How to Password Protect A Folder : Step-by-Step Guide

If you are sharing your computer with others, then you might need to keep some critical data confidential. But, Windows 10 doesn’t include any method of password protecting the folders and files of the system.

So, if you want to keep your computer files secret from others, but unaware of how to password protect a folder, then you can follow the section hereunder carefully. 

How to Lock a Folder?

You can do this easily by using the combination of BitLocker and Virtual hard disk to protect the files and folders with a password. 

It will help you to keep the same password for all the files and folders and also provide extra security without much-complicated steps. Here’s how to password protect a folder

Create a Virtual Disk:

First of all, you have to create a virtual disk to perform this action. You can perform the below steps to create a virtual disk: 

Step 1: 

First of all, go to the Start menu and type “disk management” in the search bar. Hit the Enter key to open the Disk Management utility. 

Go to the Action tab and then tap on the ‘Create VHD’ option. Next, tap on Browse and choose the location where you want to save the virtual disk. 

Step 2: 

Enter the name of the drive. You can use the name like ‘folder_vault’. Next, tap on the Save button. After that, navigate to the ‘Virtual hard disk size’ category. Then, you have to select the space that you want to reserve for storage. 

Now, go to the ‘Virtual hard disk format’ section and click on the VHDX option. Thereafter, choose the ‘Dynamically expanding’ option so that the storage will expand as you save files. Tap on the OK button. 

Step 3: 

Now, right-click on the ‘Disk x’ option from the next page. Then, choose the ‘Initialize Disk’ option. Check the ‘Disk x’ box and choose the ‘MBR (Master Boot Record)’ option. Tap on the OK button to continue. 

Afterward, right-click on the ‘Unallocated space’ option and click on the ‘New Simple Volume’ button. Tap on the Next option. Now, set the volume size from the next page. Set it as the default settings and ap on the Next button once again. 

Step 4: 

Choose a letter for the new drive by clicking on the drop-down menu of ‘Assign the following drive letter’. Tap on the Next button and click on the drop-down button of the ‘File System’ option. Choose the NTFS option from the list. 

Afterward, choose the Default option by going to the ‘Allocation unit size’ drop-down menu. Type a name for the drive in the ‘Value Label’ field. Next, tick the box that prompts ‘Perform a quick format’. 

Step 5: 

Now, untick the ‘Enable file and folder compression’ box and tap on the Next button. Lastly, tap on the Finish button to complete the process. 

After creating the virtual hard disk, you can create a password-protected folder using BitLocker. 

Enable BitLocker on a Virtual Hard Disk: 

Now, you have to set up the BitLocker on the virtual hard disk. You can perform the below steps to do this: 

  • At first, go to the Start menu and open the Control Panel. Navigate to the ‘System and Security’ category. 
  • Tap on the ‘BitLocker Drive Encryption’ option and then tap on the ‘BitLocker Drive Encryption’ option. 
  • Click on the ‘folder_vault’ drive by going to the ‘Fixed data drives’ section. After that, tap on the ‘Turn on BitLocker’ option. 
  • Tick the ‘Use a password to unlock the drive’ box and create a password to protect the folder. Tap on the Next and then ‘Save to a file’ option. 
  • Now, choose the location where you want to save the recovery key and tap on the Save button. 
  • Then, tap on the Next button and choose the ‘Encrypt used disk space only’ option from the next page. 
  • Tap on the Next option and then choose the ‘Compatibility mode’ option. Tap on the Next button once again and then click on the ‘Start encryption’ option. 
  • It will start the encrypting process. Wait for a few seconds and once you complete the process, you can tap on the Close button. 

Once the BitLocker is enabled on the virtual disk, you can protect the files and folders with a password. 

Locking and Unlocking Files and Folders with Password

After creating the Virtual disk and configuring the BitLocker, you can perform the below steps to know how to lock and unlock the files and folders: 

How to Unlock Folders with Password? 

To access the files and folders that are protected with a password, you can use the steps stated below: 

  • First, open the File Explorer. Open the ‘folder_vault.vhd’ file. 
  • Click twice on the ‘VHD (VHDX) file and move it to File Explorer. 
  • Next, tap on the ‘This PC’ option from the left pane of the screen. 
  • Go to the ‘Devices and drives’ category and click twice on the drive. It will navigate you to the Sign-in page. 
  • Now, enter the password to unlock the drive where you have stored the files and folders. 
  • Lastly, tap on the Unlock button to complete the process. 

Note: If you are unable to remember the password, then you can tap on the ‘More options’ button and then click on the ‘Enter recovery key’ button. Then, enter the 48-digits recovery key in the text file that you have saved while setting up the BitLocker.

After executing the above steps, you will be able to open the important files and folders of your computer. 

How to Lock Folders with Password? 

After accessing the protected files, you can lock the drive once again by performing the steps as follows: 

  • In the beginning, open the File Explorer and then tap on the ‘This PC’ option from the left pane of the screen.  
  • Navigate to the ‘Devices and drives’ category and then right-click on the BitLocker drive.
  • Afterward, choose the ‘Eject’ option from the list. 

After doing this, the files and folders will remain protected and encrypted using the BitLocker password. 

Hopefully, after executing the above steps you will be able to protect the important files and folders of your computer with a password. To read more similar topics, you can follow our posts.

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