Because smartphones and computers are frequently forgotten, it is vital to ensure that all of your confidential information and folders are well protected. Password protecting your data on your MacBook and Windows 10 PC is one of the best ways to accomplish this. We’ve already covered how to password secure files and folders on a Mac, so now we’ll look at how to lock and password-protect files and folders on a Windows 10 PC.
In Windows 10, use passwords to protect files and folders.
With reports of data breaches and hacks growing more regular by the day, online data security and privacy are more crucial than ever. So, to password secure your confidential files and folders on Windows 10, follow our tutorial below. It will protect your privacy even if unauthorized individuals gain access to your laptop.
- 1 1. BitLocker Encryption: Windows 10’s Best Password Protection Option
- 2 2- Optional Built-in Encryption
- 3 3- Third-Party Tools: Easy File Locker, Folder Guard, and More
- 4 4- File Compression Tools: 7Z, WinZip, WinRAR, and so on.
- 5 5- Personal Vault on OneDrive
- 6 Protect Your Files and Folders in Windows 10 with Password Protection
1. BitLocker Encryption: Windows 10’s Best Password Protection Option
BitLocker is a volume encryption feature included in several recent versions of Windows, beginning with Windows Vista. In Windows 10, you can use it to encrypt and password secure any non-system and non-recovery disc. Follow the instructions below to encrypt a drive:
Note- Because BitLocker is only accessible in Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions, this option will not function for you if you are running Windows 10 Home.
- Step 1- To enable BitLocker, type ‘BitLocker’ in the Windows search bar and click ‘Enter’ to open the BitLocker Drive Encryption options page. On your Windows 10 PC, click ‘Turn on BitLocker’ for the drive you want to password secure.
- Step 2- Once the encryption is in place, each restart will require you to enter your chosen password in order to access the disc. For added security, a USB flash drive can be used.
2- Optional Built-in Encryption
Windows 10 includes another native option for encrypting and protecting your folders. This method does not apply password protection to a folder, but it does ensure that other user accounts cannot access it. When you encrypt a folder, only your user account and password will be able to access it. This is how it works:
- Step 1- Select Properties from the context menu when you right-click on the target folder. Enable ‘Encrypt content to secure data in the General page by clicking the ‘Advanced ‘button. Then, click the ‘OK’ button to apply the encryption properties to the folder. When you’re finished, you’ll notice a lock sign over your folder’s icon.
Note- Please keep in mind that this function is hardware-dependent and may not be available on all devices. If it is not installed on your computer, the option to ‘Encrypt contents to secure data will be greyed out.
3- Third-Party Tools: Easy File Locker, Folder Guard, and More
Accessible File Locker, a freeware software, is one of the best programs for locking folders in Windows 10. The software allows you to conceal a folder, make it unavailable, deny any changes, and make it unremovable. All you have to do is enter a password and choose a file or folder in Easy File Locker.
Then, select from the Access, Write, Delete, and Visibility choices before clicking the ‘Start Protection’ button. When you lock a folder or file, you can only unlock it by entering a password you’ve chosen.
Folder Guard (Free trial) and Folder Lock are two further folder-locking software options for Windows 10. (Free trial). Would you please keep in mind that both programs are purchased, with a $39.95 price tag in each case?
If you’re seeking free software other than Easy File Locker, try SecretFolder (Free), which works as advertised for the most part. However, I would choose Easy File Locker because it is free, simple to use, and offers many functions.
4- File Compression Tools: 7Z, WinZip, WinRAR, and so on.
You can also use a file archiving application, such as 7-Zip (Free), WinZip (Free), or WinRAR (Free), to compress a folder and password-protect it using archive options. Install any of the apps mentioned above to accomplish this. Allow the installer to add the required choices to the right-click context menu in Windows Explorer.
If you’re not sure what that implies, install using the default settings.
For the sample, we’re using WinRAR, but you may also use 7Z or WinZip. On Windows 10, all three will be able to password-protect your folders.
- Step 1- After installing the software, the Windows Explorer context menu will include a ‘Add to Archive ‘(or similar) option. So, right-click on your target folder and select that option.
- Step 2- Then, click the ‘Set Password’ button.
- Sep 3- Enter the password in the following pop-up box and press OK. The folder will now be archived, and decompression will require a password.
5- Personal Vault on OneDrive
OneDrive Personal Vault is another option for password-protecting your sensitive files on Windows 10. Microsoft OneDrive is a cloud storage service that competes with Google Drive, Dropbox, and Apple iCloud. However, the service separates itself by providing you with a “personal vault” on the web, mobile app, and Windows 10.
Personal Vault not only allows users to password-protect their on-device files and folders, but it also adds another degree of security with Two-factor Authentication (2FA). It is available with the OneDrive home and personal plans, but not with the OneDrive for business or work, and school accounts.
To use the functionality, simply login into OneDrive, and your Vault will appear alongside all of your other folders.
You can only store three files in your OneDrive Personal Vault if you do not have a Microsoft 365 Family or Personal membership. You can add as many files as you want if you purchase a subscription (up to your storage limit).
Protect Your Files and Folders in Windows 10 with Password Protection
We’ve covered five simple methods for password-protecting folders in Windows 10. So, to improve your digital privacy, go ahead and lock up all confidential folders on your computer.