Locking folders means encrypting the files/folders and password protection to prevent unauthorized access and updates. In this article, I will cover how to lock folders on different versions of Windows 11.
- 1. How to Lock a Folder Using Encryption (for Windows 11 Pro Version)
- 2. How to Lock a Folder Using WinRAR Encryption (for Windows 11 Home Version)
- 3. How to Lock a Folder Using the Third-Party App
In Windows 11, we have various ways to protect a folder; all are easy if you follow the steps with concentration. Let’s check how we can do it:
Encryption is a built-in way in Windows 11 to protect files; in this case, no one would be allowed to access your locked files. For this, please ensure you’ve installed the Windows 11 Pro version as this process wouldn’t be possible on Windows 11 Home version:
Step 1: Navigate towards the folder you need to lock, and select Properties by right-clicking on it:
Step 2: Move to the Advanced button in the General tab:
Step 3: At the bottom of the Advanced Attribute screen, check the option “Encrypt contents to secure data” and click OK:
Step 4: Once you have checked the option, move to the Apply button and click it:
Once you do this, a message will appear to backup files at the moment or later: select backup now and set a strong password.
If you have installed Windows 11 Home in your system, then this process will be suitable for you. In such a case, you can use the WinRAR or 7-Zip tool:
Step 1: Download the WinRAR tool if you have not already installed it. Navigate the folder you want to lock; right-click on it and select WinRAR:
Step 2: In the WinRAR tab, check “Delete files after archiving” to delete the unlocked files automatically. Otherwise, you would have both locked and unlocked data of the same file:
Step 3: Then, move to the Set password button and click it:
Step 4: Set the strong password, check the Encrypt file names, and click OK:
Step 5: Let’s confirm if you’ve locked the archived folder successfully; move toward the location where the file is saved. You will see an archived folder there; double-click on it:
Enter the password and click the OK button to unlock it:
You can get numerous applications from the Microsoft Store to protect a folder in Windows 11; the choice depends on whether you go with free or paid apps.
Step 1: Open the Microsoft Store and search for the folder lock applications:
Check out the ratings before you select an application. If scroll down, you will see that Wise Folder Hider has a good rating and is also a free version. I will go with it; you can select any other as well:
Step 2: Select the Wise Folder Hider and click the Install button:
It will take time to finish downloading:
Step 3: After the successful installation, close the Microsoft Store, search the Wise Folder Hider in the start menu, and run as administrator:
Step 4: When you launch this application, the initial window will ask you to set the login password. Keep the password in a secure place, as this password will be used to access the folder while using this application:
Step 5: When you set the password successfully, the Wise Folder Hider screen will look like this:
Step 6: In the Hide File tab, you will see an option Hide Folder at the bottom of the screen; click on it to get the folder you want to hide. Browse it and click the OK button:
Step 7: The folder will be dragged into the app screen once you select it. Select the dropdown icon located at the right corner and hit Set Password:
Step 8: Set the password for this folder and click the OK button:
A prompt will appear to confirm that the password you typed has been set:
Now, you can close the application.
Whenever you want to access this folder, open the app and enter login credentials. In the next step, click on the folder and type the password you set previously for this folder.
Encrypting the important folders with password protection is necessary when you’re working with team members. It helps to prevent unauthorized access to that folder and restrict modifications. You can also protect personal files that may include personal records or images. Throughout this guide, we have learned various methods to protect a folder in Windows 11. No matter if you are using Windows 11 Pro or Windows 11 Home, both methods are covered above. You can also lock a folder using a third-party application.