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blocking access to a folder on a win 10 pro desktop in a workgroup configuration

On a win 10 pro system in a workgroup. 1 user that is set as a local admin. There's a folder of archived info that we're trying to slow down anyone that sits at the machine from being able to view.

I had this set up some time ago and it was working to keep people out.  That is, when someone at the machine woudl click on the folder, it would say

You don't currently have permission to access this folder.  Click continue to permanently get access to this folder.

Clicking continue would get a message about

You have been denied access to this folder.

I realize this is not the highest tech security. I needed to add files to the folder so I manually changed the permissions for that 1 user account and regained access. Before adding that user back in, the only accounts having permission was the system account that had full access.

Now I can't seem to recreate the proper settings where clicking "continue" to that screen about "click continue to permanently get access to this folder" fails.

2 things

I would like to at least know what is needed to re-establish the denied message when trying to get access by clicking continue.  Yes, I realize this is not the most secure way to do things.

Hence, the 2nd thing

What is the simplest way on a Win 10 Pro OEM install in a workgroup for encrypting and promting for a password to access a folder and its contents?

thank you
* workgroupWindows OSWindows 10SBSWindows Networking

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8/22/2022 - Mon

Right click on the folder, Properties, Security and limit access to the senior administrator of the system. That will work.

Make sure "administrator" is disabled and make sure you are not using the System Account for security.

Make Mary the main administrator, log in as Mary and set folder security.

senior admin?  there's only 1 user on the machine. I guess I could create another user and give them the rights to the folder and not the 'usual' user, but I had it working with just 1 user account but forget how I did it?

Playing with this since I posted, if I set system as the owner, I get error messages when applying it, but that seems to get what I want - a denied when trying to quickly get access.

But want to see if shadowprotect will backup that folder (hence the interest in having system having full access?). If no one at all has access, shadow protect will also be blocked?

No. If there is one user named (say Mary) that is the one, only and senior administrator.

Now to limit authority to folders, you must have another user. You should never limit authority to yourself.
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What you probably want to do is set up a regular user account for you to use.

Then log in as the administrator (Mary here) and restrict the folder from the regular user. Regular user will not be able to access. Log in as Mary to change permissions.

Right or wrong it seems if you assign owner to system and limit permissions to system, I get what I'm looking for, which is keeping non techs out of the folder

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