How to Password Protect a Folder or File in Windows 11/10

If you have some files to which you feel you only should have access, then locking those files with a password could be the easiest way to bring out peace of mind. Whether you are hiding files from someone or just trying to keep some privacy on a shared machine with your family, locking the files could help. Here’s how you can Password Protect a File Folder in Windows 11 and Windows 10.

Password Protect a Folder or File in Windows 11/10

You can use any of the methods to lock the folder. It is recommended to lock a folder than a file. It will ensure you can safeguard multiple files that way.

  1. Windows Native Method
  2. Command-Line or PowerShell Method
  3. LocK-A-FoLdeR
  4. Folder Lock
  5. Folder Protector
  6. Quick File Locker

For some of these methods, you will need admin permission.

1] Windows Native Method

Windows Password Protect Folder

  • Open the File Explorer and navigate to the folder you want to Lock.
  • Select the folder and make a right-click; from the drop-down, select Properties.
  • Under the General tab, click on the Advanced button.
  • Now select the checkbox stating Encrypt Contents to Secure Data and click on Apply.
  • Here, Windows will now ask you to choose whether you want to lock the folder or the folder with all the contents.
  • Once done, if this is the first time, Windows will ask you to make a backup of the password key, and then you’re good to go.

2] Command Prompt  or Windows Terminal or Windows Powershell

Password Protect Folder File Windows using cmd

Cacls is a utility in Window which displays or modifies discretionary access control lists (DACL) on specified files. You can use it on folders and files to restrict access by other users.

  1. Launch the Command Prompt or the Windows Powershell or Windows Terminal
  2. Type in the below-mentioned code in the command line, where n represents: Access to None, <Folder Path> is the folder’s location.
cacls <Folder Path> /P everyone:n

3. Now, to unlock the folder, type in the below-mentioned code in the command line, where f represents: Right to Full Access, <Folder Path> is the folder’s location.

cacls <Folder Path> /P everyone:f

3] LocK-A-FoLdeR

Password Protect Folder File Windows using Folder Lock

LocK-A-FoLdeR is a lightweight and easy-to-use application that allows users to hide/lock up any folders on Windows, making them hidden and unavailable to anyone but yourself. Once you create a master password, all you need to do is select the folder(s) you would like to hide and click a button to make them vanish. To unlock a folder, enter your Password and select the folder that you want to unlock.

A locked folder on a previous version cannot be unlocked on a newer version, which may be a bummer for some people.

Download LocK-A-FoLdeR

4] Folder Lock

Password Protect - Folder Lock

Another Free software on the list, Folder Lock, allows users to Lock and Password Protect the data from unwanted access and visibility by blocking access to the files, folders, drives, and programs. It has an easy-to-use and understands user interface, which allows single-click data protection straight from the Menu. With Folder lock, users can encrypt their files using 256-bit military-grade encryption technology and lots more.

There is a limitation with Folder Lock; only files sized less than 4GB can be locked or encrypted.

Download Folder Lock

5] Folder Protector

Password Protect Folder File Windows using Folder Protector

Kakasoft’s Folder Protector is a portable folder lock application with password protection, which helps in protecting folders, files, or even drives on a Windows OS. It also supports 256-bit on-the-fly AES Encryption technology to encrypt the files and folders and keep your data secure. With Folder Protector, you are just a few clicks away from preventing your essential data from being viewed or even deleted.

In the free version, the software won’t allow you to change or update your login password.

Download Folder Protector

6] Quick File Locker (Standalone EXE Locker)

Quick File Locker, one of the fastest ways to protect files and documents. The application allows users peace of mind by locking, hiding, and encrypting sensitive data. It is effortless to use; all one needs to do is just a simple drag and drop or make a right-click on file/folder in the File Explorer. Quick File Locker can also run in Stealth-mode, which could also lock data in safe mode.

The limitation with Quick File Locker is that the screen has to be clicked several times and at a specific point to open the prompt to provide your credentials.

Download Quick File Locker

How Can I Password Protect a Folder in Windows Without the Software?

With Windows 11/10, Microsoft allows users to lock, and Password protects a File Folder using the Properties. In case you are wondering How to do it, check out our guide mentioned above.

How Do I Password Protect a Drive in Windows 11/10?

It can be done via the Bitlocker. Head over to File Manager and make a right-click on the drive you want to lock; from the drop-down menu, select Turn on Bitlocker, and you are good to go.

How Do I Encrypt a File With a Password?

While there are multiple methods out there to do so, you could follow any of the software mentioned above to accomplish the task of encrypting a file with a password.

Yash Jain
A long-standing Windows fan, Photographer, and Tech Enthusiast who loves to write about Smartphones and Technology.


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