How do i password protect my files and folders in windows?

In a perfect world, once you phối up a Windows password, all is secure & safe, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. A Windows login password offers a very basic cấp độ of protection that mainly keeps your files safe from others who may tóm tắt your computer. But risks abound. Individuals with deeper knowledge into hacking a system can easily circumvent these simple security measures. Most versions of Windows don"t include a way to lớn password protect files & folders, so they must be encrypted, or a third-party password protection program used to lớn keep folders in Windows 7, 8 & 10 safe from cybercrime. If your máy tính is stolen, for example, the thief can boot up your computer from a removable device lớn access your files. Or, they can simply remove the hard disk, install it in another computer, và immediately gain access khổng lồ all of your files and personal data.

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In this article, we’ll show you how lớn defend your data against prying eyes by employing some relatively simple features built for the Windows platform, as well as some more advanced measures lớn ensure next-level protection.

Back lớn basics: Difference between password protection và encryption

Password protectionis a lot like locking something in a safe — for instance, a highly sensitive document. To lớn access that document, you must know the correct combination.

Knowledge is literally the key. This is why password protection is sometimes more formally referred to as a khung of knowledge-based authentication. You need to lớn know the password to enter. If you required a physical token like, say, an actual key or a special USB drive lớn access our secret document, then this would be a khung of possession-based authentication. If the token (or “key”) were a fingerprint or a face, you would be using inherence authentication, because the token is literally something that is inherent khổng lồ you & you alone.

Encryptionis sort of like taking our secret document & scrambling all the letters in that document so it is virtually unreadable by anyone not authorized khổng lồ read it.

When a document is unencrypted, it’s stored in what we might điện thoại tư vấn plain text. Anyone can read it. When it’s encrypted, it’s in cipher text. Khổng lồ see the document in its original form, the user must provide a key of sorts that unscrambled the message. In the case of file and folder encryption in Windows, the “key” is lớn be logged into the correct user account. Even on the same computer, the secret document may as well be gibberish to a different Windows user.

Password encryptionis a third option that combines password protection và encryption. The primary benefit of using both is having two layers of security. Now our secret document is in a safe và it’s inscrutable.

If someone has the right password lớn unlock the file or folder, they still won’t be able to make sense of it if they’re not logged on as the authorized user.

Why password protect files?

If you chia sẻ your computer with others, there is always a chance of human error — the accidental deletion of an important document, the mistaken modification of a critical file, the accidental sharing of a private folder, etc.

Sometimes you’re your own worst enemy. Sharing sensitive information over email with the wrong recipients is an unfortunate if not entirely too common source of data breaches. Last January, the Leicester đô thị Council (in the U.K.) sent the wrong spreadsheetto some 27 companies. Sadly, that spreadsheet contains personal information belonging to lớn a lot of people. If it can happen to them, it can happen to you.

One way to giảm giá with these risks is to add a password khổng lồ your most sensitive files, one-by-one. Sharing a computer becomes a worry-free situation after that, và sending e-mail attachments will be less of a nail-biter, too. Yes, the requirement to enter a password every time you access that file may slow you down a bit, but the peace of mind is undoubtedly worth it. Just remember to lớn always use strongpasswords. In fact, click on over to lớn thefree Random Password Generatorwhenever you need one, và instantly get a unique, near-uncrackable password you can use immediately.

Another way to giảm giá with this is khổng lồ use your Windows software khổng lồ encrypt an entire folder. This is an easy process khổng lồ implement & to use. There are also third-party tools you can use for full encryption. In this article, we’re going khổng lồ lay all the tools in front of you to secure your system with the strongest defenses.

Built-in folder encryption

Let’s start with the most straightforward way lớn encrypt your folders (and all the files within them) — Windows thư mục encryption. Khổng lồ encrypt a tệp tin or thư mục inWindows 7, 8, or 10, follow these steps:

Navigate to lớn the folder/file you want khổng lồ encrypt.

Right click on the item. Click Properties,then click theAdvancedbutton


Check Encrypt contents to lớn secure data.


ClickOK, thenApply.

Windows then asks whether you wish khổng lồ encrypt the tệp tin only, or its parent folder and all the files within it as well. We recommend you opt for full folder encryption, just to lớn be on the safe side.

Now, once you navigate khổng lồ the encrypted folder, you will see a small yellow lock on the file icon. Also, when you địa chỉ cửa hàng new content to that folder, it will automatically be encrypted too.


To be clear, Windows file encryption protects your files against anyone who gets their hands on your computer. The encryption is tied to your Windows account, so when you are logged in, the files decrypt on the fly by the operating system. However, if someone were to lớn log in through another account, they would not be able khổng lồ access files that were encrypted under your username.

Your files are accessible through your account, và if someone gets unauthorized access to your computer while it’s logged in, encryption is practically useless. This is why it is critical tocreate a strong login passwordin the first place.

Power users can also use thismethod by lớn password lock foldersin Windows using a small piece of code.

Regular Windows encryption will only take you so far, however, as it’s fairly easy lớn circumvent. Someone need only log in with your trương mục to access your content. Read on khổng lồ find out how lớn keep your files safe should your tài khoản be hacked.

Simple password protection software

Unlike Windows’ own tệp tin encryption technology, third-party password protection bars access to nội dung regardless of who is logged in. These tools offer more security than built-in Windows security features & are highly recommended for sensitive data.

Password protect folders in Windows 10

A nội dung protection feature for Windows worth looking at is called Folder Lock. It’s fast, easy khổng lồ use, và can password protect and encrypt files và folders at blazing speeds. The software uses Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit keys lớn keep your data safe.

By default, Folder Lock uses a master password lớn control locked content. However, you can also create a “Locker” — a secured folder on the drive to segregate nội dung topic. Each Locker can be assigned its own password và you can limit the amount of disk space it can take up.

Folder Lockcomes with a powerful tệp tin shredder & a cloud-based backup solution, too. You can try a test for free. The full-version is $39.95.

Password protect folders in Windows 7 và 8

Another lightweight utility isLocK-A-FoLder. UnlikeFolder Lock,LocK-A-FoLderonly works forWindows XP, Vista, và 7. The interface is extremely simple to lớn use. After installation, the tool will ask you khổng lồ create a master password khổng lồ manage all your locked content. All locked folders will no longer be visible on the drive until you unlock them.LocK-A-FoLderisfree and is the least resource-hungry folder locker out there, making it an ideal solution for older computers.


Finally, passwords are almost always the weakest links in a security chain. A password strength checker can be of great use here. Online tools likeThe Password Meterandmy1loginare great tools to lớn use here.

While strong password protection will be enough for most users, if you have sensitive data, then more advanced methods such as third-party encryption tools can be used to safeguard data.

Full encryption software khổng lồ secure files & folders

Beyond regular password protection, you can also use disk-encryption software that offers more robust security measures. These tools can block even the most advanced cold-boot & brute-force attacks, which try tocrackpasswords and encryption keys using different combinations.

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This free, open source software can be used on any computer, & virtually any Windows system. It is essentially a tệp tin archiver that uses high compression and strong AES-256 encryption. Your files are protected by being compressed và encrypted, so when you go lớn access them yourself, you simply need khổng lồ decompress the tệp tin first. Yes, again it’s an extra step, but a tiny price to lớn pay for high security. Lớn secure your data with7-Zip, follow these steps:

In your Windows directory, select 7-Zip tệp tin Manager.


From the 7-Zipcontrol panel, select the tệp tin or thư mục you would lượt thích to protect, and click theAdd button.


Choose your compression options (see image below). A - Type in the name you would lượt thích the encrypted file to be named. B - Under Encryption section, mix a strong password lớn use for encrypting/unencrypting. C- We recommend setting your compression màn chơi to HIGH và your compression method to lớn AES-256. D - Click OK.


Your file/folder is now compressed, encrypted, and protected. Decompressing that file/folder is just as simple:

From the7-Zipcontrol panel, select the file or folder you’d like to open.

Click theExtractbutton.


In the dialogue box, enter the password. Then click OK.

Your file/folder will decompress and mở cửa for you.


With tư vấn for AES, Serpent, and TwoFish keys,VeraCryptis a free, cross-platform data security tool that can encrypt your files any way you require.VeraCrypt comes with full disk encryption but can encrypt at the volume cấp độ as well. Users can decide whether they want specific folders encrypted or entire systems. At first glance,VeraCryptcan seem intimidating, as the UI is not the most user-friendly, but it’s actually quite simple once you get the hang of it. The software works something lượt thích the Daemon tools that can create a virtual CD drive on your computer.

Downloadthe thiết lập file for Windows & install the software, then follow these instructions:

To start, you will need to create a volume — essentially an encrypted thư mục where your data will go. Click onCreate Volume.


SelectCreate an encrypted file containerand clickNext.


VeraCryptgives you the option lớn create a normal, visible container or an invisible one. For our example, we’re choosingStandard VeraCrypt volume, but feel miễn phí to select whichever one is best for you.


ClickSelect Fileand navigate to lớn where you want lớn store your encrypted container. ClickSave.


The next section essentially asks what encryption method you want to lớn use. Again, we suggest AES-256, the strongest encryption used today. Then clickNext.


Assign how much space you wish the encrypted folder to have.


Finally, enter the password you wish khổng lồ use for your volume & clickNext. Make sure it’s strong!


VeraCryptis now ready lớn create your container. Remarkably, the tool can use random mouse movements to create your encryption key và to encrypt the folder. Feel miễn phí to move your mouse around a lot because that makes the encryption key stronger — vì chưng this until the bar at the bottom reaches the end. Then clickFormat.


Your first encrypted volume should now be sitting in its designated folder.

To địa chỉ content khổng lồ the container, follow these steps:

To mount your volume, choose a drive number from any one of the drives available on theVeraCrypt home screen.

Click on any one of the letters in your highlighted volume name, click Select File, and navigate lớn the folder where you saved your encrypted container.


ClickOpento select the volume.


Next clickMountto mount the volume lớn the selected drive. Enter your password và clickOK.Your container is ready.


Double-click on the mounted drive to mở cửa another window of the container. You should also see the container in This PC along with your other drives.

Now, copy the nội dung to your new encrypted “drive,” click dismount khổng lồ close the folder, and encrypt it again.

Managing files và passwords

You now know what it takes topassword protect & encrypt your files & folders in Windows. However, as we have established, it all boils down to keeping your passwords safe & having good security habits in place.

Backup, backup, backup

Consider what might happen if you lost your master password, or if your encryption software got corrupted, or if the files themselves got lost. Backing up your data regularly & using apassword managercan help you ensure you are never caught unawares.

Some of the utilities mentioned above such as Folder Lockcome with their own cloud-based data backup solutions. However, you can always use Microsoft’s OneDrive or the free Google Drive as well.

Create strong passwords

Of course the biggest problem with passwords is remembering them. But you’re setting yourself up for potential data theft if you create a password lớn use across all of your accounts. The common alternative — creating easy to remember, uninventive passwords — is just as bad.

Weak và common passwords are fairly easy to mod using programs that literally cycle through different key combinations at unfathomable speed. These brute force attacks, or dictionary attacks are highly advanced. In 2012,hackerscreated a computer cluster that guesses passwords at a rate 350 billion per second. They couldcrackany eight-word Windows password in less than six hours. Keep in mind that this was seven years ago. We can only assume password theft mechanisms have evolved since then. Password security best practices need to evolve, too.

So vị yourself a favor, and read up on how to create strong passwordsand protect your device(s) againsthackers.

As for how to lớn remember your passwords,do not create a password danh mục in a document, even if you’ve encrypted that document.