In this blog post, we will show you how to password protect a folder in Windows 10 to keep your files and documents safe from unauthorized access. There are multiple methods available to achieve this, but we will be focusing on two methods: using third-party software and using a built-in Windows feature.
Method 1: Using Third-Party Software
There are numerous third-party software available for password protecting a folder in Windows 10. One of the most popular and widely used software is called 7-Zip. You can download it for free from the official website.
Follow the steps below to password protect a folder using 7-Zip:
- Install and open 7-Zip.
- Navigate to the folder you want to password protect.
- Select the folder and click on the Add button in the toolbar.
- In the Add to Archive window, choose a name and location for the new archive.
- Select the Archive format as ZIP or 7z.
- Under the Encryption section, enter your desired password in the Enter password and Reenter password fields.
- Click OK to create the password-protected archive.
Now you can safely delete the original folder, as your files are protected inside the password-protected archive. To access your files, simply double-click on the archive and enter the password when prompted.
Method 2: Using the Built-in Windows Feature
Windows 10 has a built-in feature called Encrypting File System (EFS), which allows you to encrypt your folders to protect them. However, this method is only available for Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions.
Here’s how to encrypt a folder using EFS:
- Right-click on the folder you want to encrypt and select Properties.
- Click on the Advanced button at the bottom of the General tab.
- Check the box next to Encrypt contents to secure data and click OK.
- Click Apply and then OK in the folder properties window.
Your folder is now encrypted and can only be accessed by your Windows user account. If you ever need to decrypt the folder, just follow the same steps and uncheck the Encrypt contents to secure data box.
When using EFS, it’s crucial to back up the encryption certificate that’s associated with your user account. If you lose the certificate or your Windows user account gets corrupted, you won’t be able to access your encrypted folders. To back up the certificate, follow these steps:
- Press Win + S and search for Certificate Manager.
- Select the search result that says Manage user certificates.
- In the left pane, navigate to Personal > Certificates.
- Find the certificate with Encrypting File System under the Intended Purposes column.
- Right-click on the certificate and select All Tasks > Export.
- Follow the export wizard to save the certificate and private key to a safe location.
By following either of these methods, you can password protect a folder in Windows 10 and keep your files safe from unauthorized access.