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I want to make available an .EXE file to someone but I want it to ask for a password before it executes. How can I do that?

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Hate to to give a stfw/lmgtfy comment, but did you try a simple search for password protect exe? The top hits I see all seem to be for programs that will do this. One of the popular solutions seems to be Empathy. –  Zoredache Feb 24 '12 at 0:53
    
Definitely could have been very easily researched online, but it is a valid question, even if it shows no effort. And it adds to SuperUser's rep as a compendium of valid and accurate solutions online. Unless there is a clear duplicate question already answered here, I'd refrain from closing this. –  music2myear Feb 24 '12 at 16:02
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closed as not constructive by Zoredache, Simon Sheehan, DragonLord, Tom Wijsman, techie007 Mar 3 '12 at 20:32

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4 Answers

You can use something like AxCrypt to encrypt your EXE before sending it to your friend. Remember to choose Encrypt copy to .EXE when creating the encrypted EXE. This will mean your friend doesn't have to install AxCrypt or any other additional piece of software to be able to decrypt it. When (s)he double clicks on it, (s)he will be asked for a password like you want.

AxCrypt is open source to boot.

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Probably the best way is to make the EXE and then put it in a password protected ZIP file and send that to your friend. In order to do this you will need third-party software such as 7-zip (http://www.7-zip.org/)

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But I want it to just ask for the password and then execute straightaway. –  CJ7 Feb 24 '12 at 0:37
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If you have a non-Home edition of Windows, you simply use NTFS permissions to enable only certain users/groups to execute the program. You can shift-right-click the shortcut or .exe to Run as different user.

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Try this:

KaKa ExeLock 3.15 : works with Windows 2000/2003/XP/Vista/Windows 7 (32&64)

http://www.windows7download.com/win7-kaka-exelock/svmaijjh.html

Game Protector : works with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. Any executable not only games.

http://gameprotector.com/

Hope this help. Let us know.

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