You and every other user of your computer usually have full access to the majority of files and folders on your machine. Some users actually have a reason to block access to their stuff. Maybe you’re working in a public place, and don’t want anyone to access your personal files. Or you’re a parent not wanting your child to access inappropriate content.
So, whatever the reason, we all have computer files that we want to keep it safe from the world. In Windows 10, you can create those unmentionable plans or files in a secret folder that is password protected, and you can do it without buying any additional software.
But just to be safe, make sure you're keeping some record, somewhere, of the exact password you're using to lock your folder. If you lose the password, your files are gone.
Here's how to create a folder that you can fill with files you want to keep secret.
You can use Windows 10 default system to lock a folder with a password.
Method - 1
Use File Explorer to find the file or folder you wish to protect.
Right-click on it and click “Properties” at the bottom of the context menu.
Then press the “Advanced…” button in the Attributes section of the window.
At the bottom of this page, tick the “Encrypt contents to secure data” checkbox.
Click the “OK” button to get back to the main Properties window.
Now press “Apply” and Windows will begin to encrypt your files.
When the process completes, you’ll be prompted to back-up your encryption key if you’ve never used the feature before.
Click the toast notification and follow the prompts to make a note of your encryption key.
You’ll need this information if you ever lose access to your encrypted files, so it’s important you take the time to back it up now.
With the back-up done, your files are now secured. They’re encrypted with a key that’s tied down to your Windows user account.
You can reverse the encryption at any time by heading back to the Properties window and opening the Advanced Attributes pane again.
Just untick the “Encrypt contents to secure data” checkbox and click OK to close the windows.
After encryption, you can also press the “Details” button next to the checkbox to see information about the encryption certificate and available recovery procedures.
If anyone else tries to access the file - whether from another user account or by physically removing your hard drive - the contents will appear to be meaningless garbled text.
Enabling Windows’ BitLocker feature (Pro and Enterprise edition only) can also give peace of mind if you want all your files to be encrypted. This offers full-disk encryption with the keys tied down to a TPM, a hardware module dedicated to certificate storage.
Method - 2
You can also take the step of hiding your folder from view.
First, right-click a file or folder or your choice and select Properties.
Check the Hidden option beside Attributes.
Click Apply and then OK.
Your file or folder should now disappear.
To view your folder again, click on the View tab of your Windows 10 file manager.
Then, select Options > Change folder and search options.
In the following File Options window, click on the View tab.
Finally, click on the option labeled Show hidden files, folders, and drives under Hidden files and folders.
Click Apply and then OK.
If you need stronger protections, you might want to consider investing in third-party software that’s specially designed for this purpose.
7-Zip also allows users to password protect their folders. To follow this method, first download 7-Zip. Once 7-Zip is downloaded and installed, click the start menu and type 7zip. Select the 7-Zip File Manager option. Then, locate the file or folder you want to protect, click on it, and click the Add option at the top of the window. Next, enter your new password in the Encryption section. When you’re done, click OK. Check your folder location and you’ll find a ZIP file named the same as your original folder. Now that you have your zipped file, you can delete your original folder.
This program uses encryption to protect your folders. All you have to do is launch it, select the folder you want to lock, choose a password and press Protect. The folder is encrypted, and the only thing that is left inside it is a small executable that you can use to unlock it. You can also use the program itself to unlock the folders that you protected.
Kaspersky products are some of the best in the market. Their premium security solution for Windows computers is called Kaspersky Total Security and, if you buy it, you get access to an excellent tool called Data Encryption, which can encrypt and password-protect your folders.
An excellent free encryption utility that enables users to encrypt all files within a folder and not allow those files to be viewed unless a passphrase (password) is known.
A commercial version of a password protection software that enables you to password protect files, folders, and other Windows resources.
Folder Locker is arguably the best solution for keeping your files and folders safe in Windows 10. However, this tool comes with a price tag.
Secret Disk serves as a virtual hard drive where you can put your files and folders, and protect them with a password or make them invisible. It looks like a regular hard drive and even can have its own drive later, but only you will be able to access it.
LocK-A-FoLdeR is the perfect solution for absolute beginners. It uses a single master password, it has a minimal user interface, and it does not offer any settings that you can fiddle with. A good thing about LocK-A-FoLdeR is the fact that, to keep your folders private, it does not require any services to run. It is both easy to use and free.
IObit one of the best alternative of folder guard software to password protects private data in Windows PC. Make your private pictures, videos, and document password protect to using simple steps. IObit folder lock also protects your important data infection from ransomware virus or other malicious attacks until you did not unlock file using the password.
A free encryption software, Safehouse Explore helps to maintain the privacy of your data by protecting them with passwords. It effectively covers your data from snoopers or anyone else who should not have access to it. With passwords and strong encryption of maximum 256-bit to make your data disappear completely from the outside world. From photos, videos, delicate files, spreadsheets etc. to any kind of files, it protects and hides your data completely. It can also defend the data contained in your USB and CD drives, memory cards, iPods and even network servers. It allows you to access your files only when you enter the password, which also makes it safe from external forces.
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