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Windows 7: How do I password protect a folder/file?


19 Jan 2012   #1

32-bit Windows 7 Home Premium & Windows 8 Release Preview
 
 
How do I password protect a folder/file?

I tried using WinZip, a friend said that it's possible to password protect a ZIP file but I am unable to do so. I don't like WinRar and 7Zip much for daily use, so I would like to have an alternative to password protect my folders/files.

I have heard and read about many 3rd party softwares, but all of them create a separate folder in which I have transfer the files, similar to a real life locker. But the kind of software I need is the one which has the ability to right click a folder/file and set a password, and whenever someone clicks on it, the password is asked.

I DO NOT want the folder/file to be invisible, I want it to be visible but protected by a password.

Any suggestions on a built-in or a 3rd party software to do so?
I'm on Windows 7 Home Premium (32 bit).

Thanks.

Regards,
Abhishek Sharma


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Jan 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

I don't think it is possible to password protect a single file/folder. You' have to either use one of the file compressors or create a virtual partition to save your files to that need protection. TrueCrypt and PGP come to mind. with compression, 7zip I think is more secure.

Other option is to place a password on your startup so one is needed to start the PC.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2012   #3

Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

You can also use EFS (if using a version of Windows that supports it's use), which would protect it. You need to be careful with the key pair for those keys though, as a reinstall (without a key backup and restore) will render the files inacessible.

The Encrypting File System
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20 Jan 2012   #4

32-bit Windows 7 Home Premium & Windows 8 Release Preview
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Britton30 View Post
I don't think it is possible to password protect a single file/folder. You' have to either use one of the file compressors or create a virtual partition to save your files to that need protection. TrueCrypt and PGP come to mind. with compression, 7zip I think is more secure.

Other option is to place a password on your startup so one is needed to start the PC.
I have a password set up for my user but still for safety purposes I wish to protect my files. Can you suggest something?


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by cluberti View Post
You can also use EFS (if using a version of Windows that supports it's use), which would protect it. You need to be careful with the key pair for those keys though, as a reinstall (without a key backup and restore) will render the files inacessible.

The Encrypting File System
Well sorry to say that I've never used it and so I find it too complicated. Any alternatives?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2012   #5

MS Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1
 
 

If your computer has multiple user logins (office environment with or without LAN) and each use his/her username/password, then it is better to use Windows NTFS file and folder permissions for protecting the file contents. This way when someone tries to access your folder/file, they will get "Access Denied" message. But an Administrator can still access your files. To prevent every other person (including Administrator) from accessing your files, you could also use Encrypted File System (built-in NTFS) for extra protection for highly sensitive files.

If you have only one username for login (a typical home computer), then you could use the application's (MS Word, Excel, Acrobat etc.) built-in file open and modify passwords or use either WinZIP, WinRAR or other file compression utilities with password protection.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2012   #6

32-bit Windows 7 Home Premium & Windows 8 Release Preview
 
 

Yes WinZip is what I heard, but I can't seem to add a password to a ZIP file. I don't want to use WinRar as I don't like it much to be honest.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2012   #7

32-bit Windows 7 Home Premium & Windows 8 Release Preview
 
 

Alright, what I have done now is added all my files into a ZIP archive and I finally managed to add a password, thanks to WinRar. But now when I open the ZIP file and view the files, all the files work fine except for the images. Windows Photo Viewer is not able to open the password protected images. But when I open the ZIP from WinRar and click on the images, the images open perfectly.

Also this can't be a permanent solution to my problem as to access each file I have to enter a password separately. Would have been nice if the folder would have been password protected and once I enter it by entering the password, I can access all files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2012   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Pro 64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AbhishekS View Post
Alright, what I have done now is added all my files into a ZIP archive and I finally managed to add a password, thanks to WinRar. But now when I open the ZIP file and view the files, all the files work fine except for the images. Windows Photo Viewer is not able to open the password protected images. But when I open the ZIP from WinRar and click on the images, the images open perfectly.

Also this can't be a permanent solution to my problem as to access each file I have to enter a password separately. Would have been nice if the folder would have been password protected and once I enter it by entering the password, I can access all files.
Did you just password protect that archive?

I just did a folder with pics in it using my default password which can be set in the "file" dropdown menu.

When I opened it it asked for a password, I gave it and then went to the opened folder and the pictures displayed fine in photo gallery.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2012   #9

 

If you ain't got Bitlocker then just use a third party facility like TrueCrypt Freeware
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2012   #10

32-bit Windows 7 Home Premium & Windows 8 Release Preview
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by derekimo View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AbhishekS View Post
Alright, what I have done now is added all my files into a ZIP archive and I finally managed to add a password, thanks to WinRar. But now when I open the ZIP file and view the files, all the files work fine except for the images. Windows Photo Viewer is not able to open the password protected images. But when I open the ZIP from WinRar and click on the images, the images open perfectly.

Also this can't be a permanent solution to my problem as to access each file I have to enter a password separately. Would have been nice if the folder would have been password protected and once I enter it by entering the password, I can access all files.
Did you just password protect that archive?

I just did a folder with pics in it using my default password which can be set in the "file" dropdown menu.

When I opened it it asked for a password, I gave it and then went to the opened folder and the pictures displayed fine in photo gallery.
I right clicked a folder containing my vacation snaps and click on add to archive. WinRar's menu popped up. I chose the archive format as ZIP and then clicked on 'Advanced' tab followed by 'Set Password' and gave it a password.

Images load fine if I open the ZIP with WinRar but they fail to load if the ZIP is opened by Windows Explorer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How do I password protect a folder/file?




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