Best Tools to Protect Your Folders with a Password

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.

Licence  
Price  
Trial  
Special features  
Read-only mode  
Works with external drives  
OS  
Shareware
$39.95 for 2 PCs
30 days
Sets various passwords for different files, protects external drives
Yes
Yes
Windows 10, 8, 7, XP
Freeware
No
No
Protected Uninstall feature, allows managing a protected folder
No
No
Windows 10, 8, 7, Server 2008, Vista, 2003, XP
Freeware
No
No
Locks any number of folders, needs no services to keep your folders hidden
No
No
Windows 7, Vista, XP
Shareware
$24.95
30 days
Keeps protecting data in safe mode, operates in stealth mode
No
No
Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP
Shareware
$19.95 per year
20 times
Multiple levels of protection, exclude list, saves files after a malicious attack
Yes
No
Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP, 2000

Licence

Shareware

Freeware

Freeware

Shareware

Shareware

Price

$39.95 for 2 PCs

No

No

$24.95

$19.95 per year

Trial

30 days

No

No

30 days

20 times

Special features

Sets various passwords for different files, protects external drives

Protected Uninstall feature, allows managing a protected folder

Locks any number of folders, needs no services to keep your folders hidden

Keeps protecting data in safe mode, operates in stealth mode

Multiple levels of protection, exclude list, saves files after a malicious attack

Read-only mode

Yes

No

No

No

Yes

Works with external drives

Yes

No

No

No

No

OS

Windows 10, 8, 7, XP

Windows 10, 8, 7, Server 2008, Vista, 2003, XP

Windows 7, Vista, XP

Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP

Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP, 2000

Folder Guard
Folder Guard
14 (48%) 15 (52%)
Download
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.
Screenshot
Main window
Features
  • 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.
Advantages
  • 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.
Disadvantages
  • Might take a while to get a reply to your email.
  • Expensive phone support service.
Official website:
winability.com
SecretFolder
SecretFolder
12 (67%) 6 (33%)
Download
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.
Screenshot
Main window
Features
  • Works with NTFS, FAT32, exFAT and FAT volumes.
  • Secures an unlimited number of folders.
  • Prevents unauthorized uninstalling.
  • Allows managing a protected folder.
Advantages
  • Supports various file systems.
  • Protected uninstall.
  • Performs no file system modification.
Disadvantages
  • Displays ads.
  • No option to create virtual protected drives.
Official website:
ohsoft.net
LocK-A-FoLdeR
LocK-A-FoLdeR
5 (100%) 0 (0%)
Download
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.
Screenshot
Main Window
Features
  • Compatible with all file systems.
  • Uses very little CPU.
  • Available in many languages.
Advantages
  • Locks any number of folders.
  • Rather fast folder locking technique.
  • Requires no services to run to keep your folders hidden.
Disadvantages
  • Not compatible with new Windows systems.
  • Any updates are discontinued.
Folder Lock Lite
Folder Lock Lite
3 (50%) 3 (50%)
Download
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.
Screenshot
Main Window
Features
  • Works with various types of files.
  • Operates in Stealth mode.
  • Keeps your data protected even if your PC runs in safe mode.
Advantages
  • Instantly locks and unlocks files.
  • Allows locking files by simply dragging and dropping them.
  • Uses small amount of resources.
Disadvantages
  • Quite limited if compared to the full version.
  • Locked files are not encrypted.
Official website:
newsoftwares.net
Protected Folder
Protected Folder
3 (38%) 5 (62%)
Download
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.
Screenshot
Change Password
Features
  • Three lock options.
  • Exclusion list.
  • Saves locking files even after a malicious attack.
Advantages
  • Multiple levels of protection.
  • Effectively locks data.
  • Allows you to drag and drop files to lock them.
Disadvantages
  • No option to set various passwords for different folders.
  • Comes with third-party components.
Official website:
mobile.iobit.com

Conclusion

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.

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