Password Protect Folder Windows: Securing Password your files and folders in Windows is the best way. As it ensures no one gains unauthorized access to them. But unfortunately, Windows doesn’t offer any best way to add password protection to files or folders. Don’t worry though, we know some easy ways to password protect Windows folders and files. In this article, we will show you four best ways to password protect folders in Windows. Also, make sure each method is suitable for a particular need.
Password Protect Folder in Windows
Use Built-in Encryption
Make sure windows come with built-in encryption to secure a folder and its content from other users and content over the shared network. However, encryption is only available in the Professional or Enterprise edition of Windows 10. However, if you are using Standard or Home edition, then you are out of luck.
Right-tap on the folder you want to encrypt and choose Properties from the context menu and choose Advanced under the General tab. Now check the checkbox next to Encrypt contents to secure data and tap on OK. Tap on Confirm in the pop-up that follows and you are done. However, the folder should be encrypted now.
The color of the folder will turn green confirming that it has been encrypted. Now, only you can access this folder while logging in to your Windows user account. Other users will have to input the password to access it. Unfortunately, if someone has access to your PC you are logged in, they will be able to access the folder.
You can also remove encryption following the same method after which, the folder will be visible and accessible to all Windows users.
Simple Password Managers
If you want to secure your files and folders on Windows 10 PC without encryption. Then simple password protection will work just fine for you. This software may not be able to secure your data from hackers and other bad actors, but for instant and easy folder protection, they are perfect.
Wise Folder Hider is a quite simple and free password manager that can secure your files with two different folders. Download and launch the program to create a password. You’ll use that to protect password folders on Windows 10. Another option is that you can also try Easy File Locker.
Remember to use a strong password that does not ensure people don’t guess it. But in case you forget your password, contact the company and they will recover the password for you. There is no other way to recover a password for free users since the software needs no sign-up.
Note: Unfortunately the free version of Wise Folder Hider is bloated with other less essential software like SpyHunter. So, you just carefully decline the install.
In the main interface, use the buttons above to hide files, folders and even USB drive content. Once done, you will have to tap “Open” to make them accessible in Windows 10 File Explorer. When you close the Wise Folder Hider window, the items will be hidden again.
In addition, you can tap on the upside-down arrow next to an item and choose “Set password” to create a secondary password. However, other users provide the main password and the secondary password to open such files/folders.
Remember you unhide all the files and folder before uninstalling the Wise Folder Hider. Because all your files will be lost forever.
Password Protect Folder in Windows 10 with 7-Zip
7-Zip is the most popular archiving tool used for extracting compressed files. Did you know that it can password secure your data with strong encryption as well? If you don’t want to access a folder then you can encrypt and compress it to make it impossible for others to access it without a password.
Once 7-Zip is installed, right-tap on the folder and choose to Add to archive from the 7-Zip menu.
In the compression settings, input the encryption password in the bottom right corner and then tap on OK to encrypt the folder. Also, this will create a new folder in the same location that can only be extracted using the password you just newly created. You can now remove the unprotected folder to ensure no one accesses it. However, don’t delete the original folder because then, someone could access it from the Recycle Bin or also recover it using some data recovery tool. That’s why I suggest deleting the original folder/file using CCleaner securely.
Unfortunately, you’ll have to extract the folder whenever you need to access its content. You may also delete the unprotected folder when you encrypt it again. That’s quite a difficult process but safe at the same time.
Password Protect Folders in Windows Using Encryption App
Another best way to protect your data is to encrypt and protect it with a password. So, for this purpose, you will need to get help from third-party encryption software. There is much other encryption software available, but most of them will encrypt the whole drive content. Encrypting and decrypting the whole drive can be time-consuming.
One way is to create a small drive with the intent to store all your confidential data. For this purpose, VeraCrypt is the best software that will encrypt and password protect folders in Windows 10.
Once installed, it makes it a snap to create an encrypted volume where you can store your data. Also, tap on the Create Volume button in the main interface and then follow instructions provided by VeraCrypt to create an encrypted volume. Just press Next on most pop-ups and input the size of the drive and the password that you would like to use.
Once creating the encrypted volume, tap on the Select file button in the main interface and choose the volume you just created. Now tap on Mount and input the password to mount the drive. You will also be able to view the newly encrypted drive next to your regular drives. Now simply move files and folders to this drive to encrypt it.
Hide Files and Folders Two Different Ways
There are two different ways to hide files and folders in Windows 10. No need to input a password or anything. The first method is quite easy where you choose the file or folder you want to hide. Also, select Hide selected items in the toolbar above.
Whenever you want to see all hidden files and folders, simply open the folder and choose Hidden items to view everything. However, this method is not very safe and everyone who knows about it can use it.
That’s why there is another best way. Most people don’t know about it either. Just hiding folders as a system folder to make it stay hidden also if someone chooses the Hidden items choice above. Simply open Command Prompt with admin rights and type the below command.
attrib +s +h “C:\Users\user name here\Desktop\Top Secret”
Now replace the ‘user name here’ with your PC username. Also, ‘top secret’ with the folder you like to hide as a system folder. To unhide files and folders, repeat the same command using a minus sign.
attrib -s -h “C:\Users\user name here\Desktop\Top Secret”
That’s all. Make sure this is not very secure. But it’s a fast and simple way to hide stuff if you don’t like everyone finding it out.
BitLocker Drive Encryption
The best way to save and password-protect files and folders on Windows 10 PC is by using BitLocker. That needs Windows Pro or Enterprise edition and a TPM chip on your PC. These steps are quite complicated but it is the highest level of security you can get on a Windows PC. However, it will encrypt everything on that drive using AES 256-bit encryption.
Using software like Wise Folder Hider is the easiest and simplest way to password protect a folder in Windows 10. However, if you have confidential data then you should encrypt it using 7-Zip or VeraCrypt. Do you know of any other tricks to password protect Windows 10 folders? Let us know in the comments section below.