How to Encrypt Files and Folders in Windows 10 (2 Working Methods)

How to Encrypt Files and Folders in Windows 10

  • October 6, 2017

There’s no better option than encryption for keeping your file safe. Encrypting a file can be the best solution for keeping any file safe from third parties. And Encrypting files and folders in Windows 10 is pretty easy.

Though Windows has not changed the way of encryption, it’s better to look at it again to remind ourselves how exactly you can encrypt files and folders in Windows 10.

So let’s jog our memories a little bit and take a look at the different methods we can use to encrypt files and folders.

Methods of Encryption

Method 1:

a) Use Encrypted File Service

This method is the best way to encrypt files and folders in Windows 10. You will be using they're built in encryption tool (Yes, they have a built in encryption tool, which is cool!) called Encrypting File Service (EFS).

Though it’s a straightforward encryption tool, it gets the job done, and it’s super easy to use! But before showing you how you need to remember some things.

You can only access the encrypted file or folder through the account it was associated. In simple words, if you have multiple accounts then you can only access the file through the account that you encrypted the file in the first place.

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If there are other users, then they won’t be able to access it from their account. And also you have to make sure to remember the password for your account, or you’ll file will be out of your reach forever.

So, now that you know all of it let’s see how you can encrypt files and folders.

For doing so follow the steps below:

Step-1: First go to the file or folder and then right-click on it. After that, you have to go to Properties. So click it.

Step-2: Go to the General tab and after that click the Advanced button. It should be in the down right corner.

Step-3: Look for the Compress and encrypt attributes section, and after finding it click on Encrypt content to secure data.

Step-4: After you are done click OK and close the window.

Step-5: Next select apply changes to the folder, subfolders, and files.

And that’s it! Easy enough, right? From now on your folders and archives will show in green color meaning it is encrypted.

The subfolders and the files within a folder will automatically get encrypted along with it. But if you want only to encrypt the folder then repeat from step 1 to step 4 and then choose Apply changes to this folder only.

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b) Backup your Encryption Key

If for some reason you forget your encryption key you have an option to backup the key on other devices. Yes, Windows 10 gives you this fantastic feature where you can backup the encryption key just right after you have created it.

For doing so do the following:

Step-1: There’ll be a popup saying to back up your encryption key. When you see it, click it.

Step-2: Next, Choose the option Backup Now.

Step-3: Now you just have to follow the instructions from the wizard panel.

Step-4: when asked for the password in security give a good password that you can remember and then re-enter it again.

Step-5: Browse to a place you want to save your key and then give it a name.

Step-6: After that click Next and then click Finish.

Method 2:

a) Using Microsoft Office

Well if you want to encrypt any Microsoft office file then you don’t have to use EFS for that. Microsoft Office has provided us with the necessary tools to do exactly that! So, let’s see what you need to do to encrypt files and folders using Microsoft Office’s tool:

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Step-1: Firstly you have to open the office file that you want to encrypt.

Step-2: After that, you go to the File tab in the top left corner.

Step-3: Next you will see Info, click it. And after that, click on Protect document.

Step-4: Then choose Encrypt with password from the options.

Step-5: Enter the password you would like to give and then re-enter it.

Step-6: Click OK. And you’re done!

Now you have a password protected encrypted file where only you have access. But do remember the password. Because if you forget it, you won’t have any access to your file again.

And this was all the methods for encrypting files and folders. Well, it’s up to you, in the end, to choose from these two approaches. Any third party tools found online is not reliable on this one. So, I'll recommend not to use them to for encryption.

About the Author Hasib Bin Anowar

Hasib is a born geek and loves tweaking his computer and gadgets for effectiveness and productivity. At WindowsChimp, he specializes in writing Tutorial guides and discovering new hacks to share.

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