Can You Put a Password on a Folder? Windows 10 doesn’t have a way to put a password on a folder, apart from what we described above. That method is similar to other password protection techniques in that you need to provide the correct user account password before you can view the encrypted data.
There are, however, third-party tools that let you define any password as the folder password, utterly independent of the logged-in user. The methods described below are arguably more private than Windows’ encryption procedure because they can obfuscate the file names and hide even the folder itself.
Password Protect and Hide the Folder
Wise Folder Hider is a good example. This program is ideal if you’re protective of the data because it can hide the folder behind two passwords. It can also secure entire flash drives and encrypt individual files.
Open the program and define an initial password. This is what will be entered each time you want to open Wise Folder Hider.
From the Hide File tab, select Hide folder, and choose the folder you want to protect behind a password (or drag the folder into the program window). Any folder but system folders are allowed.
After choosing it, the folder will immediately disappear from its original location. To view the folder again, select the menu button to the right and select Open. It will open in File Explorer again; select Close to hide it again or Unhide to permanently restore it.
- Optionally, for greater security, you can force another password to be entered before opening that specific folder. To do that, press the down arrow to the right of the folder path, and select Set Password.
Make a Password Protected Copy
7-Zip is another favorite. Instead of hiding the original folder, it creates a copy and then encrypts the copy.
Right-click the folder and go to 7-Zip > Add to archive.
Enter a password in the text fields in the Encryption section.
Optionally define other settings, such as these:
- Archive is the file name and path to where the encrypted file should be saved.
- Encrypt file names prevents someone from seeing the file names without providing the password.
- Create SFX archive lets someone provide the password to decrypt the folder even if they don’t have 7-Zip installed. Ideal for sharing the folder; it turns the file extension into EXE.
- Compression level can be set to a different level to make the file smaller, though it might also increase the encryption and decryption time.
The original folder isn’t deleted or changed in any way, so if you take this route, be sure to delete or move the original files after making the password-protected version.
Other apps are available if you prefer to put your secret files on a virtual hard drive with a custom password.
Password Protect an Entire Hard Drive With a Disk Encryption Program
A “locked folder” can also mean a folder with files currently in use, but that’s not the same idea as a folder you’d lock intentionally for privacy reasons.
One option is to right-click the folder and choose Properties > Security > Advanced > Disable Inheritance > Convert inherited permissions into explicit permissions on this object. Then select a user from the list > Edit > Show advanced permissions > Type > Deny > and check the box beside Delete.
To hide files and folders in Windows 10, right-click the folder and select Properties > General > Hidden > Apply > OK. While you can prevent hidden files from displaying by adjusting the File Explorer view, other users can easily show hidden items by changing this setting. A third-party tool to add password protection locks and hides folders more effectively.
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