How to Encrypt Files or Folders on Windows

Posted by John Larkin - March 30, 2014

Suppose something is wrong with your computer and you need to take it to the repair shop but do not want others to access and view your files especially personal information. In such case, encrypting your files must be a good choice for you to protect them from unwanted access. Encrypting File System (EFS) is a feature of Windows that you can use to store information on your hard disk in an encrypted format. Meanwhile, encryption should be regarded as the most secure way to protect your sensitive data. This article will post different ways and detailed steps to encrypt your content on Windows.

Guides to Encrypt Your Files Using Microsoft Office

Guides to Encrypt Your Files Using Windows Encrypting File System (EFS)

Guides to Encrypt Your Files Using Third Party Software (TrueCrypt)

Guides to Encrypt Your Files Using Microsoft Office

This method works for individual files compatible with Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel or PowerPoint. After doing this way, you’ll need to reopen the encrypted file in Microsoft Office; you won’t be able to open it in Adobe Reader, LibreOffice or Google Docs.

Step one- Open the file you wish to encrypt using a Microsoft Office program.

Step two- Click the File tab at the top of the page and select Encrypt with Password from the pop-up menu.

Step three- Enter a password for the file and do the confirmation. After you exit this file, you’ll have to enter the same password to reopen it. You had better set a strong and easy-to-remember password or save it to a safe place.

Step four- Delete temporary files. This is because Microsoft Office’s encryption contains a flaw of creating unencrypted versions of recently opened files on the computer. If you do not remove temp files, others and access them as well.Press Winkey and R key to activate Run, type “%temp%” in the dialog box and click OK.

Guides to Encrypt Your Files Using Windows Encrypting File System (EFS)

EFS assists Windows users to encrypt already-existing files or folders in the computer. This feature won’t warn you about any changes while you access the encrypted files. But you need to know the password of system log in account. Therefore, it is highly advised to set strong and difficult-to-guess password for your Windows user accounts.

Step one- Open Windows Explorer (My Computer)

Step two- Right click on the file or folder you wish to encrypt. In the pop-up windows, click the Properties selection at the bottom of the menu. This will bring up a Properties window.

Step three- Click Advanced under the General tab. You’ll see the Advanced Attributes window.

Step four- Check “Encrypt contents to secure data.” Then click OK.

Step five- In the pop-up windows, click the wanted option and then press OK.

Step six- Click on the “Back up your encryption key” pop-up.

Step seven- Click the option “Back up now (recommended).”

Step eight- Click Next twice on the window called the Certificate Export Wizard.

Step nine- Enter a password for your certificate and enter a confirmation. Then click Next.

Step ten- Select a file name to save your certificate. Click Next.

Step eleven- Finally click Finish and done the work.

Guides to Encrypt Your Files Using Third Party Software (TrueCrypt)

TrueCrypt is a source-available freeware application used for on-the-fly encryption (OTFE). It encrypts needed content through creating a virtual disk within. It can encrypt a partition or the entire storage device.

Step one- Download TrueCrypt and open it. Click Create Volume, select Create an encrypted file container and click Next.

Step two- Select Standard TrueCrypt volume, and click Next.

Step three- Click Select File, choose where you want to place the encrypted file container, give it a name, and click Save. To continue, click Next.

Step four- In the pop up Encryption Options window, click Next.

Step five- Specify the size you want the encrypted file container to be. Make sure that it’s big enough to fit the files and documents that you want to protect, with room to grow if needed. Input the desired size, and click Next.

Step six- Enter your preferred encryption/decryption password, and click Next.

Step seven- Keep the default volume format settings, but move your mouse around randomly to create a more random and secure cryptographic strength. Then click Format to create the encrypted file container.

Step eight- Back in the main program window, click Select File and choose the created encrypted file container.

Step nine- Highlight an unused drive letter and choose Mount. Then you can copy or cut your desired files or folders to this virtual disk and protect them.

The above three methods to encrypt files or folders will be helpful to protect the privacy from leaking out to some extent. They are not difficult steps to take. But if you encounter any other problems during the process, you are welcome to contact DooFix Online Experts.

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