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how can I password protect individual folders within Windows 7 SP1?

Posted on 2015-02-15
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Last Modified: 2015-02-21
Hello and Good Evening Everyone,

            I wish to password protect certain folders on my main computer running Windows 7 SP1.  With that goal in mind, how may I go about doing this?  Or, will I need a 3rd party program to password protect individual folders on the hard drive?  

            Any shared input to this question will be greatly appreciated.

            Thank you

            George
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Question by:GMartin
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14 Comments
 
LVL 50

Assisted Solution

by:jcimarron
jcimarron earned 50 total points
ID: 40611463
GMartin--
7Zip should be the answer.  Details here
http://www.sevenforums.com/general-discussion/334042-password-protect-folder-windows-7-home-premium.html

Sadly TrueCrypt is no longer functioning.
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LVL 90

Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 50 total points
ID: 40611466
Another solution is to move the folders to a place where a Standard User cannot access. Now make a Standard User Windows Account that users (not you) use. Log off when done with your computing so that other users must log on as standard and then not be able to access your private folders.
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LVL 47

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by:
dbrunton earned 250 total points
ID: 40611476
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 40611477
Hello

             Thanks so much for the replies.  Incidentally, where will I need to go to download 7Zip?

              George
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 40611482
HI

         Oh, just one more important detail left out here.  The folders contain uncompressed or regular files.  Will I still be able to use 7Zip to password protect them?

          Thanks

          George
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LVL 47

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by:dbrunton
dbrunton earned 250 total points
ID: 40611485
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LVL 23

Assisted Solution

by:NVIT
NVIT earned 50 total points
ID: 40611490
Built-into Windows 7 Pro and up is Encrypting File System (EFS)... is a powerful tool for encrypting files and folders on client computers and remote file servers. It enables users to protect their data from unauthorized access by other users or external attackers.


http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/encrypt-decrypt-folder-file#1TC=windows-7

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc721923(v=ws.10).aspx

How to Encrypt Files on Windows using Encrypting File System (EFS)
http://www.tomsguide.com/us/encrypt-files-windows,news-18314.html
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LVL 37

Assisted Solution

by:Bing CISM / CISSP
Bing CISM / CISSP earned 50 total points
ID: 40611509
> 7Zip should be the answer.

this is a kind of password protection, but it needs to extract individual or all files/folders every time you need them, which can be time consuming if the files are large. it also needs addtional temporary space for unzipping the files.

> Another solution is to move the folders
to a place where a Standard User cannot
access.

this way works if you could make sure the computer is always on, or in other words, you don't care about physical access to the computer. as the files are not encrypted on the file system of the computer, anyone could read it once the person has physical access to the computer's hard disk, e.g. removing the HD and attaching it to another computer will allow everyone to see any files on the drive, though the NFTS based drive does have some permissions applied when the its OS is up.

EFS should be workable in this situation. If the files are encrypted in an EFS applied folder, then only the current user (the owner who created the EFS folder and saved files) is able to access the files. physical access to the HD does not work as the files are encrypted bit by bit on the HD.

if other users also want to access the files, they can be readable or writable via a network share once a place-holder account (not the owner's accout, the same kind of account that John recommended above) is also allowed to access the files under certain NTFS permissions.

for more information about EFS, see below.

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc700811.aspx
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Assisted Solution

by:Maclean
Maclean earned 50 total points
ID: 40611550
If on a domain I suggest to create a security group for your data, and have your own share for this data, rather than making a spiders web full of individual NTFS permissions on sub folders.

If on a local workstation and you wish to hide private information, perhaps try out "Lock A Folder" from the Google Code site, which still works for Windows 7 (Abandoned after this)

https://code.google.com/p/lock-a-folder/
0
 

Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 40619530
Hello and Good Afternoon Everyone,

             I sincerely apologize for the delay in responding to this post.  After doing some additional research on YouTube, I found a video which demonstrates how to password protect any folder on a system running Windows 7 using a simple batch file.  I have tried out this batch file and it does work.  While it certainly achieves my goal, I do want to make sure it is safe and does not pose any kind of threat or security issues with my pc.  With that in mind, would someone mind going over the actual code of this batch file?  The code within it is as follows:

cls
@echo off
title Folder Locker
IF EXIST "Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B303­­09D}" GOTO UNLOCK
IF NOT EXIST Locker GOTO MDLOCKER
echo Folder Created.
:CONFIRM
echo Are you sure you want to lock the folder? (Y/N)
set/p "cho="
IF %cho%==Y GOTO LOCK
IF %cho%==y GOTO LOCK
IF %cho%==N GOTO END
IF %cho%==n GOTO END
echo Invalid Choice.
GOTO CONFIRM
:LOCK
ren Locker "Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B303­­09D}"
attrib +h +s "Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B303­­09D}"
echo Folder Locked.
GOTO END

:UNLOCK
echo Enter password to unlock the Folder :
set/p "pass="
IF NOT %pass% == YourPassword GOTO FAIL
attrib -h -s "Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B303­­09D}"
ren "Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B303­­09D}" Locker
echo Folder Unlocked Successfully.
GOTO END
:FAIL
echo Invalid Password!
GOTO END

:MDLOCKER
md Locker
echo Folder created.

GOTO END
:END
PAUSE

Thanks so much in advance for any further attention given to this post.  I look forward to reviewing everyone's shared thoughts regarding this batch file obtained from YouTube.

George
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 40619610
That isn't a password protected folder.

What the batch file is doing is hiding the folder from Windows Explorer.  Most normal users wouldn't know it is there.  An experienced user would be able to find it if he was aware there was a hidden folder.

This is also the same solution I posted above at http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/Windows_7/Q_28617508.html#a40611476
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Maclean
ID: 40619638
Have you tried the lock a folder app as per earlier comment? Or the other suggestions from others to get a 3rd party app perhaps?
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 40623469
Hello and Good Afternoon Everybody,

               Technically speaking, everyone actually answered my question.  As such, this is a tough one because of my need to always be fair to the people who are instrumental in the resolution of my question.  I hope that I was fair enough in the allocation of points that were split up.

               With respect to what was used and worked for my needs,  I utilized the batch file outlined in the link given by dbrunton which was fully displayed in one of my follow up questions.  The other members of my household are average users of the computer.  Therefore, the steps carried out will be sufficient for privacy of specific folders and files.  

               Thanks again for the feedback.

               George
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40623487
Thanks George. I am always happy to help you.
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