt the contents in order to protect sensitive information. Install a password-protection application, such as Wise Folder Hider, to keep it safe.

It is explained in this post how to lock a folder in Windows 10.

How Do I Lock a Specific Folder?

Although Windows has an encryption program that prevents other users from opening your files, using a more powerful third-party application will provide you with better privacy. While there are other options, the most straightforward does not require the use of any third-party apps. This functionality is integrated into the latest version of Windows. This article discusses three different approaches. Please go to the section just below these instructions to understand more about how this procedure works; you may opt to use one of the other ways instead of this one depending on your preferences.

  1. Right-click the folder you want to lock and selectProperties from the drop-down menu. To advance to the bottom of the Generaltab, use the Advance button. Put a tick in the box next to Encrypt contents to protect sensitive information. To save the changes, select OK twice on the Properties window and then OK again. Windows will urge you to create a backup of your file encryption key in order to avoid losing access to your encrypted files in the future. You have the option of following those instructions (continue reading) or ignoring them. If you followed the instructions in the message to back it up, selectBack up immediately (recommended). Choose Next on the first screen of the Certificate Export Wizard to begin the process of exporting certificates. Continue to choose the defaults and then hit Next once more
  2. Select the checkbox next to Password to activate the password, and then fill out the text boxes below it to complete the process. SelectNext
  3. Determine the location where the PFX file will be saved and give it a name
  4. SelectNext to go over the information you’ve supplied, and then Finish to finish the export process. When the successful export prompt appears, choose OK. To use this certificate in the future, simply open it from the location where you stored it in step 9 and follow the on-screen instructions.

How Encrypted Files Work on Windows 10

You should be familiar with the way encrypted files function in Windows in order to be certain that this is the technique you wish to employ. Consider the following as an illustration: The root of the C drive of a computer with two users has an encrypted folder on its root directory. John encrypts the folder as well as all of the data contained within it. He has complete control over the information. Another user, Mark, logs into his account, where he has access to practically all of the same features as John:

  • Take a look at the file names. rename the files Move and delete the folder as well as its contents. Increase the number of files in the folder

However, because John has encrypted the files in the folder, Mark will not be able to open the files to examine the contents of the folder. Mark, on the other hand, is capable of almost anything else. Any files Mark adds to the encrypted folder are immediately encrypted as well; however, the permissions have been reversed: because Mark is the currently logged-in user, the files he adds can only be accessed by him, not by John, who is the currently logged-in user.

Can You Put a Password on a Folder?

Apart from the methods discussed above, Windows 10 does not provide a mechanism to protect a folder with a password. You must enter the right user account password before you will be able to access the encrypted data, which is comparable to other password security methods. There are, however, third-party applications that allow you to specify anypassword as the folder password, fully independent of the person who is currently signed in. Because the file names may be obscured and even the folder itself can be concealed, the methods outlined below are arguably more private than Windows’ encryption approach.

Password Protect and Hide the Folder

Wise Folder Hideris is excellent illustration of this. This application is perfect if you want to be really protective of your data because it allows you to hide a folder behind two different passwords. It may also be used to protect whole flash devices as well as to encrypt specific data.

  1. Open the software and enter a password for the first time. This is the information that will be required each time Wise Folder Hider is launched
  2. Select Hide Folder from the Hide Filetab, and then go to the folder you wish to secure with a password on your computer (or drag the folder into the program window). Any folder, with the exception of system directories, is permitted. After selecting it, the folder will be removed from its original place shortly after being selected. In order to re-open the folder, pick the menu button to the right and then select Open. It will open normally in File Explorer once again
  3. SelectClose to conceal it once more, or Unhide to permanently restore it once more
  4. Then click OK. You may even need another password to be provided before entering a certain folder if you want to increase the level of protection. For this, pick Set Password from the drop-down menu that appears to the right of the folder path after clicking on it.

Make a Password Protected Copy

7-Zipis is yet another popular choice. As an alternative to concealing the original folder, it produces a copy of the original and then encrypts the copy.

  1. Right-click the folder and select 7-ZipAdd to archive from the context menu. In the Encryptionsection, type a password into the text boxes provided. It is possible to declare additional options such as the following.
  • It is necessary to specify the file name and path to the location where the encrypted file should be saved. The ability to encrypt file names prohibits someone from viewing the file names unless they have the password. If you create an SFX archive, you may have someone submit the password for decrypting the folder even if they do not have 7-Zip installed on their computer. It is particularly useful for sharing folders because it changes the file extension to EXE. The compression level can be changed to reduce the size of the file, albeit doing so may increase the time required for encryption and decryption.
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In this case, the original folder is not deleted or altered in any way. If you choose to go this route, make sure to delete or move the original files after you have created the password protected version. Other apps are available if you prefer to store your secret files on a virtual hard drive protected by a password you create yourself.

While a “locked folder” can refer to a folder that contains files that are currently in use, it does NOT refer to a folder that has been intentionally locked for privacy reasons. For more information on how locked files work, see How to Move, Delete, and Rename Locked Files. FAQ

  • How can I prevent the deletion of a folder in Windows 10 by locking it? One approach is to right-click the folder and selectPropertiesSecurityAdvancedDisable Inheritance from the pop-up menu that appears. Convert inherited rights on this object into explicit permissions by executing the following command. Afterwards, choose a user from the drop-down menuEditShow advanced permissions TypeDenyand choose the checkbox next to it. Delete
  • In Windows 10, how can I conceal a folder on my computer and lock it so that only I can access it? To make files and folders invisible in Windows 10, right-click the folder and selectPropertiesGeneralHiddenApplyOK from the context menu that appears. The File Explorer can be configured to prevent hidden files from being displayed, but other users can simply reveal hidden things by modifying the configuration. Locking and hiding folders is made easier with the help of a third-party program that adds password security.

Thank you for informing us about this!

Password protect a folder in WIndows 10

We recommend that you try a lower page number. * Please enter only numbers. * We recommend that you try a lower page number. Please only enter digits in this field. Hello, Bob. Thank you for submitting your question to the Microsoft Community forum. Allow me to respond to your question on how to password guard a specific folder or file. Because you will not be able to password guard a specific folder or file in Windows 10, we recommend that you utilize your favorite search engine to look for third-party software that can complete the operation.

Microsoft does not guarantee that any problems that arise as a consequence of the usage of Third-Party Software will be rectified.

A Windows feature known as the EFS, on the other hand, allows you to save information on your hard disk in an encrypted manner, allowing you to protect your data.

What is the best way to encrypt a file?

  1. Select Properties from the context menu of a file or folder by right-clicking (or tapping and holding) the file or folder. Select the Advanced option and then the Encrypt contents to secure data check box
  2. Then click OK. When you are finished, click OK to exit the Advanced Attributes box. Then click Apply and then OK.

For example, if you are using the Pro or Enterprise editions, you may encrypt the device with bit locker. BitLocker helps to safeguard all of the personal and system files on your computer in the event that it is stolen or if unauthorized persons attempt to access the computer. BitLocker may be used to encrypt all files on fixed data devices (such as internal hard drives), while BitLocker To Go can be used to encrypt files on detachable data drives (such as flash drives) (like external hard drives or USB flash drives).

  • Thank you very much.
  • Was this response of assistance?
  • Great!
  • What level of satisfaction do you have with this response?
  • What level of satisfaction do you have with this response?
  • Like you, I believe that it is insane that you are unable to utilize the encrypt option without downloading potentially harmful third-party programs?
  • I was quite disappointed.

Did you find this reply helpful?


What level of satisfaction do you have with this response?

What level of satisfaction do you have with this response?

The Encrypt contents to protect data check box should be selected.

I have the most recent Windows 10 update (which was installed yesterday), and my hard disk is formatted as NTFS.

Did you find this reply helpful?


What level of satisfaction do you have with this response?

What level of satisfaction do you have with this response?

The Encrypt contents to secure data check option has been disabled by default.

This reply was useful to 23 people.

Sorry if this wasn’t of assistance.

Thank you for taking the time to provide comments.

Thank you for your feedback; it allows us to make improvements to the site.

Thank you for taking the time to provide comments.

Exactly this is the subject of this question.

The following response was useful to 15 people: Was this response of assistance?


What level of satisfaction do you have with this response?

What level of satisfaction do you have with this response?

This is, to put it mildly, ludicrous.

As a result, how secure are the folders that I save on One Drive?

I believe that Microsoft should terminate the person who built this program.

Did you find this reply helpful?


What level of satisfaction do you have with this response?

What level of satisfaction do you have with this response?

I used the instructions provided to encrypt a folder on my computer.

I’m just able to compress.

Moreover, why wouldn’t it be readily available?

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What level of satisfaction do you have with this response?

What level of satisfaction do you have with this response?

I’m experiencing the exact same issue.

There is no response when I attempt to click on it.

Why are these instructions being offered when they are not effective?

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What level of satisfaction do you have with this response?

What level of satisfaction do you have with this response?

This is completely ineffective.

I propose that it be rewritten into the next auto update, along with the previous media player functionality.

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What level of satisfaction do you have with this response?

What level of satisfaction do you have with this response?

When it came to encryption and Bitlocker, I had to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.

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What level of satisfaction do you have with this response?

What level of satisfaction do you have with this response? Thank you for taking the time to provide comments. We recommend that you try a lower page number. * Please enter only numbers. * We recommend that you try a lower page number. Please only enter digits in this field.

How to Password Protect a Folder in Windows 10

Sharing a computer isn’t always the best idea, especially if you’re concerned about your family, friends, or even a dangerous third party gaining access to your files. You could create several user accounts, but if your files aren’t secured, it’s conceivable that someone else will be able to obtain access to your data anyhow. There are a couple of different methods for password protecting folders in Windows 10. It is also possible to utilize built-in tools to encrypt files or a USB drive if you have Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education installed.

Using Built-In Folder Encryption using EFS

In Windows 10, using the built-in folder encryption mechanism, known as the Encrypted File System, is one of the quickest and most straightforward methods of password protecting a folder (EFS). The Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions are the only ones that may use this strategy. This sort of encryption secures a folder by requiring your Microsoft or local account credentials to access it (so long as the user account has a password). For the user to be able to access the folder, they will need to know the same login credentials that you use to connect onto your computer.

You may also use the EFS encryption key to decrypt your files if you want to.

  • To use this method, you’ll need to right-click a folder on your desktop or in Windows File Explorer and select theProperties option from the context menu.
  • When you are in thePropertieswindow’s Generaltab, select theAdvancedbutton. Currently, this is only viewable for files that are stored on a connected hard drive. This option will not be available for folders located on a network disk, for example.
  • The Encrypt contents to secure datacheckbox may be found in theAdvanced Attributeswindow of the program. To save, press the OK button.
  • Click on the OK (or Apply OK) button in thePropertieswindow to save your encryption settings.
  • Once the folder has been saved, you will be able to check the user accounts and recovery keys that have been associated with it by right-clicking the folder and selectingPropertiesAdvancedDetails
  • When you first use this technique to encrypt a folder, you’ll be prompted to create a backup copy of your EFS encryption key and certificate. You can (and should) store this to an external device, such as a USB flash drive, for future reference. To accomplish this, hit the Back up button on the pop-up box, or press the Back up button afterwards. It is not recommended to choose the Never back up option since you may be unable to access your files later.
  • In the Certificate Export Wizard, you’ll be taken through the process of creating an encryption certificate and a password for decryption. Windows will automatically choose an acceptable format for your certificate, so simply hit the Next button to proceed.
  • You’ll need to set a strong password in order to keep your key safe. To begin, ensure that thePasswordcheckbox is enabled, and then enter a suitable password in both thePassword andConfirm Passwordboxes. To encrypt data, pick AES256-SHA256 from the Encryption drop-down box. Continue by pressing the Next button.
  • In the next menu, confirm the file name for your file, and then hit Next. It is advised that you save this file on a removable medium rather than on your computer’s hard drive
  • Therefore, save your file on a portable medium.
  • During the last stage, you will be able to confirm the options you have chosen. If you’re satisfied, click Finish to save the certificate file
  • Otherwise, click Cancel.

At this point, you should be able to close your folder. You shouldn’t notice any difference; you should be able to access, modify, and transfer the folder as you normally would. Other users, on the other hand, will need your account information or encryption key in order to access or make any modifications to the folder.

Encrypting Folders Using 7-Zip

If you want to safeguard a folder without making too many modifications to it, you may want to consider encrypting the folder. The open-source archive program 7-Zip may be used to produce an encrypted, password-protected zip file as one method of accomplishing this.

  • You will need to download and install 7-Zipon on your computer in order to accomplish this. You may right-click on any folder on your computer (whether it’s on your desktop or in Windows File Explorer) and select 7-ZipAdd to archive once the program has been installed.
  • Make that that 7z is selected from theArchiveddrop-down selection in theAdd to Archivewindow. TheEnter passwordandReenter passwordboxes in the Encryptionsection should be filled out with a strong password. Make sure that AES-256is chosen as the encryption technique, and that theEncrypt file namescheckbox is enabled if you wish to conceal the names of the files included within your folder’s contents (this is recommended). Once you’re finished, click OK to create an archive of your work.
  • Your encrypted 7z file will show alongside your unencrypted folder in the results of this operation. You may now securely remove the original folder, ensuring that it can no longer be accessible by anybody else in the future. When you (or someone else) attempts to open the encrypted file, you will be prompted to provide a password in order to get access.

Other Third-Party Software To Password Protect Folders

While 7-Zip can build a password-protected package including your folder, it is unable to password-protect the folder itself in its current state. If you’re using Windows 10 Home (which means you don’t have access to EFS or built-in folder encryption), you’ll have to rely on third-party applications to keep your files safe. Bitdefender Total Security, for example, is one of several antivirus software packages that have an encrypted file storage capability. Use of specialist file encryption software such as AxCrypt (which includes aSecured Foldersfeature) is an alternate option to consider.

AxCrypt keeps an eye on these folders at all times, encrypting any new files that are added to them.

As a result, only you have access to the files contained within the folder. Decryption of the data is possible using your own encryption password; but, in order to use the program, you must first create an AxCrypt account. Passwords, on the other hand, are saved locally.

  • When you first run AxCrypt, you’ll be prompted to install the program and establish a new account, which you may then use to access your data. Once the program has been run, select theSecured Folderstab
  • If you don’t change anything, AxCrypt will encrypt the MyCryptfolder in your documents folder by default. If you want to create a new folder, right-click a folder on your desktop or in Windows File Manager and select “Add Folder.” Then hit AxcryptEncrypt to encrypt the folder.
  • Once the folder has been encrypted, you will be able to access it, but any files contained within it will be encrypted and have the.axxfile suffix. In order to open it, you must first launch the AxCrypt client, where you must enter your decryption password in order to decrypt the files and make any necessary adjustments. If you’re already logged in, you won’t have to put your password in again to make any changes to your files.
  • If you wish to decrypt your files later, you may do so by right-clicking an encrypted folder and selectingAxcryptDecrypt from the context menu. This will stop encryption on that folder and erase any encryption that may have already been in place.
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Protecting Your Important Files in Windows 10

In Windows 10, it’s never been easier to password lock a folder and protect your most essential data than it is now, thanks to the built-in folder encryption and a variety of third-party techniques available. Your data will be (almost) impenetrable thanks to the AES encryption available for EFS and 7-Zip files, providing you with an additional layer of peace of mind. In addition, if you want to go even farther, there is nothing that prevents you from encrypting all of your data, whether it is stored online or off.

However, you can also encrypt your entire hard drive using Windows Bitlocker, which is a free download from Microsoft.

How to Password Protect a Folder

If you share a computer with others, you may find yourself in a situation where you need to keep some documents secret. Depending on whatever version of Microsoft® Windows® your computer is running, there are a variety of options for accomplishing this. If you’re not sure which Windows operating system is running on your computer, you can find out more information here. It is usually a good idea to create separate accounts for each individual that uses a single computer. This makes it easier for everyone to have access to the applications and data that they desire.

How to password protect a folder

When you use a password to secure a folder, you must enter the password in order to view the list of documents included within the folder. Individual files can also be password-protected, whether they are included within a password-protected folder or outside of a password-protected folder. The technique for creating files and folders is the same.

Windows 7

  1. Navigate to the folder you wish to password-protect in Windows Explorer by clicking on it and selecting “Open with Windows Explorer.” Right-click on the folder and chooseProperties from the drop-down list. Select the General tab from the pop-up menu that opens. To protect data, click theAdvancedbutton and then selectEncrypt content from the drop-down menu. ClickOK. It will be necessary to use your Windows account and password
  2. In order to check that you have access to the folder, double-click it.

Windows 8 and Windows 10

In Windows 8 and Windows 10, it is not feasible to password-protect a folder using the Windows operating system. Third-party software or a zipped folder will be required to complete this process. In the event that you choose to employ third-party software, be certain that you obtain it from a trusted source.

Zipped folder

If your version of Windows does not enable password protection, encrypting and password-protecting a compressed file is a viable alternative. If you place the files you want to secure in a zip file, you will be able to apply a password to them afterwards.

  1. Select the files you want to put into a zipped file in Windows Explorer by selecting them and right-clicking on them
  2. SelectSend to, then Zip folder from the drop-down menu (compressed). Follow the on-screen instructions to name and save the folder
  3. Double-click the zipped file, then chooseFileandAdd Password from the drop-down menu
  4. Fill out the required information and then clickApply to submit your application.

How to hide a folder

When you conceal a folder or file in Windows, the folder or file does not appear in the directory list unless the Don’t display hidden files, folders, or drives setting is unchecked, in which case the folder or file does appear.

Windows 7, 8, and 10

  1. Right-click on the file or folder that you wish to conceal and select “Hide from sight.” SelectProperties
  2. Then, on the Generaltab, under the Attributessection, choose Hidden
  3. And then clickApply.

If the file or folder is still visible in the directory, you will need to activate another setting to prevent it from being deleted.

  1. Open Windows Explorer and select theFiletab from the menu bar. Choose Options, then the Viewtab from the drop-down menu. Select Hide hidden files, folders, or drives that are listed under the title Hidden files and folders

For your hidden files or folder, repeat the steps above, but this time selectShow hidden files, folders, and drives from the drop-down menu.


However, even though Microsoft has removed the option to password-protect a folder, you may still safeguard your secret information by utilizing a password-protected zipped folder or by concealing files and folders so that they do not display in the directory list.

How to password protect a folder in Windows 10, to keep your files safe from prying eyes

  • You can secure a folder in Windows 10 from being accessed by others who use your computer, or from being accessed by someone who steals your hard drive, by knowing how to password protect a folder. In order to open a password-protected folder, the user must enter the password that was created for the folder. You may open a Windows 10 folder at any time after it has been locked, but only if you know the current password
  • Once a folder has been locked, it cannot be unlocked. More articles may be found on the Business Insider homepage.

In the event that you have sensitive information stored on a Windowscomputer that you share with others, or on a laptop that you are concerned may be stolen, you will need to take precautions to keep your information safe. This is an instance in which password-protecting a folder can provide you with peace of mind in return for a small amount of hassle. You may password lock folders in Windows 10 so that you’ll have to input a code every time you want to access them. Make a note of your password since password-protected folders do not come with any form of recovery solution in the event that you forget your password.

Alternatively, you might create a backup and save it someplace else, such as on a flash drive.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

Unfortunately, Windows 10 does not provide a built-in password-protection function, which means you’ll have to rely on third-party applications to keep your information safe. Free versions of WinRar’s file compression and encryption software are available on the company’s website in both 32- and 64-bit versions. Press the Windows icon in the lower left corner of your screen and type in “System.” This will tell you if you’re running 32-bit or 64-bit Windows. It will be listed under the heading “System type” in your System summary.

  • Business Insider photo courtesy of Ross James 1.Install the version of WinRar that is appropriate for your computer’s configuration.
  • “Add to Archive” is the phrase we’re looking for.
  • Business Insider photo courtesy of Ross James 3.
  • A menu will also appear; click “Set password” from the drop-down menu at the bottom-right of the screen.
  • Select “Encrypt file names” from the drop-down menu.
  • WinRar will prompt you to repeat the process to ensure that you did not make a clerical error.
  • Ross James/Business Insider5 has contributed to this article.
  • After you’ve done this, you’ll be left with your original folder plus a.rar file that is password-protected; you’ll need to retain WinRar on your computer in order to open it.
  • It should be noted, however, that if you password protect a folder that contains a program, you will not be able to launch that program without first extracting it — together with all of the files it requires to execute — from the password-protected folder.

You will then be able to overwrite the previous version. WinRar is the most effective free application for this purpose. The next best solution is to invest in commercial software such asFolder Guard orProtected Folder, albeit these will come at a premium.

Related coverage fromHow To Do Everything: Tech:

Ross James is a freelance writer for Business Insider. Insider Inc. receives a commission when you buy through our links.

Step-By-Step Guide to Password Protect a File or Folder in Windows

In an ideal world, after you’ve set up a Windows password, everything should be secure and safe, correct? Unfortunately, this isn’t the situation at this time. A Windows login password provides a very minimal degree of protection, mostly for the purpose of keeping your data secure from others who may be using the same computer as you. However, there are several hazards. Individuals having a more in-depth understanding of how to hack a system can quickly defeat these simple security precautions.

If your laptop is stolen, for example, the burglar may be able to access your files by booting up your machine from an external storage device.

You will learn how to safeguard your data from prying eyes by utilizing some very easy capabilities built into the Windows operating system, as well as some more complicated procedures to assure next-level safety, in this article.

Back to basics: Difference between password protection and encryption

In many ways, password protection is like to locking something away in a safe—for example, a really sensitive document. You must know the proper combination in order to gain access to that document. The secret to success is, quite simply, knowledge. As a result, password protection is frequently referred to as a kind of knowledge-based authentication rather than just password protection. You must be aware of the password in order to enter. Using a tangible token such as, for example, a real key or a specific USB drive in order to access our confidential document would be considered possession-based authentication.

  1. If the token (or “key”) were a fingerprint or your face, you would be utilizing inherence authentication.
  2. When a document is not encrypted, it is saved as plain text, which we might refer to as plain text.
  3. When anything is encrypted, it is stored as cipher text.
  4. File and folder encryption in Windows is accomplished by logging into the appropriate user account with the appropriate password.
  5. Password encryption is a third alternative that incorporates both password protection and encryption into a single solution.

Our top-secret document is now safely locked away in a safe that is inaccessible to anybody but us. Even if someone knows the correct password to unlock a file or folder, they will be unable to make sense of it if they are not signed in as the authorized user who created it.

Why password protect files?

If you share your computer with others, there is always the possibility of human error – the unintended loss of a vital document, the incorrect change of a critical file, the unintentional sharing of a private folder, and so forth. You may find yourself to be your own worst adversary at times. Sharing sensitive information via email with the incorrect recipients is a regrettable, though not fully preventable, cause of data security breaches. The Leicester City Council (in the United Kingdom) emailed the incorrect spreadsheet to around 27 firms in January of this year.

  • If it can happen to them, it is possible that it will happen to you.
  • After that, sharing a computer becomes a stress-free experience, and sending email attachments will be less of a nerve-wracking experience as well.
  • Just keep in mind to use strong passwords at all times.
  • The use of your Windows program to encrypt a whole folder is another option for dealing with this problem.
  • There are also third-party programs available that allow for complete encryption.

Built-in folder encryption

First and foremost, let’s look at the most easy method of encrypting your folders (and all of the information included within them) – Windows folder encryption. To encrypt a file or folder on Windows 7, 8, or 10, perform the following procedures:

  1. Make your way to the folder or file that you wish to encrypt
  2. Right-click on the item to choose it. After selecting Properties, select theAdvancedbutton. CheckEncrypt the contents in order to protect sensitive information. Click on OK, then on Apply. Windows then prompts you to choose whether you want to encrypt only the file or the file’s parent folder and all of the files contained within it as well. Because it is always better to be safe than sorry, we recommend that you choose complete folder encryption. You will now notice a little yellow lock on the file icon of the encrypted folder after you have navigated to that location. Additionally, if you upload new stuff to that folder, it will be automatically encrypted as well
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To be clear, Windows file encryption safeguards your data from access by anybody who obtains physical access to your machine. Because the encryption is related to your Windows account, when you log in, the files are automatically decrypted by the operating system on your behalf. It is possible, though, that someone else may log in and read files that were encrypted under your login; nevertheless, this is unlikely. It is possible for someone to gain access to your data through your account, and encryption is rendered almost ineffective if someone gains access to your computer while it is signed into the account.

A little bit of code, as described by, may be used to password-protect folders in Windows by more advanced users as well.

Regular Windows encryption, on the other hand, will only go you so far because it is quite easy to overcome. Someone merely needs to log in using your account in order to view your content. Continue reading to learn how to keep your files safe in the event that your account is hijacked.

Simple password protection software

Third-party password security, in contrast to Windows’ native file encryption technology, prevents access to material independent of who is signed into the system. These programs provide more protection than the built-in security features of Windows, and they are strongly recommended for sensitive data.

Password protect folders in Windows 10

Folder Lock is a content protection feature for Windows that is worth taking a closer look at. It’s lightweight, simple to use, and capable of password-protecting and encrypting files and folders at breakneck rates. Keep your data safe with Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit keys, which are provided by the program. By default, Folder Lock controls the locked material through the use of a master password. However, you may also establish a “Locker,” which is a password-protected folder on your computer’s hard drive that separates files by topic.

Folder Lock also includes a sophisticated file shredder as well as a cloud-based backup system, among other features.

The cost of the complete version is $39.95.

Password protect folders in Windows 78

LocK-A-FoLder is another small and lightweight utility. UnlikeFolder Lock, LocK-A-FoLder is only compatible with Windows XP, Vista, and 7 operating systems. The UI is really easy to navigate and utilize. You will be prompted to generate a master password, which will be used to manage all of your encrypted material, after the program has been installed. Until you unlock all hidden folders on your computer, they will no longer be viewable on your hard drive. LocK-A-FoLderisfree and is the least resource-intensive folder locker available, making it an excellent choice for machines with limited resources.

A password strength tester can be really useful in this situation.

While robust password protection will suffice for the vast majority of users, if you have sensitive data, more complex solutions such as third-party encryption technologies can be utilized to keep it safe from unauthorized access.

Full encryption software to secure files and folders

In addition to standard password protection, you may also employ disk-encryption software to provide even more effective security protections on your computer. Using these tools, you can prevent even the most sophisticated cold-boot and brute-force assaults, which attempt to guess passwords and encryption keys by attempting various combinations of characters.


This free, open source program may be installed on nearly any machine running a Windows operating system. A file archiver, in essence, with great compression and AES-256 encryption, it is a powerful tool for data protection. Your data are safeguarded by being compressed and encrypted, so when you try to access them, all you have to do is decompress the file to gain access.

Yes, it is an additional step, but it is a little price to pay for the high level of protection. Follow these steps to make your data more safe using 7-Zip:

  1. 7-Zip’s most recent version may be found here. To begin, start the installation procedure
  2. Select 7-Zip File Manager from the Applications folder in your Windows system. Select the file or folder you want to secure from the 7-Zip control panel and then click theAddbutton to add it. Choose from a variety of compression choices (see image below). A – Enter the name you want to give to the encrypted file in the text box provided. B – In the Encryption area, provide a strong password that will be used for both encrypting and decrypting data. C- We recommend that you set your compression level to HIGH and your compression technique to AES-256 for maximum compression efficiency. D – Press the OK button.

A compressed, encrypted, and password-protected version of your file or folder has been created. Decompressing the file or folder is exactly as straightforward as compressing it:

  1. Select the file or folder you want to open from the 7-Zipcontrol panel
  2. Then click Open. To begin, press theExtractbutton. In the dialogue box that appears, type in the password. Then press the OK button. Your file/folder will be decompressed and made available to you


VeraCrypt is a free, cross-platform data security utility that supports the encryption of files using AES, Serpent, and TwoFish keys. It can encrypt your files in whatever method you choose. VeraCrypt comes pre-installed with full disk encryption, but it also has the ability to encrypt at the volume level. Users may choose whether they want individual files encrypted or whether they want their entire systems protected. VeraCrypt may appear frightening at first sight due to the fact that the user interface is not the most user-friendly, but it is actually pretty straightforward once you get the hang of it.

Please follow these procedures after you have downloaded the Windows installation package and installed the program :

  1. To begin, you’ll need to establish a volume, which is effectively an encrypted folder where all of your data will be stored. Create a new volume by clicking on the button.
  1. Select To begin, create an encrypted file container and then click Next.

VeraCrypt provides you with the choice of creating either a standard, visible container or an invisible container, depending on your needs. For the sake of this example, we’ll use the Standard VeraCrypt volume; however, you may choose whatever one works best for you.

  1. Select File from the drop-down menu and go to the location where you want to save your encrypted container. Select “Save” from the drop-down menu. The following screen essentially asks what encryption technique you wish to employ. Once again, we recommend AES-256, which is the most secure encryption currently available. then select how much space you want the encrypted folder to have by clicking on the Next button.
  1. Finally, type in the password you want to use for your volume and click Next to continue. Make sure it’s a good one

VeraCrypt is now ready to begin the process of creating your container. Surprisingly, the application can utilize random mouse movements to generate your encryption key and encrypt the folder, which is rather impressive. To make the encryption key stronger, feel free to move your mouse around a lot. Continue doing so until the bar at the bottom of the screen reaches the end. Then select Format from the drop-down menu. Your first encrypted disk should now be located in the folder that you specified for it to reside in.

  1. Using the VeraCrypthome screen, select a drive number from any one of the accessible drives to mount your volume.
  1. Select File from the drop-down menu and go to the folder where you saved your encrypted container by clicking on any one of the letters in your highlighted volume name
  2. To select the volume, click on the Open button. After that, clickMount to have the volume mounted on the specified disk. Enter your password and press the OK button. Your container has been prepared

The mounted disk will open a new window in the container when you double-click on it. You should also be able to view the container in this PC, as well as your other hard drives. Then, copy the material to your new encrypted “drive,” shut the folder by clicking dismount, and re-encrypt it.

Managing files and passwords

You should now be familiar with the steps required to password secure and encrypt your files and folders in Microsoft Windows. However, as we have demonstrated, it all boils down to maintaining the security of your passwords and establishing excellent security practices in general.

Backup, backup, backup

Consider the consequences of losing your master password, having your encryption software get faulty, or having the data itself disappear. Backing up your data on a regular basis and employing a password manager can help you avoid being caught off guard in the future. Some of the tools described above, such asFolder Lock, come with their own cloud-based data backup options built into the software itself. You may, however, always utilize Microsoft’s OneDrive or the free Google Drive to store your files.

Create strong passwords

Of course, the most difficult aspect of using passwords is remembering them. If you establish a single password that you use across all of your accounts, you are putting yourself at risk of data theft. The conventional option, which is to create passwords that are simple to remember and uninventive, is just as problematic. When it comes to weak and frequent passwords, algorithms that physically cycle through different key combinations at unfathomable speeds make it quite simple to crack them.

Using a computer cluster, hackers were able to guess passwords at a pace of 350 billion per second in 2012, according to reports.

It’s important to remember that this happened seven years ago.

Password security best practices must also change in order to keep up with the times.

So do yourself a favor and educate yourself on how to develop secure passwords and how to safeguard your device(s) from cybercriminals. With regard to how to keep track of your passwords, it is not recommended that you save your password list in a document, even if the document has been encrypted.

How to Password Protect Folders and Files in Windows 11 or 10

(Photo courtesy of Tom’s Hardware.) Windows 11 and Windows 10 both come with strong built-in encryption, which is especially useful if you utilize Bitlocker to protect your data. Encrypting your disk, on the other hand, simply protects you from people who are unable to enter into your account on your PC. What about the people who do? Consider the following scenario: you have a family PC in the living room that you frequently leave unlocked. While it would be great if each family member had their own account, chances are you don’t handle things that way in your house.

There are a variety of options for restricting access to certain directories or even individual files.

Here’s how to do it.

How to Password Protect Folders in Windows 11 / 10

Easy File Locker may be downloaded, installed, and run from this page. 2.Click on Set Password from the System drop-down menu. (Photo courtesy of Tom’s Hardware.) 3.Enter a password and click the “OK” button. Make an effort to make it a safe one. (Photo courtesy of Tom’s Hardware.) 4.From the FilesFolders menu, choose “Add Folder” to create a new folder. It’s also possible to apply this to a single file by selecting “Add File” instead of “Add Folder.” (Photo courtesy of Tom’s Hardware.) 5.Click the “.” button to the right of the Path box to select a folder or file to use as a starting point.

  1. These options, which are a little counter-intuitive, control how the folder / file acts while it is locked.
  2. (Photo courtesy of Tom’s Hardware.) 7.Turn on Visible if you want the file / folder’s icon to be visible even when the file or folder is locked.
  3. It is going to be hidden.
  4. Your configuration would look somewhat like the image below.
  5. (Photo courtesy of Tom’s Hardware.) 4.
  6. You will see a list of all the objects that have been locked in Easy File Locker.

Though you attempt to open one of your files, even if you have set it to be visible at all times, you will receive an error notice stating that “Access is denied.” (Photo courtesy of Tom’s Hardware.)

Unlocking Folders and Files in Windows 11 or 10

It may be necessary to temporarily disable a lock in order to get access to the contents of a locked folder or file in some cases. Here’s how to do it. 1.Start Easy File Locker by double-clicking on the icon. Upon starting the program, you will be prompted for a password. 2.Input your password if you have one. (Photo courtesy of Tom’s Hardware.) 3.Press the pause button located on the toolbar. This will instantly unlock all of your files and folders on your computer. (Photo courtesy of Tom’s Hardware.) 4.As soon as you are through editing or viewing your files, click the Play button to set the lock back on again.

Avram Piltch is the editor-in-chief of the Tom’s Hardware magazine.

The result of Avram’s technical expertise and passion for testing was the development of several real-world benchmarks, including our laptop battery test.

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