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
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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 !
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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.
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Assisted Solution

SysExpert earned 250 total points
ID: 20300054
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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.

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