Protecting our security and privacy when using the devices is essential. We have at our disposal a wide range of programs and services that allow you to create secure passwords, scan the system for threats, or even encrypt files. In this article we are going to talk about how to encrypt a folder in Windows . This is very interesting if we want to protect important documents and prevent anyone from opening them, in case we share the computer with other users. It could even come in handy if a hacker were to break into your computer.
Options to encrypt a folder in Windows
We can say that Windows 10 is currently the most used operating system on desktop computers. This means that we can find many options in terms of software. We have a wide range of possibilities for almost everything.
If we mention security , we can see that there are many varieties of antivirus and firewalls that can help us keep computers protected. We are also going to find many tools that allow us to encrypt files or folders. This will allow us to create a password to access the documents, so it will not be open for anyone to enter.
Windows built-in encryption
A very simple first option that we have available to encrypt files in Windows is to use the integrated tool that comes with the operating system. It is very simple and it will prevent other users who may have access to the computer from entering that folder and opening the files it houses.
To do this we have to create a new folder or use an existing one. There we can save all the files we want. What we do is right click with the mouse on the folder, we give Properties, Advanced options and once we are inside we click Encrypt content to protect data.
We will automatically see that the files in that folder now have a small yellow lock . That tells us that they are encrypted. With this we will prevent another user with physical access to the computer and with another account, from reading the information.
Keep in mind that once we log in with our Windows account that file is decrypted. That is, if someone had access to our account, for example if we left the computer on without any lock, they could easily enter those files.
Create a password in a ZIP folder
Another option we have is to create a ZIP folder in Windows and add a password. This will allow any file that we store there to be protected. One more way to keep our privacy safe and not be exposed to possible intruders.
This time we are going to need to install the 7-Zip program , which is free. We can download it from its website and it is available for Windows. Once we have it down, you just have to follow a few steps.
What we are going to do is create a ZIP folder with the files that we want to protect. We have to open the program, we click Add the files that interest us and then a window like the one we can see in the image will appear. What interests us is the Password section.
From that moment on, the file we have created will be password protected. We can add as many files as we want. It is a very useful option to have everything protected in Windows 10.
Anvi Folder Locker
We can also install other external Windows programs to encrypt content. One of them is Anvi Folder Locker . It is a totally free application and very easy to use. The first thing to do is download the program and install it.
Once we have it installed, we simply have to create a folder where we will host all the files that we want to encrypt. Subsequently, you have to click with the right mouse button and select Anvi Folder Locker.
A new application window will automatically open and a box to put the password that we want (master key) and an e-mail to recover it in case we forget it. We must always put a password that is strong and secure, that has everything necessary to avoid intruders.
Once we have put the password that interests us, we will see that different options appear. We can make the folder remain hidden and encrypted, only hidden, only encrypted, with password, etc. We select the Password option.
As we can see, it will give us the choice between using the master password or a personalized one. From that moment, when trying to open that folder, it will ask us for the password that we have set. Without that password we will not be able to enter the folder and read the content.
Another external program that we can install for free on Windows is VeraCrypt . It is available for Windows, Linux, and macOS. It is one of the most useful and recognized applications for encrypting folders on your computer.
It has a large number of options, such as the possibility of creating virtual encrypted disks or encrypting partitions. However, for what we are interested in, which is to encrypt a folder, we will also be able to do it in a simple way.
Once we have it open, we simply have to select the file and go to the path that interests us. Later we click on Mount and a dialog box like the one we see in the photo below will appear, where we will have to put the password we want.
We will have to assign the size of that virtual hard disk that you are going to create to encrypt the files. That volume can be both normal and hidden. As we always recommend, it is important to create a password that is strong and complex. The goal is to reduce the risk that a potential intruder can gain access to the content we have stored.
In short, these are some options we have to encrypt files and folders in Windows 10. We have seen a series of free tools that we can install and also some features of the operating system. In this way we can prevent anyone from accessing those files that we want to keep safely.