How to Password Protect a Folder on Windows 11

Setting a password for your confidential folder on Windows 11 is very easy. And there are three different ways to do it. It’ll only take you a few minutes.

Hey, my name is Megan! I’m a heavy Microsoft Windows user and recently I’ve upgraded my desktop to Windows 11. I have handled a lot of files and folders that are encrypted for data protection purposes.

In this article, I’m going to show you three different ways to encrypt your folders on Windows 11, along with some important tips and tricks you should know in order to save time.

Keep reading and learn how.

First Thing First: Check Which Windows 11 Edition You Are Using

Before you set password to protect your folders, do remember to check which Windows 11 edition you are using, Home or Pro? Because it matters what method you can use to encrypt your folder. 

If you don’t know how to check which edition you are using, check out the steps below first. And then you’ll be able to decide which method you should choose.

Step 1: Press Windows + I keys to run the Settings app, navigate to the System menu on the left side and find About at the bottom on the right side.

Step 2: Scroll down to Windows specifications and you will see what edition you are using.

Now you already know which edition is on your computer. Note that if you are using Windows 11 Home like me, you’re only able to encrypt your folders with the Method 1 & 2 below. If your PC system is Windows 11 Pro, you can use any of the three methods below.

Method 1: Use Windows 11 Built-in WinRAR

This method is suitable for both Home and Pro editions. And there is no limit for character types when setting password.

Step 1: Right-click the folder you want to protect. Navigate to WinRAR and put your cursor on it, then choose Add to archive.

Step 2: Set the Archive format that you want, and click Set password.

Step 3: Enter the password and reenter it for verification, then choose OK. The window will close automatically.

Step 4: Now you go back to the Archiving window, click OK and you’re all set.

While others try to extract this WinRAR archive, the Enter password window will pop up. They only can extract the folder by entering the password you set. So don’t forget to let them know the password.

Bear in mind that WinRAR is not freeware. If it asks you to pay and you don’t want to pay for it, Go for Method 2 or Method 3 below.

Method 2: Use a Third-Party Tool

There are a lot of tools for password protecting a folder. My favoriate one is Encrypto. It has a simple and friendly interface and best of all, it’s free.

Here is how to use this program.

Step 1: Download Encrypto and install install it on your Windows 11 PC. Then double-click the icon to launch it.

Step 2: Click the + icon of the folder that you want to password protect.

Step 3: Then enter a password in the indicator box. And click Encrypt.

(I’m using my folder Tools – Copy as an example.)

Step 4: Click the Save As button.

Step 5: Select a path where you want to save your folder. Edit your folder name and click Save.

(I chose to save it to desktop.)

Step 6: Done. Now I can find my encrypted folder on desktop.

When someone tries to open this encrypted folder, this window will pop up and ask them to enter the password.

Method 3: Encrypt in Folder Properties

This method is only suitable for Windows 11 Pro edition. If you’re a Windows 11 Home user, you’ll find the encryption button is greyed out.

Before you start, make sure you are running the system as an administrator, otherwise you can’t perform this operation. 

With this method, you can choose to encrypt only one folder or its subfolder & files.

Step 1: Find the folder you want to encrypt and right-click on it. Click Properties on the dropdown menu.

Step 2: Under the General tab, click Advanced.

Step 3: Check “Encrypt contents to secure data” and click OK. Then the Advanced Attributes window will close automatically and you will go back to the General tab.

You may also check this video for more information.

Final Words

I hope this tutorial has helped you successfully set a password to protect your folder on Windows 11. Once again, just make sure to check your Windows 11 edition before encrypting, so that you’ll know which method you should use.

Now it’s your turn. I’d love to know which method works best for you? Are there any other better ways to get the job done? Leave a comment and let me know!

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