If you want to hide and protect your folders on Windows, the operating system itself has its tools to do so. Indeed, if you would like to hide and protect your folders on Windows, the operating system itself has its tools for doing so. However, any user with administrator permissions will be able to change these permissions. Consequently, any user with administrator permissions will be able to change these permissions. Below, we will learn how to hide and protect folders on Windows.
Why you need to hide or protect folders
If we are in a shared computer with more people, the most normal thing is to have several users configured in the Windows operating system. Generally, we will have only one administrator on the computer. The rest will be normal users without administrator permissions.
As mentioned, Windows tools allow you to configure user permissions. Therefore, we will be able to configure that only the owner user has full control. On the contrary, the rest of the users do not have any permissions: neither read, write, execute, modify, etc.
To access the security settings menu, just right-click on a folder in question. Once inside, click on the Security tab. If we want to edit the permissions, we must click on Edit. In consequence, a new menu will appear where we will be able to choose the permissions of the different groups or users that we have in the operating system. At the bottom, we will have the different options to allow or deny the different permissions to the users and groups. Depending on what we are interested in, we can remove different groups of users so that they do not have permissions.
On the other hand, all administrator users will still have access to the folder. So, you will have to find another way to restrict access. In addition, a program facilitates the execution of this task. Therefore, let’s look at a special software to do it.
Hide Folders is a commercial tool. In other words, it is not free like other alternatives. The tool does not allow you to use it for free, as is the case with other alternatives. In addition, it protects them with a master password that only the user knows.
Some features of this program are that it supports NTFS, exFAT, FAT and FAT32 file systems. It also allows an unlimited number of protected folders. Therefore, it is ideal for not having problems and protecting as many folders as we want. It will also allow us to assign trusted processes that will be able to access the files. We can also protect the program against uninstallation, and it is available in several languages. Finally, the folders protected by this program will be protected even in fail-safe mode.
As we have explained above, this program is commercial, so it is not free. The license price is $39.95 for a single PC. However, there is a family version that protects 5 PCs that allows you to install it on up to 5 computers.
Download and installation
The download is available from the project page. We have already said that it is a commercial program, so it is not free. However, we have a 30-day trial version where we will be able to use it without any limit. At the end of this period, it is necessary to pay the license fee to continue using the program. On the other hand, the installation is like any other program for Windows.
The installation might return an error, this is because it is necessary to have .NET Framework installed in the PC. Consequently, a window will appear indicating that a specific version is required to run. Later, a window will appear where it will indicate us that it is needed a concrete version to be able to work.
The operation of this program is elementary. In the Dashboard we will be able to see the general status of the program. It also shows how many days are left before we need a license of the program. In the upper part we have the different sections of the configuration. In addition, we have the possibility of activating a remote control web server. We will also be able to configure a master password in the program to prevent any changes to be made in the program. In this way, we will have the security that nobody else will be able to use this program to unhide or unprotect a folder in question.
In the Edit List section is where we can add the different folders to hide or protect. What we have to do is to click on the Add button, and then we put the path of the folder to hide. Finally, we choose the protection mode. This program allows:
Unprotect: Does not impose any protection.
Hide: Hides the folder only.
Lock: Locks the access to the folder with a password.
Hide and Lock: Hides the folder and asks for a password to access it.
Read Only: Allows only the reading of the folder.
Depending on what we are interested in, we will have to choose one option or another. We must remember that we will be able to enter an unlimited number of folders in the list to be protected.
If an unauthorized user tries to access the folder, we will have different access errors due to lack of permissions. In fact, even if we are administrators, we will not see the menus to change permissions.
In the Settings section, we will be able to see all the general options of the program. Some of them are: activate the protections even if the program is closed, integrate the program into the context menu. Also clean up any possible traces of a hidden folder. In fact, you will be able to delete all recent data, in the recycle garbage can items. It is even possible to remove the Hide Folders program itself from the most used programs, etc.
In the Password section is where we can enter a new password to protect the program. In addition, it is recommended to enter an email to allow the password recovery. If we forget the password, we will not be able to recover it in any way. We will only be able to do it with the email. Finally, in the Tools’ section we will be able to see the trusted processes and configure them, modify the language and skin and other options related to the program.
As you can see, Hide Folders is a great option to hide and lock folders in Windows. See you soon!