Saturday, February 29, 2020

How to Password Protect a Folder in Windows 10 | 5 Methods You Can Use

There are several security methods that you can use to set up to protect the significant documents and data stored on your Mac or Windows PC. The most broadly perceived is to lock your PC requiring a password to avoid the login screen. You can even make this supervision a stride further by password-protecting individual folders, which can be helpful when you’re utilizing a mutual PC or work area. Making the going with steps will help ensure that access to your unstable records will require a password each and every time. So. in this article, you will know how to password protect a folder in Windows PC.

How to Password Protect a Folder in Windows

There are a few different ways to protect a file folder with a password in Windows. Tragically, the best technique, and in this manner the one that we recommend, includes using a third-party tool for Windows PC.

1. Use a File Archive program

The program we’re prescribing is 7-Zip, a free and open source record authentic utility which likewise enables you to protect folders with a password.

Follow these simple steps to password-protect your important folders with 7-Zip:

1). First, download 7-Zip and install it on your computer system.

2). Find the folder that you want to protect with a password, right-click on the folder, and from the option list go to 7-Zip > Add to archive.

3). Enter a password of your choice in the Encryption text boxes, and then click OK.

4). Now, try to open the password-protected folder in Windows Explorer. Just to check whether you should be presented with a password prompt or not.

5). Every time when you or anyone else attempts to open or to extract archive, they will be prompted to enter a password. In this way you can protect a folder.

2. Using the Folder Encryption feature in Windows 10

If you do not want ot use any third-party tools, there is an alternative available depending on which version of Windows you’re running.

If your PC operating on Windows 10 Professional Edition, then it might be tool on your computer system. In this edition of Windows, there is an Encrypted File System (EFS) tool that add some encryption to the folders you want. It is an integrated encryption tool for Windows.

If you have this edition of Windows, just take the following steps:

  1. Find the folder, Right-click on it and select Properties.
  2. Choose the Advanced button.
  3. Under the Compress or Encrypt attributes section, choose and checkmark Encrypt contents to secure data.
  4. Select OK

Now, Your folder and its contents has encrypted. If your computer has multiple account, this will only be accessible by the account the folder is encrypted. So, you need to make sure that undesirable person will not be logged in to your Windows account. If it does, he/she will be able to access this folder without a password.

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3. Creating a virtual hard disk and protect with password on Windows 10

Windows 7/8/10 includes disk encryption feature called BitLocker. You can use this tool to protect your drive with the use of password lock. Although, this feature is not apply to a folder but you have some other option to do so. You can set up a virtual disk with BitLocker, which gives the same password protection experience as it is for Windows drive and additional security without any unnecessary steps.

Take these steps to create a virtual hard disk on Windows 10:

1). Open Start > Search for Disk Management and open the app.
2). Click the Action menu and choose Create VHD option.

3). Click the Browse button to select a location to save the virtual disk.
4). Set a name for the drive. For example, folder_vault and Click Save button.

5). Under the “Virtual hard disk size” section, set the amount of space ( ex; 8GB, 12GB, etc) that you want to reserve for storage. It will just depend on the size of the content, you are going to save in it.                                                                                                    6). Under the “Virtual hard disk format” section, choose the VHDX option. However, it is option thing, you can leave it so.
7). Under “Virtual hard disk type“, select the Dynamically expanding (Recommended) option so the space will only expand as you save files, until it reaches its reserve limit. Click the OK button.

8). Now after it, just Right-click on your recently created virtual disk and select the Initialize Disk option from the list.

9). Check the new Disk x, choose the MBR (Master Boot Record) option and click OK.

10). Now, Right-click on the “Unallocated disk,” and select the New Simple Volume option.

11). Leave Simple volume size in MB option in default and click Next.

12). Select your preferred drive letter for “Assign the following drive letter” from drop-down menu and click Next.

13). Now under the Format Partition, choose “Format this volume with following settings:” option.
14). For the “File system” choose NTFS option from the drop-down menu. Leave it default option for “Allocation unit size” in drop-down menu.
15). In the “Value label” field, type a suitable name as per your choice for the drive. For example, folder_vault.
16). After all this options, checkmark the “Perform a quick format” option and click Next.

17). Click the Next and Finish the process.

After successful completion of these steps, you have successfully created a virtual hard disk that you can use it as a folder and can use BitLocker to password protect it. Now let’s do the process to enable Bitlocker on a virtual hard disk. It is as simple as you do it on any other drive on your computer system.

How to enable BitLocker on a virtual hard disk

You have just created a virtual disk and now need to enable BitLocker on it. Follow the steps given below on your Windows 10 PC.

1). Now, Open Control Panel > Go to the System and Security > Click on BitLocker Drive Encryption.
2). Under the “Fixed data drives” section, select the folder_vault drive.
3). Now, just click on the “Turn on BitLocker” option.

4). Checkmark the “Use a password to unlock the drive” option.

5). Now, create a password to protect your folders inside the drive.

6). Click the Next.

7). Just click on the “Save to a file” button and select a location to store the recovery key.

Reminder: It is important to remember your password so you can access your files inside the folder (virtual disk). If you forget the password and lose the recovery key both, you won’t be able to recover your files. So, it is important for you to make recovery key saved in a secure place.

8). Click on the “Next” button.
9). Under “Choose how much of your drive to encrypt”, select the “Encrypt used disk space only (faster and best for the new PCs and drive)” option and click on “Next” button.

10). Now, under “Choose which encryption mode to use“, select the “Compatibility mode (best for the drives that can be moved from this device)” option and click on to the Next button.

11). Now, just click the “Start encrypting” button and it’s been done, click on the Close button.

Now, after the completion of the listed steps, you can treat your created virtual disk as a folder and protect the contents inside the folder with a password.

Lock and unlock the folder with password

You have done two important things now like creating a virtual drive and enabling BitLocker on it. Now, you will need to go with a few more steps to set lock and unlock your files and folders with a password.

Unlock folder’s content with a password

You have just protected your virtual disk with a password using Bitlocker on Windows 10. So, when you will need to access those files and folder then follow these steps:

1). Open File Explorer and find folder_vault.vhd file (virtual disk that you have created).

2). Just, double-click the .vhd (.vhdx) file and mount it to File Explorer. However, you should keep in mind that sometimes you may receive a “is not accessible” and “Access is denied” message. This message tells that you haven’t unlocked it with the password yet so firstly unlock it.

3). Go to the “This PC” from the left panel and select recently mounted disk (virtual disk).
4). Under the “Devices and drives” section and double-click on the disk to open the sign-in page.

5). Just put your password and click on Unlock button and get access to your important files and folders.

Note: If you forget the password, click the “More options” link. You will ask to the Enter recovery key option. Just type the 48-digit recovery key that you have saved earlier in a text file in your computer when setting up BitLocker on the virtual hard disk.

Lock folders with a password

Sometimes it happens that you don’t need those passwords protected files and folder for sometimes. So, In that case you should need to choose locking of the drive when there is no need to access your files in drive.

So to do that, open File Explorer > go to This PC from the left panel > Under the “Devices and drives” section, right-click the BitLocker drive, and click on the Eject option. Now it’s done.

Now, you have protected the files and folders with a password using BitLocker in Windows 10. At the time, as your folder locked so you’ll need to follow the unlock instructions in order to access those files and folders by putting your password again.

4. Lock a folder with a password in Windows 10

Do you know that you can password protect a folder in your Windows 10. We will know you how? Luckily, Windows 10 permits you to make a password lock on a folder so just you and the individuals you trust are able to use those files with the password. Follow the steps to set up a password-locked folder in Windows PC.

Steps for creating a locked folder

1). Open your computer and create an empty folder.

2). Now, just put a text document to inside the folder.

3). According to your choice, add a name to the document file.

4). From below, copy and paste the following code into the text document:

cls

@ECHO OFF

title Folder Locker

if EXIST “Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}” goto UNLOCK

if NOT EXIST Locker goto MDLOCKER

:CONFIRM

echo Are you sure u want to Lock the folder(Y/N)

set/p “cho=>”

if %cho%==Y goto LOCK

if %cho%==y goto LOCK

if %cho%==n goto END

if %cho%==N goto END

echo Invalid choice.

goto CONFIRM

:LOCK

ren Locker “Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}”

attrib +h +s “Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}”

echo Folder locked

goto End

:UNLOCK

echo Enter password to Unlock folder

set/p “pass=>”

if NOT %pass%==Your-Password-Here goto FAIL

attrib -h -s “Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}”

ren “Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}” Locker

echo Folder Unlocked successfully

goto End

:FAIL

echo Invalid password

goto end

:MDLOCKER

md Locker

echo Locker created successfully

goto End

Type your password

In the text code that you have copied from above, you will find a small bolded text Your-Password-Here. Just replace this bolded text in the code with a password of your choice. Choose your wisely so that you can remember it easily.

Create a “.bat” folder

In the next step, you will need to create a “.bat” folder. To do this, you’ll need to save your text file with the “.bat” extension instead of “.txt” and you can do it with “Save as” option. After the save as .bat, it will create a new computer program. Now, you can delete the original text folder because your password to your .bat program is still in the text and anyone can find it easily.

Once you’ve made the .bat program just double-click on and create a new folder which you can lock with password. Now, just drag and drop all the files and folder you wish to password protect.

Lock the folder

After all the files and folder drag and drop inside the lockable folder, double-click on your .bat program again. A new black command prompt window will open with a single line of text. In the text, it will ask you, “Are you sue you want to Lock folder (Y/N)?“. Type “Y” into the capital letter and press “Enter” and now you have successfully locked the folder.

After this step, the locked folder  will be not visible on your desktop screen, only a .bat program on the screen.

If you want to open that folder again, just double-click on the .bat folder again. It will again open a command prompt window and will ask you “Enter password to Unlock folder“. Type your password in the field and hit “Enter“. Now, you have successfully gain access to the files and folder in the locked folder again.

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5. Softwares to password protect a folders

Above we have discuss four method to protect a folder with password. If you find these methods tricky and hard to remember that you have some other option to go with. There are lots of software programs that has designed to password protect your files and folders.

Here are some of the more popular software programs which can help to password protect your files and folders.

  1. VeraCrypt
  2. BitLocker
  3. Ax Crypt
  4. LastPass
  5. DiskCryptor
  6. Disk Utility (Mac)
  7. Lock & Hide
  8. Anvi Folder Locker
  9. Folder Guard
  10. Folder Lock
  11. NEO – Easy Folder Locker
  12. IObit Protected Folder
  13. Folder Locker Pro
  14. EMCO UnLock IT
  15. Quick File Locker
  16. Hide Folders for MacOS
  17. SecretFolder
  18. Wise Folder Hider
  19. Free HideFolder
  20. Easy File Locker
  21. File Protect System
  22. Encrypt Care

Some of the program in the list are free to use while some will cost you money. However all these program are design to password protect your folders. Test all these program and choose best as per your choice and ease.

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