Although Windows includes the BitLocker drive encryption feature, it does not provide the ability to directly add password protection to individual folders. In order to save secret files to your computer but not to be discovered by others, or even if the folder where the files are stored is discovered, you need a password to open it, we can use a free software, SecretFolder, to implement encryption protection for it.
SecretFolder has a simple interface, is easy to use, is compatible with systems from Windows XP to Windows 10, supports FAT, FAT32, NTFS and EXFAT file systems, and has no limits on the number or size of protected folders and files. During the installation of SecretFolder, the Windows indexing service is automatically disabled (Figure 1).
When running the software for the first time, the software asks for its access password to be set. In addition, an email address for password recovery can be set so that the password can be recovered by the email received after it is forgotten (Figure 2).
When you need to encrypt a folder, click the “Add” button to add the folder you want to protect, or you can drag and drop the folder to the software window, and the folder will be automatically locked and protected for the first time. At this point, you can already see in Explorer that the files and their subfolders in the folder have been hidden, and the parent folder is still visible but has become an “empty” folder. After exiting the software, we can’t show these files even if we turn on the system’s Show Hidden Files feature.
Tip: If the folder can still be displayed after closing SecretFolder, click on the “Preferences” button of the software and select the “Hide folder after application termination” option (Figure 3).
To unlock the protected folder, run the SecretFolder software again, enter the password, select the folder you want to unlock, and click the “Unlock” button (Figure 4).
When you close the SecretFolder program, it will not automatically lock the encrypted folder that you just used in the software window. That is, if you unlock and access a protected folder and then close SecretFolder, the program will not automatically lock the folder. The only way to lock it is to click the “Lock” button again in the software window.
SecretFolder has a “Protected Uninstall” feature that requires a password to uninstall the software. Even with some popular software uninstallers, it is not possible to uninstall SecretFolder without a password.