If you need to hide your personal data from prying eyes, select one of the presented solutions. These simple tools are designed to protect your files and folders with a password. Some of them offer additional options, such as various security modes, assigning access to particular users, and setting various passcodes for different folders.
Works with external drives
Sets various passwords for different files, protects external drives
Protected Uninstall feature, allows managing a protected folder
Windows 10, 8, 7, Server 2008, Vista, 2003, XP
Locks any number of folders, needs no services to keep your folders hidden
Keeps protecting data in safe mode, operates in stealth mode
Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP
Multiple levels of protection, exclude list, saves files after a malicious attack
Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP, 2000
Folder Guard hides your files and folders and allows using individual passwords for selected directories. Choose to protect particular types of files, like JPG images, and specify exceptions to the rules to allow access to the user accounts registered on your PC. To prevent accidental changes to your system settings, disable access to Control Panel commands. This solution offers a trial version available for 30 days. The licence costs $39.95 and can be used on 2 computers.
- Sets different passwords for different files and folders
- File modification restriction mode
- Protects access to network drives, folders and files
- Comes with the Stealth mode
- Supports hotkeys
- Protects external drives
- Works great with Windows Explorer
- Allows recovering data if you forgot your password using a free third-party tool
- Secures certain types of files
- Very lightweight
- Might take a while to get a reply to your email
- Expensive phone support service
It allows users to lock files and folders by adding them to the list and unlock the selected items with just one click. You can modify the password and enable the program to launch at the Windows startup. SecretFolder prevents anyone from getting access to your data by uninstalling the solution due to the Protected Uninstall option. The utility comes free of charge.
- Works with NTFS, FAT32, exFAT and FAT volumes
- Secures an unlimited number of folders
- Prevents unauthorized uninstalling
- Allows managing a protected folder
- Supports various file systems
- Protected uninstall
- Performs no file system modification
- Displays ads
- No option to create virtual protected drives
LocK-A-FoLdeR is a very simple tool that allows setting a single master password to lock and unlock selected folders. The solution requires no services to run to keep your folders hidden and uses almost no CPU resources. LocK-A-FoLdeR runs on Windows 7, Vista, and XP. The tool is open-source and is completely free to use.
- Compatible with all file systems
- Uses very little CPU
- Available in many languages
- Locks any number of folders
- Rather fast folder locking technique
- Requires no services to run to keep your folders hidden
- Not compatible with new Windows systems
- Any updates are discontinued
Folder Lock Lite
It locks and hides various types of files stored on your computer. The tool uses Windows kernel-level security to protect your data. It keeps your files secured even in safe mode. The solution comes with the stealth mode that you can enable if you don't want other users to see the files of Folder Lock Lite on your PC. You can use the trial version for 30 days and then make up your mind if you want to buy it for $24.95.
- Works with various types of files
- Operates in Stealth mode
- Keeps your data protected even if your PC runs in safe mode
- Instantly locks and unlocks files
- Allows locking files by simply dragging and dropping them
- Uses small amount of resources
- Quite limited if compared to the full version
- Locked files are not encrypted
Protected Folder is designed to secure your files and folders by hiding them from prying eyes. Once you set a password, the program will require entering the key every time you try to log in, lock and remove the encryption of selected files and folders. Protected Folder comes with three security modes, which allow you to hide the files from Explorer and other browsing software, deny the Read access and the Write access, etc. With the Exclude List option, select the files and folders never to be locked. Use Protected Folder 20 times without any limitations. Then, if you decide to continue using it, purchase a 1-year subscription for $19.95 per year.
- Three lock options
- Exclusion list
- Saves locking files even after a malicious attack
- Multiple levels of protection
- Effectively locks data
- Allows you to drag and drop files to lock them
- No option to set various passwords for different folders
- Comes with third-party components
We compiled a list of 5 awesome free and shareware folder and file hiding tools. However, we would like to point out Folder Guard as the leader on our list of solutions. Besides all the basic functions you can find in similar tools, Folder Guard can protect external drives, recover files even if you forgot your password, and use different passwords for different folders.
Which solution do you prefer when you need to hide your files? Please share your opinion with us and we will add your choice to our comparison list.