There may be times when you need to protect sensitive information while using a shared computer. Depending on the version of Microsoft® Windows® installed on your computer, you can accomplish this in a number of ways. Learn more about how to identify the version of Windows that is installed on your computer.
If multiple people will be using the same computer, each of them should have their own account. As a result, more people will be able to use the resources they need.
Methods for Encrypting Files
When a folder is password-protected, only those who know the password can access the folder’s contents, including its list of files. Individual files in both password-protected and unprotected folders can be encrypted with a password. Both files and folders follow the same procedure.
Platform: Windows 7
- Launch Windows Explorer and go to the directory you wish to secure with a password. Pick a folder and right-click on it.
- Pick the “Properties” option from the menu. To access the General section of the resulting dialogue, select it.
- To protect sensitive information, select the Advanced tab and then the Encrypt content option. Just hit the “OK” button. The login credentials you use for Windows will be required.
- To make sure you can open the folder, double-click it.
Versions of Windows 8 and 10
Folder password protection is not supported in Windows 8 or Windows 10. To do this, you’ll need to either use a zipped folder or download additional software. Download any optional third-party software only from trusted sources.
Compact disc case
If your version of Windows doesn’t allow for password protection, a zipped file is a good alternative. To password-protect a set of files, simply compress them into a ZIP archive.
- Select the files you want to compress in Windows Explorer, then select “Send to>Compressed Folder” from the context menu.
- For the destination, choose Zip folder (compressed). To create a new folder, just follow the on-screen prompts.
- To add a password to the compressed file, double-click it and go to File > Add Password.
- Please provide the following details and then select the Apply button.
Methods for Concealing Files
Unless the option to “Don’t show hidden files, folders, or drives” is deactivated, Windows will not display hidden folders and files in the directory list.
The Windows 7, 8, and 10 Families
To conceal a file or folder, right-click on it. Choose a Set of Assets.
- Select Hidden in the Attributes section of the General tab.
- Just hit the “Apply” button.
- If the directory entry persists despite your best efforts, you may need to toggle a different option.
- Launch File Explorer in Windows.
- To change the view, go to the View menu under Options.
- Select Do not display the Hidden files and folders or drives folder.
- Follow the steps above, but this time select the option to View hidden files, folders, and drives.
While Microsoft has removed the option to password-protect a folder, you can still keep sensitive data secure by using a password-protected zipped folder or simply hiding the relevant files and folders from view.
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