How to Password Protect Files and Folders in Windows?

In a better world, once you set the Windows password, everything is safe and secure, right? Unfortunately, this is not the case. The Windows login password offers a very basic level of protection that basically protects your files from other people who may share your computer.

But the dangers are there. People with in-depth knowledge of hacking a system can easily bypass these simple security measures. Most versions of Windows do not include a way to password protect files and folders, so they must be encrypted, or a third-party must protect folders from cybercrime.

If your laptop is stolen, for example, a thief can boot your computer from a removable device to access your files. Or, they can easily remove the hard drive, install it on another computer, and instantly access all of their personal files and data.

Why use passwords to protect files?

If you share your computer with other people, there is always the possibility of human error: accidentally deleting an important document, accidentally editing an important file, accidentally sharing a private folder, etc.

Sometimes you are your own worst enemy. Sharing sensitive information via email to the wrong recipients is an unfortunate, if not an entirely common source of data breaches.

One way to deal with these threats is to add passwords to your highly sensitive files one by one. Sharing a computer becomes a hassle-free situation once you do that, and sending an email attachment will be less of a hassle.

The need to enter a password every time you access this file might slow you down a bit, but the peace of mind is definitely worth it. Just remember to always use strong passwords.

Another way to deal with this is to use your Windows software to encrypt the entire folder. It is an easy process to implement and use. There are also third-party tools that you can use for full encryption.

In this article, we are going to put all the tools in front of you to secure your system with the strongest defence.

Let's start with the easiest way to encrypt your folders (and all the files in them): Windows Folder Encryption. To encrypt a file or folder in Windows 7, 8, or 10, follow these steps:

Navigate to the folder/file you want to encrypt.
Right click on the element. Click Properties, then click the Advanced button.

Check Encrypts to protect data.

Click OK and then Apply.

Windows asks if you want to encrypt the file only or its parent folder and all the files it contains. I recommend that you choose full folder encryption, just to be safe.

Now once you go to the encrypted folder, you will see a small yellow padlock on the file icon. Also, when you add new content to this folder, it will be automatically encrypted.

Unlike Windows file encryption technology, a third-party password protection tool prevents access to content, regardless of who is signed in. These tools offer more security than the built-in security features of Windows and are highly recommended for sensitive data.
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