You can’t easily password protect folders or files in Windows 8 yet, but you can remove the permissions for users or use TrueCrypt to create mountable encrypted containers that can only be accessed with the correct password.
Protecting A Folder in Windows 8: Via The User Permission System
If you share your Windows 8 with other users it’s easy enough to protect your personal files and folders.
1. Step Create a folder
2. Step Right-click on it and click on properties
3. Step Go to the tab Security – select the User that you want to protect your folder from and click on Edit
4. StepNow select the user again and check the first Deny box – it will automatically check all other checkboxes. Finally, click on Apply and it will protect this folder and only allow access from your user account
Password-Protect A Folder in Windows 8 via Encryption
1. Step Download TrueCrypt from http://www.truecrypt.org/downloads (latest stable 7.1 09/26/11)
2. Step When you install TrueCrypt select Extract files, this will extract the program without actually installing it. You can then copy it onto a portable USB drive for example
3. Step Now start the TrueCrypt.exe
4. Step Click on Create New Volume and this screen will pop up:
5. Step Select Standard for now
6. Step Find a place for your encrypted container. Think of it as a real file that is password-protected. Store it for example here: C:\Users\yourusername\Desktop
I am storing my own container own a USB device with 4GB storage:
7. Step Select an algorithm. Don’t know what to choose? Use the default!
8. Step Enter a size for the encrypted container. I make it small 10MB
9. Step Set a password for your encrypted container. Don’t make your password too short or it will be easy to crack
10. Step Move your mouse for some time to get a good encryption and click on Format
11. Back on the TrueCrypt main screen, enter the path to your encrypted container (or click on Select file and browse to it)
12. Finally click on Mount, you can now access your encrypted password-protected container like any other hard drive via the explorer! Awesome? It is!
There are various other methods to password protect and encrypt folders. However, I think TrueCrypt is the best free solution. Using the Windows 8 permission system you can deny access to certain folders and effectively protect your private folders. Both methods are very useful, but obviously it depends on your situation.
If you need more protection, simply create an encrypted container and store your files on a flash drive. Flash drives with 8GB or more are cheap and can be used to store all your private files. You could also use an external USB hard drive for storing the password-protected encrypted folders. Very handy!
Various free tools are available as well.