Are you a person who likes to back up most of your important data and information locally on you Computer instead storing them on the cloud or on an external protected media? If yes, you must always be on search on how to password protect a folder.
I also personally like to store some of the private data and folders on my PC, rather than on any external media. It saves a lot of time and also since I am the only one who uses the PC most of the time, I do not find my confidential data at a high level of risk.
But, you never know anyone might get into the folder and misuse that information or delete them accidentally, so it is a good practice to protect these data or the folders with a password.
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I have been using lots of applications to lock my folder and files or password protect them from unauthorized access. Don’t you find most of these apps a waste of a time?? No doubt most of these do the job for everyone, but their limited free license and a completely un satisfying price tag does not seem its worth spending some cash for.
So, in this article I’ve summarized some of the best ways to password protect a folder on windows be it windows 7, windows 8 / 8.1 or windows 10 and Mac OS operating system, without using any third part application or software. (Assuming your copy of windows has 7 zip pre-installed)
Password Protect A Folder On Windows 7, 8,8.1,10
No doubt that windows operating system works up to anyone’s expectations. Any user with basic or advanced knowledge as how the computer systems work and want to make the most of these devices, find windows better than any other operating systems available.
There is no argument that there is other more secure and advanced operating systems available as compared to windows operating system when it comes to security. But talking about the overall user experience windows does the best job.
For this tutorial, we assume that you already have 7-zip pre-installed and working on your system. If not, you can download and get it running from the link below.
Note: After locking the folder with this procedure, you will have to extract the file after you’ve protected it to access its information.
Step 1 : Getting It Ready
If you do not have 7 zip preinstalled on your system, get it installed from the above mentioned link.
Step 2: Creating The Zip
Now run the application from your desktop or the start menu. After you are in the 7zip’s interface, navigate to the folder that you want to protect. It should not be really that difficult.
After you’ve located the folder, select the folder with a click and then click on the green button on the top left of the 7 zip’s interface that says “Add”.
Step 3: Final settings
After you’ve done that you should see a screen where you will be able to do the following things.
- Give the Zip the file name.
- Select the zip format
- Give the zip the password.
Give it a meaningful name and select the Archive Format as “Zip”. The only reason for this is that this will make the folder accessible on all the windows PC and does not specifically require 7 zip.
Now, on the same window you should see a small section named “Encryption”. Enter the password that you want to set for the folder and Re-enter the same in the section just below it.
Hit the “OK” button and the archive should be created on the location your folder was initially located or in the respective folder that you assigned.
Step 4: Cleaning up And Opening the Folder
After you’ve done everything and created the password protected zip, open the zip and try to access the file. You should be prompted to enter the password to access the content inside the zip’s folder.
Now, its time to delete the original folder that you have on your PC, that you used to create the zip. Since, you already have the folder in the zip there is no point in keeping the copy of the folder, so delete the folder and only keep the zip.
Step 5: Opening the zip and its content
To open the folder once again, just open the zip and then enter the password. After that you can simply drag and drop the folder to your desktop or any location that you want the folder to be on.
And the simply access all the files from there.
Using Notepad and .bat Files
Another method that I am about to demonstrate, will give you an extra advantage if you are already familiar with the functioning of “.bat” files or scripts.
Step 1: Getting Things Ready
First you will need to create a new folder that will actually hold the password protected folder. Its simple and easy. Just right click on the location where you want to create a folder and click new and then a “Folder”. Right Click > New > Folder.
Step 2: Creating A Lock
Now open up the folder and this time, create a new “Text Document”. The process again to do this will be the same. Right Click > New > Text Document.
Open the text file and copy and paste the text below exactly as it is.
See The Code Below
[toggle title=”Click To See The Code” state=”close”]
title Folder Private
if EXIST “HTG Locker” goto UNLOCK
if NOT EXIST Private goto MDLOCKER
echo Are you sure you want to lock the folder(Y/N)
if %cho%==Y goto LOCK
if %cho%==y goto LOCK
if %cho%==n goto END
if %cho%==N goto END
echo Invalid choice.
ren Private “HTG Locker”
attrib +h +s “HTG Locker”
echo Folder locked
echo Enter password to unlock folder
if NOT %pass%== ENTER_PASSWORD_HERE goto FAIL
attrib -h -s “HTG Locker”
ren “HTG Locker” Private
echo Folder Unlocked successfully
echo Invalid password
echo Private created successfully
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Remember to edit the “ENTER_PASSWORD_HERE” with the password that you want to assign to the folder you want to lock.
Now, save the file with a “.bat” extension. To do this click on File > Save As. From the drop down menu from “Save as type”, select “All Files” and give it a file name “locker.bat”.
After saving the file, delete the original “New Text Document.txt”.
Step 3 : Adding The Folder
Now runt the locker.bat file and it should create a folder named “Private” inside the same folder. Open the Private folder and add all the documents and files that you want to lock and prevent unauthorized access from.
After you are finished adding the files and folders to the “Private” Folder, run the locker.bat file again and this time it should prompt you, “Are you sure you want to lock the folder(Y/N)”.
Hit “y” on your keyboard and press enter.
You will immediately see that the private folder disappears. Now the folder is not accessible except you.
Step 4: Unlocking the folder
If you wish to unlock the folder, open the “locker.bat” file once again. This time it will prompt you to enter the password. Enter the password you setup earlier in the notepad file and press enter.
If you entered the correct password, the “private” folder will reappear.
Note: This process is suitable only for novice user and does not provide high level of encryption for your files. Any user with even normal information on how bat file work, will be able to edit the file and get access to the folder.
Password Protect A file Without any Application On Mac OS
Though Mac OS operating system might be believed to have much higher level of sophistication and advanced processing mechanisms, it still lacks a subtle way to protect or encrypt a folder with a password. So there is a work around to achieve this state of encryption on mac OS as well, it is much similar to windows. Without further ado, let’s get into the tutorial straight away.
Step 1: Getting started
What we are actually about to do in this procedure is, we are actually going to create an encrypted drive as compared to an encrypted folder on windows.
Use Spotlight and search for Disk utility or navigate to it straight from the applications folder.
Step 2: Creating A disk Image
Move your mouse to the top menu bar inside the utility and click on New> Disk Image From Folder.
Step 3: Configuring Settings
After you’ve selected the option, give it a descriptive file and tags as required.
On the drop down menu on “Image Format”, select read/write. And select “128-bit AES encryption” from the “Encryption” menu just below that.
Finally, click “Save”.
After saving the configuration, you will be prompted to enter a password to access the folder/drive.
Enter the password, and verify that as well. Just remember to uncheck “Remember password in my keychain” that ensures that you are the only one who knows the password. Click “Ok” and you are done.
Step 4: Final Steps and Testing
After you’ve create the drive and its is working, you can check it by opening the drive and entering the password that you assigned earlier. Now that it is working fine, just delete the folder that you created the drive with.
So, that’s it you are done. That is how you can password protect a drive on mac OS operating system without using any third party application.
These are two of the best ways I found worth sharing on how to password protect a folder without using any software on windows 7,8, 10.
Do you use any applications to carry out these encryption tasks ? What are they ? Do share with us and help others.