A Guide to Password Protect Folders in Windows 10

A Guide to Password Protect Folders in Windows 10

Password protect folders and files

Windows 10 offers a native way to secure files and folders, but it’s buried deep inside. Additionally, your account is already protected against unauthorized access with a password and even encryption if you use services like BitLocker to encrypt your entire device.

If you don’t follow the right steps, your sensitive information like personal photos / videos, banking information, or anything that you don’t want anyone to have access to can fall into the wrong hands. The good news is that you don’t have to be an expert to password protect folders in Windows. By using the tips below, you can easily add a layer of authentication on sensitive information in Windows 10.

Use the advanced option of the file manager

First, we will use a simple and effective way to password protect files or folders in Windows 10. Before we begin, let me warn you that this method is most suitable for general consumers. If you intend to secure large scale or critical documents, you should invest in specially designed encryption software.

Follow the steps below to secure files in Windows 10.

Step 1: Open File Manager in Windows 10.

Open properties

2nd step: Navigate to the file or folder that you want to secure. Right click on it.

Step 3: In the context menu, scroll down and tap Properties.

Go to advanced

Step 4: Now check the box that says Encrypt content to secure data and click Apply.

Encrypt content

When you do this, Windows will ask you to choose whether you want to lock the folder or the folder with all content. Once the process is complete, you will be prompted to take a backup of your encryption key if you have never used the feature before. Use a password manager to store the encryption key.

Once the backup is complete, your files are now safe. They are encrypted with a key linked to your Windows user account. Windows will throw meaningless text every time someone tries to access these files.

You can also opt for the Windows BitLocker feature, but it has two limitations. First of all, it’s only available for Windows 10 Professional and Enterprise users. Sorry, it is not accessible to home users. Second, BitLocker is not limited to a single file or folder. It protects the entire drive.

If you don’t want to use the native Windows method, you can always opt for third-party apps on the web.

Use WinRAR

WinRAR is a file compression and encryption tool available for free in 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Follow the steps below to password protect a file or folder using WinRAR in Windows 10.

Step 1: Download and install WinRAR from the link below.

2nd step: Once WinRAR is installed, you can go to File Manager and navigate to a file or folder that you want to protect.

Step 3: Right click on it and select Add to Archive.

Add to archives

Step 4: This will create a new, smaller file containing the exact contents of the original file or folder.

Step 5: From the next menu, select Set Password in the lower right corner.

Set password

Step 6: A new pop-up window will open. Enable Encrypt file names and enter a password. Tap Ok at the bottom.

Encrypt winirar files

The process will leave you with your original folder and a password-locked RAR file. You will need to keep WinRAR on your computer to open it. You can go ahead and delete the original file or folder.

Enter the winrar password

WinRAR is one of the best free programs for this task. You can also go for commercial software like Protected Folder or Folder Guard, but these come at a price.

Folder Lock Software

Folder Lock is another great software to secure files and folders on PC. It allows users to lock and password protect data against unwanted access and visibility by blocking access to files, folders, drives and programs.

The software features an easy-to-use user interface and user experience, enabling one-click data protection directly from the menu. With Folder Locking, users can encrypt their files using military-grade 256-bit encryption technology.

Step 1: Download and install the Folder Lock software using the link below.

2nd step: Open the software and add the master password.

Master Folder Lock Password

Step 3: Select Add Items to Lock.

Step 4: You can add files, folders or a drive to the software.

Step 5: Use these options or drag and drop files into the software.

Folder lock add files

Close the app and you won’t see the added files in the file manager. Anytime you want to access those files or folders, open the Folder Lock app and add a master password to access the files.

There is a limitation with Folder Lock; only files less than 4 GB can be locked or encrypted.

Also on Guiding Tech

Secure files and folders in Windows 10

The most secure files on your PC are often the primary targets of malicious intent. Password protection of your sensitive files is a basic security routine. Think of it as a virtual vault, which encrypts any additional files or folders that you need to be protected. Follow the tips above and learn how to create a password protected folder to keep your precious files protected and sneaky viewers at bay.


Are you having trouble getting Windows 10 remote desktop to work for you? Read the article below to find out how to fix the problem.

Last updated Oct 13, 2020

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