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Question of the Month – May

Question: Is there a way to password protect folders in Windows 10?


Basically, the answer to this question is no, unless you are using a really old version of Windows. Oddly, Microsoft has taken away the ability to password protect folders in the newer versions of Windows, even though it can be a very useful feature for workers who “hot desk” and share computers with others, keeping personal or confidential files protected.

In Windows 7, all you have to do is to right-click on the folder in File Explorer and go Properties> General> Advanced> Encrypt content to secure data> OK and the folder is protected using a Windows username and password.

If you are using Windows 8 or 10, you will have to download third-party software if you want to protect the folder. However, there is a workaround, which is that you can put files you want to protect into a zip file, which can then be password-protected. To do this, simply highlight the files you want to put in a zip file, right-click and select Send to> Zip folder (compressed). Once you have created the zip file, double-click on it and select File then Add Password.

One last option is that you can hide files in all versions of Windows by right-clicking on a folder and selecting Properties> General> Attributes> Hidden> Apply. If the folder doesn’t disappear, you need to go to File> Options> View> Hidden files and folders> Don’t show hidden files, folders, or drives (doing the same but choosing Show instead of Don’t show will reveal any hidden folders). Do not forget though that this only hides files, it does not password protect them, and anyone else can discover them by following the same steps.

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