Password protect a folder on Windows
You wish to know how to password protect a folder on windows? Basically, you can take two "paths": use solutions that allow you to encrypt files and folders by creating volumes (this is the most "complex" operation to perform, but also the most effective) or create a compressed archive to be accessed with a previously set password (rather quick operation to implement, but a little less secure). Let's take a closer look at both solutions.
If you have opted for the creation of encrypted volumes (which you can open and modify as if they were USB sticks or external hard drives), it is impossible not to think about VeraCrypt, a very famous open source and multi-platform software available not only for Windows, but also for macOS and Linux: let's see together how to use it.
First, you need to download VeraCrypt on your PC: connect, therefore, to its official website and then click on the link VeraCrypt Setup x.xx.exe located at the icon of Windows. Once the download is complete, start the file .exe just downloaded and complete the installation of the program following the procedure shown on the screen: click on the button Yes, check the box I accept the license terms, click here Next twice in a row and then press on install, OK, Finish e No.
After installing and starting the program, click on the item Language… from the menu Settings, select the option cityno from the list of available languages and click on the button OK. Now you can finally proceed with the creation of the protected volume: click on the button Create a volume…, check the item Create a crypto file (actually it should already be checked), click on the button NEXT, select the voice Standard VeraCrypt volume (it should also be selected by default) and then click the button again NEXT.
At this point, click on the button Select file ..., choose the folder in which to save the new volume you are creating, type the name of the latter in the appropriate text box and click on the buttons Save e NEXT. Now you will be asked to select the encoding and confusion algorithms: if you wish, you can leave the options set by default (the encoding algorithm BEA and the confusion algorithm SHA-512), click on your button NEXT, indicate the maximum size you want your volume to have by selecting the unit of measurement you prefer (eg. KB, MB, GB o TB) and then writing the amount of memory in the appropriate text field and then click on the button NEXT to go to the next step.
Now you need to create a secure password to use for protecting your volume by entering it in the text fields Password e Confirmation and then clicking on the button NEXT to go to the last step: choose the file system to use for the encrypted volume you are creating by selecting, then, one of the options available in the drop-down menu File System (Eg. FAT: o NTFS).
When making this choice, take into account the files you are going to archive: if, for example, you want to protect very large files (videos, photos, etc.), the best choice could be NFTS; while if you do not have the need to store very large files, you can safely leave FAT: (the option set by default, which however has a limit of 4GB per file). Also take into account the platforms on which you intend to use the encrypted volume: if you want to create a volume that can be used without problems on Windows and macOS without the 4GB per file limit, select the file system exFAT. As soon as you have selected the file system that best suits your needs, click the button Format and, finally, on the buttons OK ed Logout.
Compliments! You have completed the creation of the encrypted volume. To access it, select one of the drive letters among those indicated in the main VeraCrypt window (eg. A:, B:, G:, H:, I:, etc.), click on the button Select file ... located at the bottom right and select the encrypted archive you created just now.
Then click on the button Monta, type the password you set when creating the volume in the text field Password and click on the button OK. If everything went well, you will be able to see the drive icon created with VeraCrypt in the section What PC Windows (or computer o Computer resources, if you are using an older version of the operating system): double-click on the drive letter you chose earlier and manage the files inside the volume just like you would with a normal external hard drive or USB stick.
Once you have finished your work, then remember to "unmount" the volume: go to the main VeraCrypt window, select the chosen drive and click on the button Disassemble. Più facile di così ?!
Another solution you can take to password protect folders on Windows is 7-Zip, famous program for the creation of archive compressi (if you remember, I already told you about it in the tutorial where I explain how to create zip archives), thanks to which you can set a password to protect your documents.
To download 7-Zip on your PC, connect to the program's website and click on the link Download located in correspondence with the wording .exe 64-bit x64 o .exe 32-bit x86 (based on your PC OS version). Once the download is complete, start the file .exe just downloaded and complete the setup by clicking on the buttons Yes, install e Close.
At this point, locate the folder you want to protect, right-click on its icon and select the item 7-Zip> Add to archive ... from the menu that opens. In the window Aggiungi all'archivio, proceed to create the archive: select 7z o zip from the menu Archive format (the other available options do not allow you to protect folders with a password); type the secure password you want to use to protect the folder in the text fields Enter password e Re-enter password, select the voice AES-256 give menu to tendin Crittographic method and, finally, check the item Crittography and nomi dei files and then click the button OK.
Once the procedure is complete, double-click on the newly created archive to open it, enter the password to extract it and check that all the files are there. Then you can proceed with deleting the "original" folder containing your personal files: press the button Shift, right click on the icon of the folder to delete, select the item Delete from the menu and then click the button Yes to complete the procedure.
Password protect a folder on macOS
You want to know how to encrypt a folder on macOS, the operating system of Apple computers? In this case, in addition to resorting to third-party solutions (such as VeraCrypt, which I already told you about in the previous chapter), you can use the function Disk Utility present by default on the computers of the "bitten apple". Let me explain in detail how to proceed.
To encrypt folders with Disk Utility, start the latter on macOS: then go to the Launchpad (the rocket icon located on the Dock), open the folder Other and then click the icon of Disk Utility (the one depicting a hard disk with a stethoscope). Now you have to proceed with the creation of an encrypted volume in which you will then go to save all the files and folders to be password protected.
Then click on the item Fillet present in the menu bar (top left), click on the item New image and then Empty Image .... In the pane that opens, use the options available to create the encrypted volume: in the fields Save as e Your name type the name you want to assign to the volume; click on the drop-down menu located in to select the location to save the volume; indicates in the field Sizes the size you want to assign to the archive; select the item Mac OS extended (journaled) give menu to tendin Size; select the item Single Partition - Apple Partition Map from the menu Partitions; select the item Sparse Bundle disk image from the menu Image format and then select the item 128-bit AES from the menu Encode.
Then enter the password you want to encrypt the volume with in the field Password, type one more time into the text field Verifica and finally click the buttons Choose, Save e end. Now, go to the location where you saved the encrypted folder, open it by double clicking on it, type the password you set in the appropriate box, click the button OK And that's it.
The encrypted volume will be opened in the Finder and you can manage it just like you would with a "classic" external hard drive or USB stick. Of course, when you have finished using it, remember to "unmount" the encrypted volume by right clicking on its icon on the desktop and selecting the item Eject from the menu that opens (or, if you prefer, by clicking on the symbol of arrow pointing up located in the Finder sidebar, corresponding to the encrypted volume).
The macOS Disk Utility feature didn't satisfy you and you would like to resort to VeraCrypt? No problem, since this software is also available for macOS.
Before guiding you in the actual installation of VeraCrypt, however, I must explain how to install the application FUSE, necessary for the correct functioning of the program. To install FUSE, linked to this page, click on the icon FUSE for macOS xxx located at the top right and wait for the download to complete.
When the download is complete, open the file you just downloaded, double-click the icon FUSE for macOS, pigia sul pulsating Continue, click the button two more times in a row Continue, Then Accept, Continue e Install, type your Mac password when prompted to do so, click the button Install software and then on the buttons OK e Open Security & Privacy System Preferences located in the window Installing FUSE for macOS. Finally, click on the button Allow located at the bottom and click on the buttons Close e Move (always in the window Installing FUSE for macOS).
Now, you are finally ready to proceed with the actual installation of VeraCrypt: click here to connect to the program download page, click on the link VeraCrypt_x.xx.dmg and wait for the file to download to your computer. When the download is complete, open the file you just downloaded, double-click the icon VeraCrypt_Installer.pkg and follow the guided procedure to complete the installation of the program: click twice on the button Continue, Then Accept e Install, enter your computer password and, finally, click the buttons Install software, Close e Move.
Now you just have to start VeraCrypt by clicking on its icon (present both in the Launchpad than in the folder Applications macOS) and use it following the instructions I gave you in the previous chapter (the one on Windows). Apart from the wording (which on VeraCrypt for macOS are in English), the operation of the software is almost identical to the version of VeraCrypt for Windows.
Password protect a folder on Android
You would also like to password protect folders on your device Android? No problem, all you have to do is contact one of the many file managers that integrate the folder encryption functionality, call up this function, use a secure password and that's it.
One of the most popular file managers that allow you to protect folders with the use of a password is Solid Explorer File Manager, which costs € 1,99 (you can try the app for free for 14 days). After downloading and starting Solid Explorer on your device, scroll through the information sheets to learn how it works (by pressing the button Following), check the item I accept the license agreement and presses on the voice Done.
Then grant the app the permissions it requires to work, locate the folder you want to encrypt, make a long tap on it and then press the button (⋮) located at the top right and then press on the item Crypt from the menu that appears. Then type the password you want to use to protect the folder selected in the fields Password e Repeat the password and then tap on the item Crypt to save these changes.
From this moment on, to access the encrypted folder it will be necessary to enter the password just set. Did you see how easy it was to use Solid Explorer File Manager? If you want to learn more about the topic and want more information on how to protect a folder on Android, read the tutorial I published on the subject.
Password protect a folder on iOS
You want to protect the folders on your iPhone or your iPad? I'm sorry, but at the moment on iOS it is not possible to directly encrypt folders on the device memory, despite Apple having introduced the Files app on iOS 11.
To overcome these limitations on the mobile operating system of the Cupertino giant you can resort to some third-party solutions, such as Private Photo Vault which allows you to create "virtual safes" in which to insert photos and videos to be protected with a secure password. To block access to apps by entering a password, however, you must necessarily subject your device to jailbreak (which I do not recommend doing, especially if your device is still protected by the warranty).
If you are interested in having more information on how to proceed, please consult the insights in which I explain in detail how to hide files on iOS and how to hide apps on iOS. I am sure these readings will be very useful to you.How to password protect a folder