How to password protect folders in Windows

When sharing your computer with multiple people, it may be necessary to provide privacy for certain documents. There are different options to do this, depending on the version of the Windows operating system you have installed. Keep in mind that in addition to knowing the ways of password protect folders in Windows, You must also create different accounts for each person with whom you share the computer. That way you can control access to Windows programs and files.

Protect a folder with a password

If a password is used to protect a folder, in order to view the contents of that folder, the password must be entered. You also have the option to protect individual files. And they can be protected within the folder with password or when they are in a normal folder. The procedure in both cases is the same, for both folders and files.

Put a password to a folder in Windows 7

  • From Windows Explorer, go to the folder that you are going to protect with a password. Right-click on the folder.
  • Select the Properties option, found in the menu. You will be able to see a dialog box. In it, click on the General tab.
  • Click on the Advanced options option and then select Encrypt content to protect data. Then click OK. Your Windows username and password will be used.

  • Finally, double-click on the folder, to make sure you can access it.

Windows 8 and Windows 10

In this case, it is not possible use a password to protect a folder in Windows 8 or Windows 10. To be able to do this, you need to download third-party software. You also have the option of using a compressed folder. If you’re using third-party software, download it from a trusted site.

Compressed folder to protect a folder

If the version of Windows you have installed does not allow put passwords to a folder, Protecting a compressed folder with a password is a good solution. If you put all the files you want to protect in a zip file, you will be able to apply a password later.

  • From Windows Explorer, select and click on the files that you are going to put in a compressed folder.
  • Select the option Send to and then Compressed folder (zipped). Follow the instructions given by the program to name and save the file.
  • Right-click on the compressed file and select the File and Add password option. Enter the information requested by the program and click Apply.

Apply password to folder in Windows 10 with third-party software

In the case of Windows 10, in this version there is no option with which you can password protect a folder in the computer. In order to do so, you must use third-party software. However, there are options that can be found that are completely free. Some of these do not need to be installed on the computer, they are only copied into the folder that you are going to protect with a password.

Some of these options are the following:


This application is probably already installed on your computer. In case it is not, you can download the application and install it. You must first compress the file before you can assign it a password.

The steps are:

  • First, click on the file you are going to protect and select the Add to file option.
  • Next, you will see a window where you can configure the compression options for the file. One of these is if you compress in .ZIP or .RAR format. Choose the first option.
  • Now select the Advanced option and then Set password.
  • After you enter the password, click OK and in the main window, click OK again.
  • This will create the compressed file. In order to access its content, it will be necessary to enter a password. If you want, you can delete the file that is uncompressed.


This is another file compressor that has a large number of users. Like WinRAR, it also has an option to set a password on a folder. You can download this program and perform these steps to compress the folder:

  • Right-click on the folder, and then select the Add file option, among all those that are available.
  • Then you can directly enter the password in the main window, on the left side.
  • Please note that the password tool is only available for files with the extension .ZIP and .7Z.


This is an application that has been specially designed to protect files. It has among its characteristics:

  • It does not allow programs to be used to crack the password.
  • Protects files from malware attacks.
  • Makes the folder totally invisible.
  • You can protect files regardless of their size.

This is a program that is completely free, but has the disadvantage that it is not available in Spanish. When you have downloaded the program and installed it, you must enter the password you want to access the program. In addition, you will also have to enter your email address, in order to be able to recover the password in case you forget.

When you carry out this step, the program will open and to protect a folder, carry out the following steps:

  • Click on the Add option. This opens a window in which you must select the folder you want to protect.
  • You have the possibility to select the files you want from the list.
  • Note that when a folder or a file is added to the program, it disappears, that is, you can no longer see it.
  • You will not be able to see it or using the option to show hidden files in Windows.
  • To access the folder again, you have to select the Unlock option. This way, you will be able to see the folder again.

This is how you protect your files with this program, which is very simple and fast to use. In addition, it is also very safe.


With this program you can put the password to a folder in Windows 10. Download the program, which is completely free and you can use it indefinitely. Its features include:

  • There is no need to install it as it is an executable.
  • You can put separate passwords to each of the folders.

To apply the password to a folder, follow these steps:

  • When the program starts, a window opens where the password is entered.
  • To select the folder that you are going to protect, click on the folder button, which is located at the top right.
  • Then, click on the Protect option, and in this way the directory will be protected.
  • So that you can access the folder again, click on it again. The program will open again, so you can enter the access code.
  • When you finish working with the files that are inside the card, click on the Restore Protection option.

Encrypt or encrypt and put a password

You must take into consideration that putting a password is not the same as encrypting or encrypt. When you put a password, what you get is to protect the files or folders so that no one can access without permission. While encrypting is using an algorithm which will be the only language that can decrypt that file or document. In this case, not only one password applies.

There are tools to encrypt documents, such as AES Crypt, special encryption software that can be used on macOS, Linux and Windows operating systems. In addition, it is completely free and made in open source. The program makes it possible to encrypt or encrypt, and it is very easy to learn to use. The program is integrated into the menu and you just have to choose password you want to apply, to do the edit.

Hide a folder

How to password protect folders in Windows

This is another option to protect a folder, without having to apply a password. If it hides a folder or a file in Windows, it is not shown in the directory list, it can only be seen if the option of Do not show hidden files, folders or drives is not enabled. To hide a folder, and thus protect a file if you do not want to apply a password, follow these steps, in Windows 7, 8 and 10:

  • Right-click on the file or folder you want to hide and select the Properties option.
  • Then click on the General tab and then on the Attributes section, and check Hidden.
  • Click on Apply.

In the event that the file or folder continues to appear in the directory, you will need to enable the following option:

  • From Windows Explorer, click on the File tab.
  • Next, select Options and then click on the View tab.
  • In the Hidden files and folders option, then select the Do not show hidden files, folders or drives option.
  • To see the hidden files or folder again, you must perform the previous steps again. Click on the option Show hidden files, folders and drives.

While in Windows 8 and 10 Microsoft no longer allows password protect folders, there are different options that can be implemented to preserve the privacy of the files. These range from using a password protected zip folder. You also have the option to hide files and folders, so that they do not appear in the directory list.

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