How to password protect a folder in Windows 11

Loredana Harsana
by Loredana Harsana
Windows & Software Expert
Loredana is a passionate writer with a keen interest in PC software and technology. She started off writing about mobile phones back when Samsung Galaxy S II was on top of the world and... Read more
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  • Even with all fresh news regarding the new OS security improvements, users still want to know how to password protect a folder in Windows 11.
  • If you share your PC with other people, it is safer to protect certain data with a password.
  • There is a way to achieve your goal when it comes to simple files or even entire folders by using your OS settings.
How to password protect a folder in Windows 11
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One of Windows 11’s top-selling points is improved security, according to Dave Weston, the director of enterprise and operating system security at Microsoft. That’s what he revealed:

Microsoft has a clear vision for how to help protect our customers now and in the future and we know our approach works. We are announcing Windows 11 to raise security baselines with new hardware security requirements built-in.

The plan for Windows 11 is to get rid of passwords completely and move on to a zero-trust framework.

And even though this is great news for Windows users, there might still be cases where you still need to password protect your files, especially if you share a computer with others.

From photos, videos, and texts to entire folders, the new OS does offer a tool for data encryption and in this article, we’ll show you how to use it and protect your files from the prying eyes of others.

How can I password protect my folders in Windows 11?

1. Use the Properties settings

  1. Right-click on the file you want to protect and select Properties from the drop-down menu.Folder - Properties
  2. A window will open. Here, click on Advanced.Folder - Properties - Advanced
  3. Tick the box next to Encrypt contents to secure data and then click OK.Encrypt contents to secure data
  4. After you click on Apply, a pop-up will open asking you if you want to back-up your file. Make your selection and the pop-up will close.
  5. If you are encrypting a folder, you will be asked to choose whether you want all folders within that directory to be password protected. When you’ve decided, click OK.choose which files to encrypt
  6. Your folder is now password-protected by your account as you can see by the little padlock symbol. Note that if you ever add new content to that folder, it will automatically be encrypted too.
Note icon
NOTE
Since the files were encrypted under your username and they’re tied to your Windows account, they are protected only if someone were to log in with another account on your device. If someone gets access to your account, the password will not kick in.

If you wish to have more control over a folder, the easiest method of password protecting a file is to archive it under an encrypted password and the tool recommended for the job would be WinZIP.

It is safe to say that using dedicated software to protect your data is a far better choice. If you are interested in other folder and file locker tools, you should take a look at our article.

Regardless of whether you want to hide your secret folders and files with the help of encryption software or secure them using your operating system, a secure password is key, so here are some tips:

  • Choose a password with at least ten characters. However, the length is only useful if it is not always the same number or an easily recognizable character string.
  • Combine upper and lower case letters, numbers and (if permitted) special characters. Avoid combinations that are too simple, for example, do not combine simple words or your pet’s name with your date of birth.
  • Use the first letters of a sentence – for example a sentence you use often or from the book you are reading now, and combine it with the current date. The advantage here is that you can easily link the letters and numbers to a story and thus remember the password in the long term.

What method do you prefer to use in order to protect your files on your devices?

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