I've lost Folder Guard password. What should I do?

If you have lost the Master Password of Folder Guard, you can reset it by running the Emergency Recovery Utility.

If you have forgotten an unlocking password for a folder, or some other password used by Folder Guard, simply run Folder Guard and use its appropriate command to set up a new password.

What are the differences between the Home and Professional licenses?

Folder Guard offers many different ways of protecting access to the files or folders, including some advanced methods that are useful mostly in the business environments and have little practical use at home. We thought it would be unfair to expect the home users of Folder Guard to pay the full price of the software for the features they would not use anyway, so we created a less expensive option specifically designed for the home users. If you have registered Folder Guard with a Home license that was described as for the home, personal use only, the following limitations apply:

- The filters are not available for use. You can still see the list of filters in the Filters view, but you would not be able to enable them for actual use.

- The shared folders cannot be protected with passwords for use by the network users. You should still be able to set up folder passwords for the local users.

- The temporary passwords are not available.

- Even if you are a business user who doesn't need the filters or the network passwords, you are still not authorized to use the Home license on a business computer. The Home license can be used only on a personal computer that is not used for any business or employment-related tasks.

- To install Folder Guard on a Windows Server, an office license for 10 computers or more must be purchased. Without such a license, you can install Folder Guard on a server in the trial mode only.

How do I enter the License Key?

Folder Guard prompts you to enter your license key when you run it: simply press the Enter License Key button on the Welcome screen and enter your licensing information into the form.

Alternatively, you can run Folder Guard, choose the Help - About command from its menu, and click on the Enter License Key button.

IMPORTANT: When entering your license information, make sure you enter your name and the license key exactly as they are shown on your purchase receipt, including all capitalization and punctuation. Otherwise, Folder Guard may not accept the license key or may not register your information properly. You may wish to copy and paste the name and key from our message into the form, to avoid typos.

Can I use the same license key to install Folder Guard on several computers?

Yes, you can use the same license key, provided that you are installing it on no more computers than included in your license. Please refer to the file License.txt (installed along with other files of Folder Guard) for the detailed description of the terms of using this software on more than one computer. For information on our site license and quantity discounts, please visit our Online Store .

If you plan on protecting a large number of computers with Folder Guard, you may want to order the Folder Guard Administrator's Kit that contains the tools to help you automate the installation and licensing of Folder Guard on a large network.

How do I transfer Folder Guard to another computer?

First, uninstall Folder Guard from the old computer, using Windows Control Panel. (If the old computer is no longer operational, then Folder Guard is automatically treated as uninstalled from that computer.)

Then, install Folder Guard on the new computer, by running its installation file and entering your license key, when prompted.

What happens when the evaluation period expires?

This software comes with a built-in license that allows you to use it for free for the first 30 days after the installation. When this initial evaluation period expires, Folder Guard continues to operate as usual, except that it starts to display a reminder message informing you that the evaluation period has expired.

Note that if another user is using your computer while the reminder message is displayed, the user can click on the message and that would disable the protection performed by Folder Guard. To prevent other users from being able to access your protected files and folders, you must purchase a license for the continued use before the expiration of your evaluation period.

Will I lose my files if Folder Guard crashes?

No: Folder Guard does not encrypt or modify your files in any way, it protects them dynamically.

Can someone disable Folder Guard by ending its process?

No: if someone uses Task Manager to end the process of Folder Guard, it only stops the user-mode operations, such as the hot key, or the notification icon, and it may stop Folder Guard from displaying the Unlock buttons for the protected folders. However, the protection itself remains in effect, because it is preformed in the kernel, which is not affected by the user-mode processes.

Will Folder Guard encrypt my files?

No, Folder Guard does NOT encrypt or otherwise modify your files in ANY WAY. Folder Guard protects your files dynamically, that is, it intercepts requests from other programs to open files or list the contents of folders, and then rejects such requests for the files in the folders you have chosen to protect. The files and folders themselves remain undisturbed during this process, in their original condition.

As a result of such design, there is no danger of losing your documents if you lose your encryption key. On the other hand, the protected folders are protected only on your computer, where Folder Guard is installed and configured. If you require your private files to be protected even when taken to another computer, or when Windows or Folder Guard is not running, then you need an encryption program, such as Encryptability  or USBCrypt .

Can someone remove the protected hard drive and attach it to another computer?

Yes: if someone who has a physical access to the computer removes the hard drive and then attached it to a different computer, without Folder Guard running on it, the hard drive will no longer be protected and such user would be able to access the previously protected files. (This is true for any protection that does not use encryption: for example, one can easiliy bypass the NTFS permissions by attaching the drive to a Linux computer.)

If you are concerned about such a possibility, you should use an encryption program such as Encryptability  or USBCrypt  to protect your files, not Folder Guard.

Can I see the log of events such as locking/unlocking folders, etc.?

Yes: select the option Report events to Windows Event Log in the Options list of Folder Guard, and Folder Guard will keep a record of the events such as someone pausing or resuming the protection, or unlocking a password-protected folder. You can view the events using the standard Event Viewer tool of Windows.

Folder Guard cannot load its driver. What should I do?

Please see the troubleshooting tips for a possible solution.

I've reinstalled Windows and cannot access my protected folders. What should I do?

If you have not installed a fresh copy of Folder Guard yet and you still cannot access your protected folders, it means that the problem is not related to Folder Guard: when Folder Guard is not installed, it is not protecting anything. Most probably, the NTFS permissions of Windows prevent you from accessing your files and folders. To restore access, you need to "take ownership" of your files and folders. Please refer to Windows Help for more information or for the instructions on how to do that.

Can I protect my MP3 collection with Folder Guard?

Yes, you can use the filter named Lock MP3 files to prevent someone from copying your MP3 files to any external drive attached to your computer. You would still be able to listen to your MP3 files as usual, because the filter would not restrict access to the MP3 files located on the main C: drive.

Can I protect the "virtual" folders such as My Computer?

No, Folder Guard does not currently protect such folders, only the "real" folders (that is, the folders that actually exist on your hard disk and which you can use to store arbitrary files) can be protected with it.

Can I protect the cloud folders such as OneDrive or Dropbox?

Yes, you can use Folder Guard to protect the local copies of the cloud folders stored on your computer. Keep in mind, however, that such protection would only be in effect on your computer, where Folder Guard is installed and enabled; it would have no effect on other copies of the files, such as the "cloud" ones or on your smart phone. Also, while the protection is in effect, the protected folders may not be synchronized with the cloud. To allow them to synchronize, unlock the protected folder(s) or pause the protection of Folder Guard.

Can I password-protect the shared folders?

Yes, such protection is available for the business license customers.

How do I protect icons on my Desktop?

You can hide or prevent access to your desktop icons in the same way as you would protect any other file or folder. The only trick when protecting the desktop items is to determine the correct locations of these items on your hard disk. (Use the Go to Special Folder command to locate such folders.) Keep in mind that there are two physical folders which are used by Windows to display icons on your desktop: one is your personal desktop folder, and the second one is the "common" desktop folder, used to store the items common to all users of your computer. The Go to Special Folder command of Folder Guard lets you locate either of these folders easily.

How do I protect my Start Menu?

Windows stores the Start Menu items in a special folder on your hard disk. (You can use the Go to Special Folder command to locate this folder.) Keep in mind that there are two physical folders which are used by Windows to display icons on your Start Menu: one is your personal folder, and the second one is the "common" folder, used to store the items common to all users of your computer. You can restrict access to the Start Menu items by restricting access to such folders, or to the shortcuts they contain.

How do I protect Control Panel of Windows?

You can do it by restricting access to the CPL files, located usually in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Each of the CPL files is a module responsible for one or several groups of settings of Control Panel:

ModuleControl Panel icons
ACCESS.CPLAccessibility Options
APPWIZ.CPLAdd/Remove Programs
HDWWIZ.CPLAdd/Remove Hardware
INETCPL.CPLInternet settings, user accounts on Windows 95,98,Me
INTL.CPLRegional settings
JOY.CPLGame Controllers
MAIN.CPLFonts, Keyboard, Mouse, PC Card (PCMCIA), Printers
NCPA.CLPNetwork connections
NETCPL.CPLNetwork settings
NUSRMGR.CPLUser manager
ODBCCP32.CPLODBC Data Source Administrator
POWERCFG.CPLPower Management
THEMES.CPLDesktop Themes

(You may have other CPL files, or not all of the files listed above, depending on the software installed on your computer).

To restrict access to Control Panel, use Folder Guard to restrict access to the appropriate CPL files, by using the no access restriction.

Why does Search show the protected files?

If you've just protected a folder that you used to have for some time, then it's quite possible that if you use Windows Search command to search for the files in that folder, the search results would display the protected files. The problem is, the search results are displayed from the search index that Windows builds and keeps separate from the original files. That's why the file names of the protected files may appear in the search results even though the files themselves are protected with Folder Guard.

To solve this problem, you need to configure the search command of Windows not to index the protected folders. The procedure depends on the version of Windows that you have. Please refer to Windows Help for the specific instruction on how to exclude the protected folders from the search indexing.

Can I protect folders on removable drives, such as USB flash drives and others?

You can use Folder Guard to restrict access to folders located on the removable drives, but such protection will be in effect only on your computer, where Folder Guard is installed and configured properly. If you connect the removable drive to some other computer (that does not have Folder Guard on it), the folders on the removable drive will NOT be protected.

If you need your removable drives to be protected on other computers as well, you need to use an encryption program, such as our software USBCrypt. Please visit the following web page for more information:


What if my computer can boot more than one operating system?

If your computer is configured to boot more than one version of Windows, and you want Folder Guard to protect the resources of the computer for each of such versions, then you need to install and configure Folder Guard under each version of Windows that your computer is able to boot with.

For example, if you can boot your computer with either Windows 32-bit or Windows x64, then you need to install and configure one copy of Folder Guard after booting with Windows 32-bit, and then reboot with Windows x64 and install another copy of Folder Guard, into a separate folder, and configure it separately.

If your computer can boot a non-Windows operating system, such as Linux, then the folder protection will NOT be in effect when you boot it. To protect your files in such a case, you need to use an encryption program, such as Encryptability  or USBCrypt , instead of Folder Guard.

Will my anti-virus program protect files in the restricted or hidden folders?

If you restrict access of hide a folder with Folder Guard, then virtually no program, including the anti-virus one, will see or be able to open the files in the protected folder. To allow your anti-virus program check all files for viruses, you need to either disable the protection before scanning your hard drive for viruses, or add your anti-virus program to the Trusted Programs list.

Will my backup program back up the files located in the protected folders?

It depends on the backup program you have. If the backup is performed in while Windows is not loaded, (for example, by starting your computer from a bootable CD) then Folder Guard will not be protecting your files, and the backup program should be able to backup all your files, as usual. If, however, your backup program runs under Windows, when folder protection is in effect, then it will have no access to your protected files, and it will not back them up! To allow your backup program to backup your protected files, you need to either disable the protection before starting the backup program, or add your backup program to the Trusted Programs list of Folder Guard. Don't forget to test your backup set of files to make sure your protected files have actually been backed up! To prevent other users from running the backup program and being able to access your protected documents that way, you may want to protect the backup program itself.

May I give a copy of Folder Guard software to a friend?

Yes, you may give the installation file of Folder Guard to your friends and associates. However, you may NOT share your license key, if any, with anybody else. Please remember that the license key we provide you with is for your own use only. If your friends like our programs, please direct them to our web site to purchase their own license keys.

There are several other simple, but important conditions which we impose on further redistribution of our products. Please refer to the file License.txt in the folder where you have installed Folder Guard for the complete description of our distribution requirements.

How can I get a printed version of this guide?

This user's guide is available online in the printer-friendly format:


Simply open the link above in your web browser and use the web browser's Print command to print it out on your printer.

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