There are a variety of ways to protect your folders with a password. Generally, there are two types of protection, one is to prevent & restrict others from viewing, altering or deleting your files, another is to encrypt your files with a password. Luckily there is a tiny software called Lock My Folders that combines such two types of protection flawlessly.
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Step 1: Set Password
Click here to download and install the Locke My Folders application on your computer. Before you can lock/encrypt your files, you have to set a password for Lock My Folders when you initially use it.
This password will be used to encrypt your files later on. You'll also need it every time you start the program. So make sure you set a password that is easy to remember, and NEVER forgot it.
Step 2: Create a Secure Folder
After starting the Lock My Folders program, click on Add button. In the popup window, type your desired folder name and specify the location where you would like your new secure folder to be created. In this example, I'll create a secure folder named PrivateFolder on my USB flash drive.
Once a secure folder is created, open the secure folder in Windows Explorer, and you can then copy all your sensitive or confidential files / folders into it, or create / edit a private file. The underlying kernel driver will encrypt all files in your secure folder on the fly before they're written back to the physical disk.
Your data is encrypted with AES (Military Grade) in real time, without any perceived performance loss. It's impossible to decrypt your files without knowing your password.
Step 3: Manage Your Secure Folders
After you finish working with the secure folder, you should lock it so it can't be accessed by others, especial if someone needs to use your computer temporarily. You can lock your secure folders from within the Lock My Folders program, or right-click on the secure folder from Explorer and select "Lock My Folder" from the context menu. Another quick way of locking all your secure folders is to shut down or restart your computer.
Before you can access the secure folder, you need to unlock it firstly. Just right-click on your secure folder and select "Unlock My Folder" from the context menu. It will prompt you to enter your password. Upon successfully verifying the password, the program will open the secure folder in Windows Explorer.
If you need to delete the secure folder, open the Lock My Folders program, select your folder from the protected list and click on Remove.
Step 4: Import Your Secure Folders
A computer can crash or freeze due to faulty hardware, corrupt registry or improper settings. If your Windows system won't start, you can still recover all your files in the secure folders.
Just remove your hard drive and then connect it to another working PC (or boot your PC from a Linux / WinPE Live CD and copy the secure folders to an external USB drive), install a new copy of the Lock My Folders program, set the SAME password for the program that you used on your corrupted computer.
After the Lock My Folders is launched, click on the Options icon from the top right corner of the main screen, and then select Settings.
Click on Import Secure Folder tab. Browse to your backup secure folder and click on Import. Close the Settings dialog. Now your imported secure folder should now appear in the main window of Lock My Folders. Unlock the secure folder and you can then access all files normally in it. That's all!