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Password protect a folder

I could just compress the directory as a .zip file w/ a password (which I think would just look like a compressed folder w/ a password) but I'd like something with less overhead (i.e., none of the decompression, etc.)

Any ideas?

Clarification/update: I'd like to have anyone be able to access it from another computer if they know the password. I.e., I don't want them to have to log in as a different user, etc., but, rather just enter a password.

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marked as duplicate by nhinkle, DMA57361, Diago Dec 24 '10 at 15:18

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2 Answers 2

By default, Windows is designed to be a bit more intelligent than username / password on files.

If your hard drive is formatted with NTFS, you can simply allow / disallow access to a resource via their username, so when logged in as that user, they have access to everything... and via the network, they logon with their Windows Username/Password (You need to allow both network and local permissions).

For what you want, you may want to look in to third party tools such as Axcrypt or Truecrypt.

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You can encrypt the folder.

Right click to get the Properties dialog and select the Advanced... options. From there you can select the "Encrypt contents to secure data" option.

There's also the "Make this folder private" option on the "Sharing and Security..." dialog, but that's greyed out for me - apparently because I have simple file sharing enabled. So if you disable simple file sharing - from "Tools > Folder Options > View > Advanced Settings" you should be able to make folders private.

Note: Your hard drive must be formatted using NTFS

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@Molly - Thanks for the edit. –  ChrisF Dec 28 '09 at 15:01

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