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How to Encrypt folder without any Software on Windows?

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You can easily encrypt any folder on your Windows computer without using any external software.  It can be done by simply changing the properties of the folder. By creating a batch file, you can hide a folder and require a password to be entered before it becomes visible and accessible. This is a great tool for locking sensitive information, like pictures, financial statements, and a lot more.

Follow the below steps to encrypt a folder: 

  • Step 1: Select your folder which you want to encrypt and right-click on it and select properties. After clicking on properties, click on advanced in the General tab.

Click on the General tab

  • Step 2: Now after clicking on Advanced there will the two checkboxes under the Compress or Encrypt attributes section. Click on the second checkbox that is Encrypt contents to secure data and click on the OK option and click on Apply 

Select the encrypt contents to secure data checkbox

  • Step 3: A new pop-up appears. The first and second line confirms that we have decided to encrypt our folder. Now windows will give you two options:
  1.  You can encrypt all subfolders and files inside your folder.
  2. You can encrypt only the selected  folder but not the folders and files inside. 

Either option provides protection. However, the first one also encrypts the files and folders inside the selected folder, so it offers more protection. We’ll be selecting the second option to encrypt all our files and subfolders inside. You can select any one option of your preference 

Step 4: Now just click on the Apply button and OK to save the changes. Your folder is now successfully encrypted! 

Your folder’s name should be displayed in green as shown above. It means your folder is encrypted. Now let’s take a look at all the subfolders and files inside.

You can see that all my subfolders and files are also encrypted as I had selected the option to apply changes to all subfolders and files inside. Even the subfolders of folders 1,2,3 will be encrypted. Clicking on files or folders will open the files or folders as usual. However, the information inside is safe in case of any cyberattack.

Now let’s see how to decrypt your folder.

  • Step 1: Select the folder which you want to decrypt and right-click to select properties and click on Advanced in the General tab.
  • Step 2: Uncheck the checkbox to encrypt contents to secure data.

Uncheck the Encrypt contents checkbox

  • Step 3: Click on the OK and click on Apply.
  • Step 4: A new pop-up appears as shown below:

This dialog box confirms that you have selected to decrypt the folder. Again Windows will give two options:

  1. Apply changes to this folder
  2. Apply changes to this folder and all subfolders and files inside.

Here we are selecting the second option as earlier we had selected to encrypt all the subfolders and files.

  • Step 5: Click on the OK button after your selection and click on apply.

You can see that now my folder and its files are no longer protected by encryption.

We have successfully encrypted the desired files using the built-in Windows encryption feature. The encrypted files and folders can only be accessed by the user who encrypts the files and folders. Another user with a different profile cannot access the encrypted files and folders.  We should always remember not to join unidentified networks and not to click on unidentified links to stay secure.

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Last Updated : 17 Jan, 2021
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