If several people use the same computer or we have sensitive information on it, we may be interested in protecting it, since if someone knows our username and password or could access them, or even if they are not on our main hard drive, anyone will have access to them.
How to Put Password to a Folder in Windows 11
For this reason, we may want to protect some files or folders on our computer so that other people who share the computer with us cannot access, modify or see them.
Next, we will explain how to do it using different methods, each one with its advantages and disadvantages and working in both Windows 11 and Windows 10.
Using a zipped folder
One of the most effective options to protect files in a simple way is to put them in a password-compressed folder using a program like WinRAR.
But this method has some disadvantages, for example, although we can individually move files in and out of the folder, we will always have to compress or decompress them to do so, which can be a problem on very weak computers or if the files are large.
To protect the data by this method we can follow the following steps:
- Download and install WinRAR. Which we can do from its official page. To install it we will only have to double click and follow the steps of the installer.
- Select all files and folders to compress. We can do this by holding down control or simply by holding down to select an area.
- Right click on the selected files and click on “Add to file…”. In order to put all the selected files to a WinRAR archive.
- Choose the name for the file and its settings. And additionally, we can select the type of compression, if we select the option of not compressing the file it will take much less time to process each time we want to modify it.
- Set the password. If we click on the Set password option from the previous menu, a window will open to enter a password. It is essential that the password have at least 8 characters and it is advisable to combine numbers, letters and special characters for more security. In addition, we will have to check the option to encrypt the names of the files to avoid being able to see the content of the file without a password.
- Apply the changes. Now we will have to click accept and ok in the respective folders and we will have our protected compressed file.
- And with this, we will have our protected and compressed file that we can only access after entering the password.
Another option to protect a folder with a password is using a specific script for it , although we will not explain this option in detail as it is very insecure.
On the internet, there are several tutorials on how to protect folders with a script by putting it in a .bat file, which sets a password and hides a folder.
This method is very insecure because what it does is hide the folder and files in Windows Explorer, but through other browsers or programs that can see the files, all the content is accessible and visible as if it had no protection.
Apart from all that, the password that we select for the script is written in the script itself, so simply by opening the .bat to edit it, the password is visible.
If we still want to try it, we can find the original script in English at this link and by copying it and replacing the names of the folder to be protected and the password we can use it.
Windows username and password protection
Windows gives an option to protect files and encrypt them quickly and easily. This method will encrypt the information in a folder or file that we select so that only the user of the computer that has encrypted it can access it by encrypting it with the username and password that user already has.
This option is very secure by encrypting the information, but it has some disadvantages, such as if someone else has access to our user, they will be able to access that information, that it is only in the professional version of the operating system to which we can switch, and what if we lose access to the user the data may become inaccessible.
In addition, if we change the hard drive or the device with the encrypted information to another computer, we will not be able to access that information even if we know the user’s password, although there is the option of creating a certificate that serves as a key to be able to use the files in other systems.
- Select the file or folder to encrypt.
- Right click and click on properties.
- In the main properties tab, click on advanced.
- Check the “Encrypt the folder or files to protect the information” box. Doing this we will enable or disable encryption in the file or folder
- If we are encrypting a file, a window will appear to warn us that it is possible that programs make temporary copies of the file in the folder that will not be encrypted and whether we want to encrypt the entire folder or just the file. It is recommended to encrypt the entire folder or make one with only the files to be encrypted, but if we only want to encrypt the file, we can check that option and move on.
- Hit apply and close the window. Now we have to accept in all the windows and we will have the file ready so that only our user can open it. Protected files will appear with a lock on the icon to differentiate between them.
Third-party applications and encryption options
In addition to the previous methods, there are also third-party tools that offer similar possibilities to protect the data on our computer, such as Folder Protect or LockDir.
Additionally, there is the option of encrypting the entire hard drive to protect our entire computer, which can be done with Windows 11 in professional edition using BitLocker or protecting the hard drive with a password using the BIOS to have full protection.