How to password protect a folder on Windows 11

How to password protect a folder on Windows 11

Protecting access to your folders with a password can undoubtedly be particularly useful if you are not the only PC user you use. Although it may seem a feature still missing even on Windows 11, this is actually already present through the BitLocker feature, useful for encrypting the data contained on removable drives with the ability to set an access password.

The peculiarity One of this feature, included by Microsoft in 2006 starting with Windows Vista, is the ability to create secure virtual drives to store users' most sensitive data. You can take advantage of this option to get something pretty much like a password protected folder, which will also have the advantage of being encrypted. In this guide we will show you the necessary steps on how to password protect a folder on Windows 11 using this feature.

How to create a password protected folder on Windows 11

Create a virtual drive

To create a password protected folder on Windows 11, you must first create a virtual drive:

Press the key combination "Windows + x" and, in the context menu that appears, choose the item “Disk Management”. In the panel, click on the “Action” menu, located in the top bar of the screen, then select “Create VHD file”.| ); }
Click on the new disk with the right mouse button, then choose "Initialize disk" in the context menu. | ); } In the window that appears, select “GPT” as the partition type, then click on “Ok”. Now you need to allocate the memory: to do this, right-click on the drive again, selecting "New simple volume". Click on "Next" leaving the settings unchanged and, in the last window, finally choose to format the new drive with the NTFS file system. Click on the "Finish" button to finish and open the newly created virtual drive.

Enable password protection via BitLocker

Now you can use BitLocker to protect the new drive and set the protection:

Type "BitLocker" in the search of the start menu, clicking on the item "Management BitLocker ”which will appear later. Once the window opens, now select “Enable BitLocker” next to the new virtual drive.

In the next screen you can now enable access protection with a password, check "Use password to unlock the unit" and set a personal one.
You will now be asked how to save the recovery key for accessing the drive in case you forget the password. Choose one according to your needs. Select “Apply encryption to used disk space only” on the next screen and move on. It will now be necessary to set the encryption mode, select "Compatible mode" to ensure that it works on other Windows systems as well. Finally, click on “Start encryption” to finalize the procedure.

From now on, any content copied or moved within the virtual drive will be encrypted and password protected automatically. To enable the login password request, right-click on the unit name, selecting "Block" from the context menu. If the command does not appear, you can restart the system so that the block is activated automatically, or open the terminal (by typing "cmd" in the start menu, choosing the "Run as administrator" option) and enter the following command , replacing the drive letter with the one assigned by the system:

manage-bde -lock E: -ForceDismount

To access the virtual disk just open File Explorer, double-click the icon drive, enter the previously set password and click “Unlock”. From now on you will have a practical dynamic storage space, with which you can protect access to your personal data.

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