Computer security has become a major issue for the average computer user, especially for those who share the a computer with others. If your organization provides the same computer for two or more employees, then it is your responsibility to make sure that your confidential documents or folders are well protected.
There are various options to lock folders in Windows with passwords. If you are using computers with latest operating systems such as Windows XP, Windows 7 or Windows 8, then the operating system offers in-built features to protect your files or folders with passwords.
How to Lock a Folder with a Password on Windows 7
If you lock a folder in Windows you will need to login as an administrator. You will also need to use this password to open the locked folders when prompted.
1. Right click the folder which you want to protect and click Properties to open a new window.
2. Click the Security tab to get a screen as shown below.
3. Click on Edit button and you will get a new screen as given below. Under Group or user names:, select the group or user from whom you wish to lock your folder.
5. Under Permissions for Users, check the Deny checkbox next to Full control and all remaining check boxes will be automatically checked.
6. Click Apply and OK buttons and you will get a warning message as given below.
7. Click Yes button and now your folder is locked for all specific users you selected. They will be able to unlock the folder only if they enter administrative password. You will be able to perform all the above steps only from an administrative login.
How to Lock a Folder using Command Prompt
You can lock folders without using any software; but just using command prompt. This method is really simple; but not completely secure. Technical experts can unlock and access your folder easily and quickly. Given below are few simple steps to lock your folder using command prompt.
1. Go to Start -> Run and enter cmd. Most of the time you will need to run cmd as an administrator.
2. Go to your parent folder or directory which contains the folder to be locked. To make it clearer, if the path to your folder (to be locked) is D:\MyFiles\Articles\ToBeSubmitted, then you will have to enter the commands D: and press enter to get to D drive. Then cd MyFiles to change directories to My files. Then cd Articles to change to the directory that contains the folder to be locked: ToBeSubmitted.
3. Now enter the command “cacls ToBeSubmitted /p everyone:n” and you will get a screen as given below. (Note that quotation marks are not required while entering). In this example the folder ToBeSubmitted is inside E:\TestFolder\Articles.
4. Enter “Y” for yes and now your folder is locked. If you try to access your folder you will get a warning message as given below.”You have been denied permission to access this folder”.
5. To unlock your folder, enter the command “cacls ToBeSubmitted /p everyone:f” in the command prompt. Now your folder is ready to use.