How to encrypt or secure files in Windows Vista Home

Posted on 2007-11-16
Last Modified: 2013-11-08
My OS is Windows Vista Home running on a Gateway laptop.
There are some files that I want to restrict access to.  I think I want password encryption.  However, there may be some other way to accomplish what I need.  Please provide solutions.
Question by:rdaves
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • +1
LVL 63

Expert Comment

ID: 20300014
NOt sure if EFS ( encrypted File system ) is available on Vista, but  there are plenty of other solutions.

PGP and truecrypt are both free and allow you to set up password protected folders.

I hope this helps !
LVL 59

Accepted Solution

LeeTutor earned 250 total points
ID: 20300041
Well, unfortunately, neither Home Edition of Vista features EFS (Encrypted File System); only the Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions:

And apparently the built-in Vista zip file compression removed the WinXP capability of adding a password.  Also, I haven't found any Vista equivalent of XP's "Make private" option on personal folders.  I think you might have to settle for an add-on program of some sort.  Do a google search for encryption and password protection utilities, and you will find plenty of them, even for free; just make sure they are Vista compatible.
LVL 63

Assisted Solution

SysExpert earned 250 total points
ID: 20300054
Ransomware: The New Cyber Threat & How to Stop It

This infographic explains ransomware, type of malware that blocks access to your files or your systems and holds them hostage until a ransom is paid. It also examines the different types of ransomware and explains what you can do to thwart this sinister online threat.  

LVL 59

Expert Comment

ID: 20307513
rdaves, any feedback?

Author Comment

ID: 20307898
Lee Tutor
I found the software suggested by sysexpert (
Your input was also helpful.  I have been evaluating the truecrypt software for several days and have decided to register and purchase it to install on the laptop I have been working on that has Vista Home as an OS.

My desktop has the Vista Ultimate OS and has a feature Microsoft dubs as BitLocker drive encryption.  However, I cannot use this on my desktop because, so the software tells me, my computer needs to be properly partitioned.  And, even if it was properly partitioned, I still need to have a "TPM", whatever that is.  And if my computer does have a "TPM", all I have to do is contact the computer manufacturer for a "TPM" compatible BIOS.  

So, if I wanted to use this feature, I will have to call MSI and see if they have a "TPM" compatible BIOS for the motherboard I used when I built this computer.  Sounds pretty complicated and isn't part of this post, so I will do this offline at a later time, if at all.  

As soon as I submit this post, I shall award points to you and sysexpert.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31409589
The TrueCrypt software is a good solution.

Expert Comment

ID: 20568771
I was reading around about how to encrypt / password protect files and folders in Vista home editions this morning, and I stumbled across a site that gave information on how to do the same to files/folders in XP home edition using's program tweakui:

I just wanted to confirm that there isn't a comparable way to encrypt files on Vista home edition using their Vista counterpart, tweakvi.  I downloaded the basic (freeware) version, but couldn't figure out a way to use the software to allow the encryption function (Properties / General / Advanced / Encrypt contents to secure data) to work.  The only reason I  am double checking is that I figured that if there weren't a way to activate this function, the non-checkable box wouldn't appear in Vista home edition.  Thanks in advance for the help on this.


Author Comment

ID: 20569863
I have given up on trying to encrypt anything using Vista Ultimate.  As best I can figure it our, it isn't for me.  I found a dandy program at (  I have used this program on two computer and it works just fine.  I will "lock" files, "scramble' them or "encrypt" them.  Each choice ads to the amount of time required.  I have just used the "lock" feaature and like it.

Featured Post

U.S. Department of Agriculture and Acronis Access

With the new era of mobile computing, smartphones and tablets, wireless communications and cloud services, the USDA sought to take advantage of a mobilized workforce and the blurring lines between personal and corporate computing resources.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer” and an SSL certificate is a critical component to keeping your website safe, secured, and compliant. Any ecommerce website must have an SSL certificate to ensure the safe handling of sensitive information like…
Ransomware is a growing menace to anyone using a computer or mobile device. Here are answers to some common questions about this vicious new form of malware.
The Task Scheduler is a powerful tool that is built into Windows. It allows you to schedule tasks (actions) on a recurring basis, such as hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, at log on, at startup, on idle, etc. This video Micro Tutorial is a brief intro…
The Email Laundry PDF encryption service allows companies to send confidential encrypted  emails to anybody. The PDF document can also contain attachments that are embedded in the encrypted PDF. The password is randomly generated by The Email Laundr…

839 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question