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Data security and privacy are of increasing concerns for PC users. We all should adopt good security practices Protect Yourself With An Annual Security and Privacy Checkup Protect Yourself With An Annual Security and Privacy Checkup We're almost two months into the new year, but there's still time to make a positive resolution. Forget drinking less caffeine - we're talking about taking steps to safeguard online security and privacy. Read More  to steer clear of those with malicious intent, but for certain important files and folders, the best form of defense might be putting the content under lock and key.

Depending on how sensitive the material is, you can pursue a couple of different tiers of protection. Locking a folder is a simple barrier that puts a basic level of protection on your files, but encrypting the folder 5 Effective Tools to Encrypt Your Secret Files 5 Effective Tools to Encrypt Your Secret Files We need to pay closer attention than ever before towards encryption tools and anything designed to protect our privacy. With the right tools, keeping our data safe is easy. Read More is much better if you really want to keep it private — this process uses a cipher to make the data contained within completely unreadable, so it can’t be circumvented as easily.

Here are some quick and easy ways of protecting folders on Windows 10.

Using a Folder Locker

As mentioned above, locking a folder isn’t the most secure way of protecting it, but it’s a fine method to have on hand in a pinch. First, navigate to the folder you’re looking to restrict access to and create a new text document Text Editors vs. IDEs: Which One Is Better For Programmers? Text Editors vs. IDEs: Which One Is Better For Programmers? Choosing between an advanced IDE and a simpler text editor can be hard. We offer some insight to help you make that decision. Read More within it.

create new text file

Open that document up and paste the following string into the body:

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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 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

:End

Replace the section of the text that reads your_password with an appropriate word or phrase, then navigate to File > Save As. Click the dropdown menu labelled Save as type and select All Files before naming the document Locker.bat — the extension is the important part.

save text document

Once that document has been saved, exit and double click the .bat file to produce the locker folder, which can then be filled with the content you’re looking to protect. Open up the .bat file again and respond with Y when prompted to put your folder on lockdown — when you want to unlock it, simply open up that .bat file once more and input your password.

Using Windows Encrypting File System

While Windows doesn’t offer up a method of password protecting folders to all users, there is a quick and easy process available to those with a Professional licence How to Upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Professional Edition How to Upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Professional Edition Windows 10 Home users are missing several subtle features. Pro users, for example, can temporarily defer Windows updates. We show you how you can upgrade to the Pro edition to regain some control over Windows... Read More that only allows access to particular content by a specified user. It’s worth noting that only your user account will be able to access folders protected in this manner, as it’s the account password that’s protecting the data.

To get started, right-click the folder and select Properties. Navigate to the General tab and click Advanced. Check the box that reads Encrypt contents to secure data and click OK.

encrypt contents

Close the Properties window and decide whether you want sub-folders and files to be similarly protected when prompted. Once that’s done, your folder will only be accessible by your account.

Third Party Options

The two processes above don’t require the user to install any extra software, so can be helpful if you’re unable to perform installations How to Block Users from Installing Software on Your Windows Computer How to Block Users from Installing Software on Your Windows Computer "Resistance is futile...." is not something you'll want to hear from a PC. When too many people access your computer, it's best to restrict the Windows Installer. We show you how. Read More  due to a workplace policy or other similar factors. However, if you’re able to install new applications on your system, the simplest way of password protecting a folder is often by using a tool specifically designed for the job.

Easy File Locker

Easy File Locker is a freeware utility by XOSLAB. Users add files and folders that they want to protect to a list by using the Add File button and browsing through their system.

easy file locker

Settings like visibility and access can then be changed on the fly from the tool’s clean UI — this is particularly useful if there are lots of files or folders on your system that need to be protected.

Secret Disk

Developed by PrivacyRoot, Secret Disk operates by creating a virtual drive that can be password protected or simply made invisible to prying eyes How to Hide Anything in Windows How to Hide Anything in Windows Windows allows you to tweak and customize almost anything. We show you how to make use of these superpowers to let things disappear. Read More .

secret disk

Secret Disk is very easy to use, but like Easy File Locker it only restricts access rather than offering true encryption How Does Encryption Work, and Is It Really Safe? How Does Encryption Work, and Is It Really Safe? Read More . A pro version of the software is available for $14.95, but most users will be satisfied with the free version, as its 3 GB file size restriction is generous enough for normal use.

SecretFolder

Rather than applying password protection to individual files, SecretFolder simply makes them invisible unless the user can log into the application using a specified password.

secret folder

This is a good solution, if you’re hiding away birthday present receipts or a personal diary Why And How You Should Self-Publish Your Diary Or Journal Why And How You Should Self-Publish Your Diary Or Journal Do you keep a journal or diary on one of the several online life logs? You might be interested in publishing your thoughts in form of a book. Self-publishing is easier than you think Read More , but it’s not quite stringent enough to watch over the really important stuff. Consider this a tool that’s best used to offer privacy on a shared computer, rather than out-and-out security.

My Lockbox

My Lockbox is a tool that works best when the user intends to store all their password protected content in one location. Rather than picking and choosing individual files and folders to protect, the utility sets aside one particular folder as the “lockbox” where sensitive content is going to be stored, similar to the folder locker process at the beginning of this article.

my lockbox

It’s a fine alternative to a manually created folder locker for anyone who doesn’t have the confidence to carry out the procedure. However, its focus on a single folder as opposed to the flexibility of something like Easy File Locker makes it less useful in a workplace environment. Furthermore, the $29.95 price tag on its pro edition doesn’t offer great value for money.

Do you have any tips for readers looking to protect folders or files 3 Quick & Easy Ways To Hide A Folder In Windows 7 3 Quick & Easy Ways To Hide A Folder In Windows 7 Privacy is hard to come by these days. Whether you are sharing a computer or are generally suspicious of peers who occasionally have access to your computer, you may have the desire to store sensitive... Read More with a password? Or are you in need of expert advice on your own issue? Let us know in the comments section below.

  1. OD
    August 18, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    This method could not be any worse for protecting a folder

  2. Arthur
    August 5, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    Is the "Using a Folder Locker" method, which I've also seen elsewhere, a well-traveled joke or something? One can just open the Locker.bat file in an editor and read out the password and use it to unlock the folder. Unless I'm missing something, of course.

  3. barry
    April 13, 2016 at 1:13 am

    I have used "Protect My Folders" for two years. It also supports Windows 10.

  4. alsen
    April 6, 2016 at 1:02 am

    I suggest Gilisoft File Lock Pro to password protect folders, it can lock folders on an internal hard drive, flash drive, external USB drive, thumb drive, memory card, pen drive, and network drive.

  5. Ankit
    April 5, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    I use secure folders. easy and straight forward

  6. Sydney
    March 31, 2016 at 9:56 am

    i like the first one, im always curious to figure out what more can I do on my computer. thank you #makeuesof for great articles all the time.

    • Tina Sieber
      May 2, 2016 at 7:55 am

      You're welcome, Sydney! Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback!

  7. FileEagle.com Chris
    March 30, 2016 at 8:49 am

    I used SecretFolder. It's simple and free.

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