Category Archives: Articles

Forget VeraCrypt password? Here is how to recover it.

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VeraCrypt is an open-source software tool for encrypting files and folders. It's a successor to the discontinued TrueCrypt, and it uses many encryption algorithms, both true and tried, such as AES and TwoFish, and also some experimental ones. The encryption is strong in the sense that the only way to gain access to the encrypted files is by providing the valid password. However, what if you forgot the password, is it possible to recover it? Well, the short answer is, it depends.

If you've chosen to store the encrypted files within a Virtual Encrypted Disk created with VeraCrypt or TrueCrypt using one of the traditional encryption algorithms, there is a chance the password can be recovered using special password recovery software such as our Password Cruncher. Note: while this software is not open source, it is free, presently there is no charge for using.

If the original password was strong, that is it was long enough and contained a combination of different characters, the chances of recovery such a password are very slim. If, however, you remember a part of the password, and only not sure about some of the characters that you've forgotten, then Password Cruncher could be of big help: it automatically tries a set of possible passwords according to the parameters you specify, without you needing to type each password to try manually:

Password Cruncher options screenshot

For example, suppose you remember that the password you've forgotten starts with the word ORANGE, followed by three unknown digits you can't remember. You would use Password Cruncher to specify that it should search for a password in the format: ORANGE*, and it should try to substitute the star character (*) with sets of three digits, from 000 to 999. This way, Password Cruncher would first try the password ORANGE000, then ORANGE001, ORANGE002, and so on until the final ORANGE999. You would not need to type all 1000 different passwords yourself.

Of course, the amount of time that it takes to try all possible passwords depends on how powerful your computer is. While trying the passwords, Password Cruncher estimates the time it would take for your specific computer to complete the search. If Password Cruncher discovers the password that unlocks the Virtual Encrypted Disk, it displays the password for your to write it down or remember for the future:

The result of password recovery by Password Cruncher

If you need to recover a forgotten TrueCrypt or VeraCrypt password, give Password Cruncher a try. (Did we mention, it's currently free!)

Happy password crunching!

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Why do my desktop icons keep moving?

The short answer is: because Microsoft. If the icons on your Windows 11 or Windows 10, 8, 7 desktop keep moving, the solution to keep the icons from rearranging themselves is to use a software tool to remember the positions of the icons, and then restore the icons, when needed. Unfortunately, Windows itself does not offer a tool for that, but thankfully there are third party tools available that can do the job. One of such tools is our own Icon Shepherd:

Download and install Icon Shepherd

Get Icon Shepherd:
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Icon Shepherd is compatible with Windows 10 Icon Shepherd is compatible with Windows 11



Not sure how to download?

Icon Shepherd works with Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7 and supports multiple monitors. It's free for use on one personal computer at you home. (No credit card required to download or install Icon Shepherd.) If you want to use it on a business computer, or on more than one computer at home, you can purchase an appropriate license, at a later time.

Use Icon Shepherd to store the desktop icons layout

It's very easy to use Icon Shepherd to keep the desktop icons under control. If you have arranged the desktop icons where you want them be, launch Icon Shepherd using its desktop or taskbar icon and choose Remember icons now - Save As from the menu, and enter some name for the layout. Any name, such as My Icons, would do. This will remember the position of each desktop icon and store all such information for later.

Remember icon layout with Icon Shepherd

Use Icon Shepherd to restore the desktop icons from the stored layout

Whenever Windows messes up the icons on your desktop, open Icon Shepherd again and choose Restore icons command, and that would move the icons back to their places as they were when you stored them. Pretty easy, huh?

Restore icon layout with Icon Shepherd

Of course, you can use the Restore icons command again, later on, when your desktop icons become disorganized again. Also, if at some point you decide that some icons better be in different positions, then go ahead and rearrange them as needed. When done, use the Remember icons now - Save As command of Icon Shepherd again (using the same or a different name) to store the updated layout of the desktop icons for use later on.

Icon Shepherd offers you more ways to be in control of the desktop icons:

  • You can make Icon Shepherd remember more than one icon layout, each with its own name, and restore a specific layout, when needed. For example, you may want the icons to be arranged differently depending on which monitors you connect to your computer, or if you change the desktop resolution.
  • If you store several icon layouts, you can control them using the Manage layouts command of Icon Shepherd: it offers you commands to rename the layouts, change their order, or delete the unused ones. You can also export the icon layouts into a file, to keep them in your backup, to use at a later point, when needed.
  • If your desktop icons become messed up every time when you log in to Windows, you can tell Icon Shepherd to automatically restore a specific icon layout every time you start Windows.
  • Icon Shepherd offers an option to keep track of the icons when they are moved and remember the icon positions automatically for you after each such change. This way, if you forget to store the icon layout at some point, you could restore them from one of the automatically created restore points.

Did we mention that Icon Shepherd is free for personal use on one home computer? Download and give it a try today! If it does not do a good enough job for you, use Windows Settings or Control Panel to uninstall Icon Shepherd from your computer (no hard feelings!)

Happy icon herding!

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How to create a private folder in Windows 11 and 10

So, you let your kids play games on the PC, but you don't want them to mess up your bank statements or tax returns? Or, maybe you are writing a memoir and don't want someone else to take a peek into it before it's ready? Wouldn't it be handy to create a secret folder on your computer to keep your private files and documents?

Download and install Folder Guard

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Our software Folder Guard is a tool that we've specifically designed to make it easy to create a private folder and stop other users from getting into that folder. Before you can use this software, you need to download and install it, if you have not done so yet. The download is free and it includes a 30-day license of full use, no credit card required. If you don't find it useful, use Windows settings to uninstall it from the computer, just like any other software (no hard feelings!).

Launch Folder Guard

After you have installed Folder Guard, use its icon on the desktop to run it. The first time time you start Folder Guard, it prompts you to set up the folder protection:

Set up folder protection with Folder Guard

If you've used Folder Guard before, you should see a bit different screen with the link to change folder protection settings at the bottom:

Change folder protection settings of Folder Guard

Decide how you want to protect the private folder

Do you want to set up a private folder so that when someone opens it, they would need to enter a password to see what's inside of the folder? If so, Folder Guard can password protect folder of your choice. This method of protection is convenient, because all you need to do to start working with the private files is press the Unlock button and enter the correct password. However, what if someone else comes across this folder while browsing the computer and see the Unlock button? Maybe you don't want them to know you have a private folder at all?

If you don't want them even to see the private folder, can use another method of folder protection offered by Folder Guard: you can hide folder by restricting its visibility!

Choose the folder that you want to be private

If you are only trying Folder Guard out, you may want to create a test folder on the desktop or under the Documents folder, or somewhere else on your computer. Press the Browse for folder button and select the folder that you want to become hidden:

Select the folder that you want to make private folder

Make the private folder hidden

You want the folder you've chosen to be hidden, so select the appropriate visibility option on the next screen:

Hide the private folder

Restrict access to the private folder

Press Next, and another screen should appear giving you options for restricting access to the private folder. Select the No access option, to make sure that if someone were to guess the name of our private folder and attempt to open files in it without actually seeing the folder, such attempts would be prevented by Folder Guard:

Restricting user access to the private folder

Enable the protection of folders

After you've set up the restrictions for the private folder, the last step is you need to tell Folder Guard to start protecting the computer using the settings you've just created. To do that, press the Protect button on the toolbar, or press Apply if the protection is already on. You can also exit Folder Guard application and reply Yes when it prompts you to continue to protect the system:

Resuming protection of the private folder with Folder Guard

From now on, if you or someone else attempts to use Windows File Explorer to browse your computer, you should not see the private folder among other files and folders. However, what if you want to open the private folder and add a file to it or work with the private files already there? Run Folder Guard using the desktop icon or Start menu, and choose Pause the folder protection:

Pause protection of the private folder

Enter the Folder Guard password that you've set up when you've installed Folder Guard, and the protection will pause: your private folder should become visible and accessible again. You can open the files from the private folder, edit them, save the files back, as usual. When done making changes to your private files, run Folder Guard again and choose to resume the protection:

Resume protection of the private folder

The private folder should become hidden again.

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As you can see, Folder Guard is making it easy to create and maintain a private Windows folder. If you have not tried it yet, please feel free to download Folder Guard free of charge. It comes with a free 30-day license of full use, no credit card required to try it.

Happy computing! And good luck with the screenplay.

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How to restrict access to Windows Settings with Folder Guard

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Windows Settings is an essential part of Windows user interface that you use to, well, change the settings of Windows 10 or Windows 11 and tweak it to your liking. However, what if you share your Windows computer with someone who you don't want to mess with your finely tuned computing system?

Folder Guard to the rescue! You can use Folder Guard to set up a restriction that would prevent user access to Windows Settings. You, the administrator, would still be able to use Windows Settings when needed, after entering your password to pause the protection performed by Folder Guard. Here is how to do it:

1. Run Folder Guard as usual to change its protection settings, select the Restricted view of its window, and press the Restrict a file or a folder link:

Folder Guard list of the restricted files and folders

2. Press the Browse for folder and select the following folder:

C:\Windows\ImmersiveControlPanel

Select the target folder to restrict access to

Press Next and on the Visibility Restrictions page leave the visibility default, which means that Folder Guard will not restrict the visibility of this folder. Why? Because for our purposes we don't care if this folder is visible or not, what we want is restrict access to this file, not hide it from the view:

Select default visibility for the folder

The next page is where we are actually setting up the restriction that will prevent users from accessing Windows Settings. Select the No Access option:

Restrict access to Windows Settings folder

Press OK to close the wizard, and then press the Protect or Apply buttons on the toolbar to make the changes we've made to take effect:

Apply changes to the restrictions

Now you can exit Folder Guard application (confirm that you want the protection to remain in effect after exiting the application).

The last but not least: restart Windows, by pressing the Start button and choosing Power - Restart from the menu. This restart is necessary because Windows might be already using the Windows Settings files, before you've set up the restriction. After the restart, Windows will be forced to reload the files, and our restriction would prevent it from doing that.

After Windows has been restarted, if someone attempts to open Windows Settings, they should only see a blank window flashing for a second or so. Note that not only the Settings command on Start menu will be restricted, but many other related commands as well. For example, if you run File Explorer, right-click on This PC, and select Properties, the command should be restricted. Or if you right-click on the Network icon in the taskbar notification area and select Network and Internet Settings from the menu, it should not open either. And so on!

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That should stop other users from using Windows Settings, but what if you, the administrator, need to use it at some point? Just pause the protection (you will be prompted to enter your Master Password of Folder Guard), and that would enable you to use Windows Settings as usual:

Pause protection to gain access to Windows Settings

After you are all done with the changes to Windows Settings, resume the protection back. Verify that Windows Settings became restricted again; if not, a Windows restart may be needed.

Happy computing!

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Suspending all sales to fascist Russia

Effective immediately and until further notice, we are suspending all sales to any entity located in or associated with Russia.

An exception may be granted, at our sole discretion, to an entity which would provide a sufficient proof of a sizable donation to one of the internationally recognized charities providing support to Ukraine and its people.

Glory to Ukraine!

How to keep desktop icons from moving by running Icon Shepherd from command line

Get Icon Shepherd:
Free Download

Icon Shepherd is compatible with Windows 10 Icon Shepherd is compatible with Windows 11



Not sure how to download?

If you've been wondering Why do my desktop icons keep moving?, you have probably already installed Icon Shepherd and know how to use it: when you install it on your computer, it adds its icon to the taskbar notification area, and you click on that icon with the mouse and use the commands on the menu to remember the positions of the icons on the desktop, and restore them when Windows messes them up.

That's how most people would use Icon Shepherd, but you might be wondering is there a way not to have IconShepherd running in the background all the time and only run it on demand, when you actually need to save the icon positions or restore them? Even though Icon Shepherd uses a minuscule amount of RAM and a very small number of CPU cycles to do its work, still wouldn't it be nice not to keep it running all the time?

If you've been thinking about it (and who wouldn't?), you may be pleased to know that starting with version 21.8 of Icon Shepherd it's possible to run it on demand, by providing appropriate command line arguments to direct it what to do. You could run such commands by entering them into the Windows command prompt, or into the Windows Run box (that you can open by pressing the Win+R keys). Or, you may want to create two shortcuts on your desktop, one to store the current positions of the desktop icons, and another one to restore them. This way, you would launch such shortcuts, when needed, without having to run Icon Shepherd in the background.

Specifically, let's create a shortcut to store the icons positions. Right-click on an empty spot of your desktop and choose New - Shortcut from the menu. When the Windows asks you about the location of the item, press Browse, navigate to folder where Icon Shepherd files are installed (which is usually C:\Program Files\IconShepherd) and select the executable file there, such as ISEXE32, ISEXE64, or ISEXEA64, depending on your edition of Windows.) Before you press Next, first verify that the path to the executable is enclosed in double quotes, and second, append a space and the command line argument /Store:"My Icons" to it:

Icon Shepherd shortcut to store desktop icons

Now press Next and enter a name for the shortcut, for example Store My Icons: (this name will be displayed on your desktop)

Icon Shepherd shortcut to store desktop icons

That takes care of the shortcut to store the icons. Now create another desktop shortcut, in the same way, but this time enter the command line argument as /Restore:"My Icons", and enter the name for the shortcut as Restore My Icons.

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Note that you can choose a different name in place of "My Icons", but it must be the same for the /Store and /Restore command line arguments.

Now you should have two shortcuts on your desktop, one named Store My Icons and the other one named Restore My Icons. Use the first shortcut whenever you need to store the current icon positions. Use the second one when you need to restore the icon positions at a later time.

Finally, since you no longer need Icon Shepherd to run in the background, open its Options screen (by clicking on its taskbar icon and choosing Options from the menu) and deselect the option Auto-start IconShepherd when Windows starts. This way, next time you log in to Windows, Icon Shepherd will not start automatically:

Changing the option to auto-start IconShepherd when Windows starts

Happy computing!

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How to restrict access to Task Manager with Folder Guard

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Windows Task Manager is a handy tool that you can use to see the running processes, monitor the system performance, and check the status of the system services, among many other things. On the flip side, with great power comes great responsibility. What if the other user you share share the computer with is not as responsible as needed to maintain the healthy run of your fine tuned machine? For example, Task Manager lets one disable programs on the StartUp list, but what if someone disables a program that you require to be run at all times? You can educate the users, of course, but wouldn't it be nice to prevent the users from running Task Manager altogether and thus prevent them from using this tool to mess up the system?

Folder Guard to the rescue! You can use Folder Guard to set up a restriction that would prevent users from running its executable file. You, the administrator, would still be able to run Task Manager when needed, after entering your password to pause the protection performed by Folder Guard. Here is how to do it:

1. Run Folder Guard as usual to change its protection settings, select the Restricted view of its window, and press the Restrict a file or a folder link:

Folder Guard list of the restricted files and folders

2. When the wizard starts, press Browse for file and select the following file:

C:\Windows\System32\Taskmgr.exe

Select Taskmgr.exe as the file to restrict access to

Press Next and on the Visibility Restrictions page leave the visibility default, which means that Folder Guard will not restrict the visibility of this file. Why? Because for our purposes we don't care if this file is visible or not, what we want is restrict access to this file, not hide it from the view:

Select default visibility for Taskmgr.exe

The next page is where we are actually setting up the restriction that will prevent users from accessing the Task Manager executable file. Select the No Access option:

Restrict access to Taskmgr.exe

Press OK to close the wizard, and then press the Protect or Apply buttons on the toolbar to make the changes we've made to take effect:

Apply changes to the restrictions to Taskmgr.exe

Now you can exit Folder Guard application (confirm that you want the protection to remain in effect after exiting the application).

The last but not least: restart Windows, by pressing the Start button and choosing Power - Restart from the menu. This restart is necessary because Windows might be already using the Task Manager files, before you've set up the restriction. After the restart, Windows will be forced to reload the files, and our restriction would prevent it from doing that.

After Windows has been restarted, if someone attempts to open Task Manager, they will be presented with a message like this instead:

Access denied to Windows Task Manager

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That should stop other users from using Task Manager, but what if you, the administrator, need to use it at some point? You can just pause the protection, and then resume the protection after you are done using Task Manager.

Happy computing!

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Take ownership of your files after access denied due to NTFS permissions

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If you check the properties of the main storage device of your Windows computer, chances are you will see that it uses the NTFS file system. This is a very powerful and flexible system that Microsoft designed to keep your files organized between folders, keep track of which user can open which files, prevent malicious programs from messing up the system files and so on.

When you are coping your files to an external hard drive formatted with the NTFS file system, you may not realize it but you are not only copying the contents of the files, you are also copying their attributes, including the security attributes. Depending on how this drive was formatted, the security attributes could be such that only you, the owner of these files, are allowed to open them, but other users should be restricted from doing that. Usually it all works well, until it does not. For example, if you've purchased a new laptop and attached the external drive to it hoping to get your files as you did many times in the past, but suddenly you are presented with a message saying "access denied":

Access denied due to NTFS permissions

Before we continue, keep in mind that there could be several other reasons for the "access denied" message. For example, if you are accessing a network folder, shared from another computer, the access could be denied because the folder was shared in such a way as not to allow access to your user account. Or, the folder could be restricted by using an access control program such as our Folder Guard. If none of such conditions apply, then most probably the culprit is the NTFS permissions.

Also, a word of caution: changing the owner and security properties of files and folders is a powerful technique that, if used improperly, could lock you out of your files. Don't change the security settings of the system files and folders because you may lock yourself out of Windows itself and prevent your computer from starting properly. If you don't quite understand what's going on with the security of your files, ask someone more knowlegable for help, don't change something you don't understand because that can make things worse! Follow the instructions below at your own risk.

If you see the access denied message, the first thing to check is the security settings of the folder you are trying to open. In our example, it's the root folder of the drive F:. In File Explorer, open the This PC folder, right-click on the F: drive, choose Properties from the menu, and finally select the Security tab. Chances are you will see a screen similar to the following:

Security settings restricted due to NTFS permissions

Let's follow the suggestion displayed and press the Advanced button:

Advanced security settings of an NTFS folder

As you can see, Windows has restricted itself even from displaying the current owner of the folder! Fortunately, this is easy to fix. If you are the administrator of the computer, you can take ownership of the folder. Click on the Change text on the second line:

Changing the owner of an NTFS folder

You can type your user name directly in the box or, if you are not sure, press Advanced and then the Find now button to display the list of users and groups, and select your user name in the list (which is User in our example, but in your case it will be probably something resembling your real name, like Joe Doe:)

Selecting the owner of an NTFS folder in the list or users and groups

Press OK once or twice to return to the Advanced Security Settings screen and you should now see the user name you've just selected on the Owner line:

Changing the owner of an NTFS folder

At this point you have selected your user account as the owner, but the change is not effective yet. To make it take effect, check the box that reads Replace owner on subcontainers and objects so that the new owner would be set not only on the root folder, but also on all files and folders under that root, and press Apply. You may see a prompt similar to the following asking you to confirm:

Replace directory permissions of an NTFS folder

Press Yes and after a while you may see the following message:

Windows prompts to reopen properties of an NTFS folder

What it means is Windows is asking you to close the current screen displaying the properties of the folder and open it again, to make it display the changes. Let's do that, by closing the Advanced Security Settings and Properties screens, and then going back to the This PC folder, right-clicking on the drive F: icon, choosing Properties form the menu and selecting Security. You should see a more informative screen now:

Security properties an NTFS folder after taking ownership

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You should be able to see your user name as the owner and also the list of permissions that your user account has over the root folder, with the check marks in the Allow column and none in the Deny column. To adjust these permissions, press the Edit button.

If the screen looks similar to the example above, you are on the right track. But you are not finished yet: you've only changed the permissions of the root folder, you still probably need to change the permissions of the files and subfolders to allow your user account to actually open the files. To do that, press the Advanced button and select the box at the bottom that reads Replace all child permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object:

Change permissions of the files and subfolders of an NTFS folder

Windows may ask you to confirm this action, press Yes to allow it to proceed. If the drive has a lot of files and folders, it may take quite awhile to finish. When all is done, close the Properties window and try to browse the drive and open the files it contains. You should be able to have a full access now, without any "access denied" messages.

If you see a message about a corrupted Recycle Bin, like the following one:

recycle Bin is corrupted after changing the owner of an NTFS root folder

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It's the result of changing the owner: Windows prevents you from peeking into the Recycle Bin created by the previous owner and retrieving the documents from it that used to belong to the previous owner. (It does not know it was you!) Reply Yes to empty the Recycle bin and it should become ready for use by you.

Happy computing!

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How to reprogram or disable CAPS LOCK key

If you often find yourself typing long lines of text containing nothing but capital letters, you are probably very fond of the CAPS LOCK key. For the rest of us, the CAPS LOCK key is more of a nuisance than help. Fortunately, there is a way to change the way this key operates or even disable this key completely, so that when you press it accidentally, it does nothing.

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A quick note before we begin: the instructions below assume you use Windows 11 or Windows 10, but they should work for the older versions of Window, such as Windows 7, XP, or Vista, as well. Just keep in mind that you may see slightly different messages or commands. Also, if you share your computer with others, this change will affect all users of the computer, not just you.

To stop the CAPS LOCK key from working, all you need to do is make a small modification to Windows Registry. To do that, right click on the link below, and choose Save link as (or a similar command, depending on your web browser) to download the file disable_caps_lock.reg to your computer:

disable_caps_lock.reg

When the Save As screen appears, make sure to change the file type from Text to All files:

Change the Save As type to All files

Now use File Explorer to open your Downloads folder and double-click on the file that you had just downloaded. It should be listed as disable_caps_lock.reg or just disable_caps_lock, depending on your File Explorer settings. Double-click on it and you will probably see a message similar to the following:

Windows warning about reg file

This warning is expected and is valid: you should not open random files you download from the internet, because if someone tricks you into downloading a malicious file, it can really harm your computer.

Fortunately, the registry files are actually text files that you can examine before letting Windows use them. To be on the safe side, press Cancel for now and then right-click on the file disable_caps_lock.reg, choose Open with from the menu, and then select Notepad as the application to open it with (leave the Always use this app to open .reg files unchecked, because you do NOT want to always open them with Notepad, you only want to do that this one time only.)

Now if the same warning is displayed, press Run and you should see the following text within the Notepad window:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout]
"Scancode Map"=hex:00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,02,00,00,00,00,00,3a,00,00,00,00,00

As you can see, this file will modify the entry named Scancode Map under the key Keyboard Layout, which is what we expect. (If you see some other entries in the script, and you don't understand what they mean, get someone who knows more about the Registry for advice before continuing.) By the way, if you cannot download the registry file using the link above because your security software prevents such downloads, you can use Notepad and the text above to create such a file yourself.

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After examining the contents of the file disable_caps_lock.reg with Notepad and making sure the contents is OK, close Notepad and double-click on the file disable_caps_lock.reg again. Press Run this time to proceed and you should see another prompt, this time from User Account Control, asking you to allow Registry Editor to make changes to your computer. Press Yes to allow.

(If you don't see such a prompt and Notepad opens instead Registry Editor, it probably means that you had downloaded the file as a Text file. Go back to the top of this article and read the note about changing the type of the file from Text to All files before downloading it.)

After approving Registry Editor to run, it will probably ask you the third time, are you sure you want to continue? (Windows is really trying hard to keep you safe, isn't it?)

Windows Registry Editor prompt to add to registry

Press Yes one final time and then OK the message informing you that the keys and values have been successfully added to the registry.

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You are almost finished, all that's left to do is restart the computer, by using the Start button and choosing Power - Restart from the menu. After the computer is back on, try pressing the CAPS LOCK key, it should not do anything now.

What if you don't want to disable the CAPS LOCK key, but assign a different, more useful function to it? For example, some people may find it convenient to make the CAPS LOCK key operate in the same was as the CTRL key. To do that, use the following registry file, in exactly the same way as described above:

caps_lock_ctrl.reg

A final note: if you ever decide that you want the CAPS LOCK key to become operational again, use Registry Editor to delete the Scancode Map value from the Keyboard Layout, and after you restart the computer the CAPS LOCK key should start working again.

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Encryptability vs Folder Guard: which one to choose?


Encryptability

Attack-proof encrypted containers

Encryptability protects your data by creating encrypted containers. When you move a file into such a container, it is encrypted with the AES algorithm, giving it the strongest protection known at this time. When you enter the password to unlock the container, it appears as a Virtual Encrypted Disk, with its own drive letter. When a program needs to open a file stored in the container, the file is decrypted on the fly.
Read more about Encryptability...

Folder Guard

Access control without encryption

Folder Guard restricts access to folders and files dynamically, without encrypting them. When a program attempts to open a file or a folder, Folder Guard intercepts the request and checks whether the request is allowed according to the rules set by the administrator. If necessary, it asks the user to enter the correct password before allowing the request to open the folder to go through.
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Which security software is right for you?

Absolute protection of data

If you require your files to be available only to you no matter what, then only the strong encryption provides such protection, so the choice is clear: Encryptability. There currently is no usable method of breaking the AES encryption (and no one anticipates that such a method could be developed any time soon.) With Folder Guard, on the other hand, the files are protected only on your computer, where Folder Guard is installed and enabled. If someone has a physical access to your computer and has sufficient expertise, they could remove the hard drive or disable Folder Guard software and bypass the restrictions. In contrast, removing the hard drive protected with Encryptability or disabling the Encryptability software does NOT remove the protection of the files. The only way to access the encrypted files is by providing the correct password, period.

Instant password protection

If you need quick results and easy reconfiguration of the protection settings, then Folder Guard would be the tool of choice. With Folder Guard, you don't need to go through the lengthy process of creating and configuring an encrypted container. Just select the folder you want to password protect, specify the password, and it's protected instantly.

Password protection of individual folders

With Encryptability you create just one password to protect all files and folders you put into an encrypted container. (However, if you create several encrypted containers, each container can have its own password.) On the other hand, with Folder Guard you can assign a separate password to each folder, and you can even create several different passwords, with different access rights, assigned to the same folder. This way, if you want a user only to view the files but not modify them, you give such a user the "read-only" password. If you trust another user to not only view but also modify the files, you give that user the "full access" password.

Fine-tune the restrictions

Encryptability offers the "all or nothing" protection: after the correct password is provided, all encrypted files and folders within that container become available. Folder Guard, on the other hand, lets you fine-tune the protection settings based on many factors. You can allow only certain programs to access the protected files, while denying such access to others. Or, you can configure the restrictions differently for different user accounts. If you need such flexibility, choose Folder Guard.

Write-protected or full access

Both Encryptability and Folder Guard offer you an option to write-protect the files they control. You may find such an option useful when, for example, you want the files to be available for viewing or printing, but protected from accidental or intentional modification or destruction. The difference is, with Folder Guard it's you, the administrator, who creates the rules and Folder Guard enforces such rules on other users. With Encryptability, it's the end user (most probably you, but could be someone else who knows the password), who selects the option to write-protect the files and folders at the time when the password is entered to unlock the encrypted container.

Stop downloading programs from the Internet

If you want to add security to your files by preventing users from downloading and running programs from the Internet, then Folder Guard offers you a way to set up such restrictions. (Encryptability does not offer such a functionality.)

Prevent running programs from the external drives

Bad guys know that social engineering attacks are of the most sure ways to get behind the firewalls and security software. If you want to be rather safe than sorry, then you can use Folder Guard to stop running programs from the external drives. (Encryptability does not offer such a functionality.)

Prevent copying files to removable drives

One common way of stealing company files is by copying them to the removable drives (such as flash thumb drives). If you want to protect your files from that, you could use Folder Guard to set up the read-only access to the removable drives. This way, people would be able to read files from the external drives, but copying new files back to them would be restricted. (Encryptability does not offer such a functionality.)

So, which one to choose?

It's all up to you and your specific requirements. If you are not sure, you are welcome to download both Encryptability and Folder Guard and give them a try. They both come with a built-in license for a free use during the first 30 days. If you like one of them better, purchase a license online, and use Windows Settings to uninstall the one you don't want. (No hard feelings!)

Happy computing!

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