If you want to protect folders with passwords without encrypting the files, then Folder Guard is the tool you need. The password protection is instantaneous, no matter how many files the folder contains or how large the files are. However, the password protection takes effect only on your computer, where Folder Guard is running: if you move the folder to another computer, it will not be protected, unless that computer has Folder Guard installed and configured, as well. Read more about Folder Guard...
Encrypt external USB drives
If you have an external drive that you want to protect with a password, then USBCrypt is the software you need. This software creates an encrypted area on the external drive that you can use to keep your sensitive files. You can use the encrypted drive with other computers, that don't have USBCrypt software installed. If you lose the encrypted drive, your files will be safely protected with the password you've chosen. Read more about USBCrypt...
How to password-protect a folder with Folder Guard
You can use Folder Guard software to protect folders with passwords.
To lock a folder with a password: run Folder Guard and drag and drop the folder you want to protect to its window, or choose the Wizard command:
Choose a password and press OK. Note that a little yellow key sign has appeared next to the folder's icon; this is the indication that this folder has an individual password assigned to it.
Now resume the protection (or apply the changes) and try to open the folder you have just protected through a Windows Explorer window. That is, click on the Windows Start button, then click on Computer (or My Computer) on the Start menu, and navigate to the folder you have locked. Finally, double-click on the protected folder in the right-hand window of Windows Explorer, and a password prompt should appear on the screen:
If you have entered the correct password, the folder should become unprotected and you should be able to work with the files and subfolders it contains without restrictions, as usual. However, if you don't enter the correct password, the folder will remain protected.
(Note that in order to unlock the folder this way, you need to double-click on the folder in the right-hand panel of the Windows Explorer window. If you select the folder in the left-hand panel that shows the folder tree, the password prompt will not be shown and the Access denied message will be shown instead.)
Now, after you have unlocked the folder, try to close the Windows Explorer window, and you should see a prompt to lock the folder back:
Reply Yes, and the folder will be locked back with the password again, and will remain inaccessible until you enter the correct password again.
In addition to the basic password-protection described above, Folder Guard lets you customize the way it works to suit your specific requirements:
- You can direct Folder Guard to add the Lock and Unlock commands to the Windows shortcut menu. You can use them to lock and unlock the password-protected folders by right-clicking on them, instead of (or in addition to) double-clicking on the folders as described above.
- If you have locked many folders with passwords, you can make them all accessible at once by running Folder Guard and pausing the protection (you will need to enter your Master password, or course!) When you are done working with the protected folders, run Folder Guard and choose to resume the protection, to lock all folders at once with one click.
- Instead of locking files and folders with passwords, your can completely hide them!
And more! Please feel free to download the fully functional evaluation version and give it a try. If you don't like it, use Windows Control Panel to uninstall it: no strings attached.
This article is available in other languages:
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- Verrouillé vos dossiers et disques durs avec mot de passe
- Lock files and folders with passwords
- Hide folders from prying eyes
- Restrict access to Control Panel
- Restrict Internet Explorer from downloading programs from the Internet
- What people are saying about Folder Guard...
- A FREE 30-day license is included
- What's new in the new version
- Folder Guard press release
- End User License Agreement (ELUA)
- Emergency Recovery Utility
- How to lock files and folders with passwords
- How to hide folders and files
- How to unhide a folder hidden with Folder Guard
- How to restrict access to Control Panel
- How to set up Folder Guard to stop downloading from the Internet
- Locking access to the external drives with Folder Guard
- How to make Folder Guard recognize network drives
- How to password-protect a USB flash drive (video)
- Always have a backup of your important files