Do you want to know how to password protect a folder in Windows 7? It’s not so easy, so let’s get to it and lock and put a password on some of the important folders on your disk. This method is free and fully works with Windows 7 x64!
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Password-protect, Lock, Encrypt Folder (for free!)
Actually it’s a bit more complicated to password protect files and folders in Windows 7 than you might think. The only good way I could think of is to encrypt your files, then everyone who wants to access your files first has to decrypt the files again. There are many fast encryption tools so that a decryption won’t take long. Of course this is only useful if you want to password-protect small files or folders. For largers files and folders, you will need some shareware tools (you will find a pretty decent one at the end of this post).
After some research, I found a handy free tool that allows you to protect and encrypt your files on Windows 7 x32 and x64 (yep, it’s compatible with 64-bit Windows):
Using WinGuard Pro
1. First start WinGuard Pro and click on “Encrypt a file, folder or drive”:
2. Next, browse to the folder or files that you want to password protect and set your password. For this example, I am password-protecting the folder “fraps”:
3. Voilà, now if you try to access the files inside the fraps folder you will notice that they all have the same file extension “.wg7″ and you will no longer be able to access them without this tool AND the password. I am not sure how strong this encryption is, but it should be pretty safe.
Don’t store sensitive data:
I recommend that you don’t use this to password-protect banking data or anything similar, because that would really be reckless. In general it’s a good idea to store no “important” data on any PC with an internet connection.
Looking for something more powerful?
You can always upgrade WinGuard Pro for a more powerful Windows 7 file encryption.
Need to password-protect large folders?
Another tool to lock files and folders or to encrypt them is “Folder Lock” (shareware). It can create locker which is useful for password-protecting larger folders (500MB+).
Many software utilities come with file encryption tools. You could for example try the great freeware tool Glary Utilities.