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How to Password Protect Folders in Windows Vista

written by: Mark Muller•edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 5/17/2011

In this third article of the How to Password Protect-series you will be shown your options if you want to Password Protect Folders in Windows Vista.

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    Windows Vista Password Folder Protection

    As explained in the 2nd part of this series do Windows operating systems including Vista no longer incorporate regular password protection for folders. In this article you will be shown what you can do if you run Windows Vista.

    On a Windows based computer each user should have his or her own Windows account thereby ensuring that all his data are private by default. This often eliminates the need for password protecting local folders, unless the user wants to share data on his or her local computer while exercising some access control.

    Unless an application level password (e.g. Excel) protects your data or the data is encrypted your computer administrator or a member of the administrators group, will always be able to overcome a password restriction as explained in Bright Hub’s article How to Take Ownership of System Files / Folders and Grant Permissions in Windows 7 & Windows Vista (URL in reference section).

    If you want to rule out that an administrator reads the content of a folder with native Windows methods then you have to encrypt it and secure your key with a password. To see how to use Windows Encrypting File System (EFS) check out Bright Hub’s article How to use EFS in Windows Vista (URL in reference section).

    As there is no such as tool as Private Folder for Windows XP, but you may want to try Folder Lock reviewed by Bright Hubs article Folder Lock: Password Protection & File Encryption, or google for a utility convenient to you.

    Alternatively, create a password protected compressed ZIP or RAR archive as explained in the next part of this series for Windows Vista and Windows 7.

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    The Bottom Line

    Try to use the standard Windows authentication and security method explained in How To Password Protect Folders in Windows XP whenever possible; only if you cannot achieve your goals by standard means resort to a workaround described in this article.

    If you opt for encryption make sure you don’t lose the encryption key AND remember your password; otherwise your data is definitely lost. Here’s how to password protected folders in Windows XP. Find you how to password protect a DVD in the next article of this series.

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    Reference

    How to Take Ownership of System Files / Folders and Grant Permissions in Windows 7 & Windows Vista:

    http://www.brighthub.com/computing/smb-security/articles/35997.aspx

    How to use EFS in Windows Vista:

    http://www.brighthub.com/computing/smb-security/articles/31374.aspx

How to Password Protect Folders and other Objects in Windows

Windows systems no longer offer standard password protecion for folders, but in this series you will be shown alternative ways of how to password protect folders in Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. On top of that will you be taught how to password protect Flash drives, DVDs or network shared folders
  1. Protecting Network Shared Folders with Passwords
  2. How To Password Protect Folders in Windows XP
  3. How to Password Protect Folders in Windows Vista
  4. How to Password Protect a DVD
  5. How To Password Protect Flash Drives