How to password protect files & folders with encryption (7 easy ways)

Do you have files (documents, videos, pictures, audio, etc.) or folders that contain sensitive, confidential or personal content or information and don't want other people to have access to these files? Then you should password protect (encrypt) your secret files and folders and this tutorial will show you step by step how to do this in a few different easy ways using free software in Windows, a free app on Android and in Linux Mint and Ubuntu.

It gets better:

This tutorial will also show you how to encrypt your files and folders and hide them inside audio files (songs) which can be played on every music player (like the character Elliot does in the tv series Mr.Robot).

Contents

Encrypt files and folders in Windows 7, 8 and 10 using free software:

Encrypt files and folders and hide them in audio files (like the character Elliot does in the tv series Mr.Robot) in Windows 7, 8 and 10 using free software:

Encrypt files and folders on Android using a free application:

Other:


Related articles

How to password protect a PDF file for free

How to burn password protected data CDs or DVDs

Encryption

Encryption is the process of encoding data in such a way that only people who have a secret key or password can access it.

Encryption is the most effective and safe way to protect your sensitive, confidential or personal data because you will need a secret key or password to decrypt an encrypted file or folder.

When you encrypt your files or folders, you can securely store your data on your computer, USB device or even send by email.

You can encrypt all kinds of files, such as:

Password protect files and folders with encryption using 7-Zip

7-Zip is a free program for compressing files and extracting compressed (zipped) files.

But:

You can also use it to password protect (encrypt) files and folders.

You can download 7-Zip here (Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10).

Tips:

Follow the following steps to encrypt a file or folder or both:

1. Go to the file or folder you want to encrypt.

2. Right-click on the file or folder, go to 7-Zip and choose Add to archive.

encrypt files and folders using 7-zip 1

3. At Archive format, you select zip.

4. At Encryption, you enter the password of your choice twice.

5. At Encryption method, you select AES-256.

encrypt files and folders using 7-zip 2

6. Click on the OK button at the bottom right.

7-Zip will now zip and password protect (encrypt) your file(s) or folder(s) or both.

Note: It is very important to remember your password because you will need it to get access to your encrypted data.

Decrypt encrypted files

To decrypt an encrypted file you can use any compression program, like WinRar, WinZip or 7-Zip.

1. Right-click on the encrypted file and choose Extract here or Unzip here or go to 7-Zip (or another file archiver program, like PeaZip) and choose Extract here or Unzip here.

2. Enter your password.

3. Click on OK.

Your encrypted file or folder will be decrypted.

Password protect files and folders with encryption using WinRAR

WinRAR is a program for compressing files and extracting compressed (zipped) files.

But:

You can also use it to password protect (encrypt) files and folders.

You can download WinRAR here (Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10).

Tips:

Follow the following steps to encrypt a file or folder or both:

1. Go to the file or folder you want to encrypt.

2. Right-click on the file or folder and choose Add to archive.

password protect a file using winrar

3. At Archive format, you can select an archive format, like RAR or ZIP.

4. Click on the Set password button.

5. Enter the password of your choice twice.

6. Click on OK.

7. Click on OK.

WinRAR will now password protect (encrypt) your file(s) or folder(s) or both.

Note: It is very important to remember your password because you will need it to get access to your encrypted data.

Decrypt encrypted files

To decrypt an encrypted file you can use any compression program, like WinRar, WinZip or 7-Zip.

1. Right-click on the encrypted file and choose Extract here or Unzip here or go to 7-Zip (or another file archiver program, like PeaZip) and choose Extract here or Unzip here.

2. Enter your password.

3. Click on OK.

Your encrypted file or folder will be decrypted.

Password protect files and folders with encryption using Ashampoo ZIP Free

Ashampoo ZIP Free is a free program for compressing files and extracting compressed (zipped) files.

But:

You can also use it to password protect (encrypt) files and folders.

You can download Ashampoo ZIP Free here (Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10).

Tips:

Follow the following steps to encrypt a file or folder or both:

1. Go to the file or folder you want to encrypt.

2. Right-click on the file or folder, go to Compress To and choose Compress With Options.

password protect a file using ashampoo zip free 1

3. At Encryption, you select AES-256 Encryption.

compress and password protect files and folders using ashampoo free zip

4. Click on the Add button.

5. Enter the password of your choice twice.

6. Click on OK.

Ashampoo ZIP Free will now password protect (encrypt) your file(s) or folder(s) or both.

Note: It is very important to remember your password because you will need it to get access to your encrypted data.

Decrypt encrypted files

To decrypt an encrypted file you can use any compression program, like WinRar, WinZip or 7-Zip.

1. Right-click on the encrypted file and choose Extract here or Unzip here or go to 7-Zip (or another file archiver program, like PeaZip) and choose Extract here or Unzip here.

2. Enter your password.

3. Click on OK.

Your encrypted file or folder will be decrypted.

Password protect files and folders with encryption using PeaZip

PeaZip is a free program for compressing files and extracting compressed (zipped) files.

But:

You can also use it to password protect (encrypt) files and folders.

You can download PeaZip here (Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10).

Tips:

Follow the following steps to encrypt a file or folder or both:

1. Go to the file or folder you want to encrypt.

2. Right-click on the file or folder, go to PeaZip and choose Add to archive.

password protect a file using peazip 1

3. Click on Enter password/keyfile.

4. Enter the password of your choice twice.

5. Click on OK.

6. Click on OK.

PeaZip Free will now password protect (encrypt) your file(s) or folder(s) or both.

Note: It is very important to remember your password because you will need it to get access to your encrypted data.

Decrypt encrypted files

To decrypt an encrypted file you can use any compression program, like WinRar, WinZip or 7-Zip.

1. Right-click on the encrypted file and choose Extract here or Unzip here or go to 7-Zip (or another file archiver program, like PeaZip) and choose Extract here or Unzip here.

2. Enter your password.

3. Click on OK.

Your encrypted file or folder will be decrypted.

Password protect files and folders with encryption and Hide them in Audio Files using DeepSound

DeepSound allows you to encrypt your files and folders and hide them in audio files (songs) which can be played on every music player.

And:

It also allows you to extract your encrypted and hidden files directly from your audio files (songs).

DeepSound uses the strong encryption algorithm AES-256.

This is also the program that the character Elliot uses in the tv series Mr.Robot to encrypt and hide his secret data in music CDs.

You can download DeepSound here (Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10).

Follow the following steps to encrypt and hide file(s) or folder(s) or both:

1. Open DeepSound.

2. Click on Open carrier files.

3. Go to the location on your PC where the music song is stored you want to use to hide your data in.

4. Select the song and click on Open.

5. Click on Add secret files.

6. Go to the location on your PC where the files or folders are stored you want to encrypt and hide.

7. Select the files or folders or both and click on Open.

Tip: When you click on a song you can view at Free space for secret files how much file size in MB you can hide inside the selected song. If you have a lot of secret files, then you will need to divide them over multiple songs.

8. Click on Encode secret files.

9. Check the Encrypt secret files (AES-256) option.

10. Enter the password of your choice twice.

11. Click on Encode secret files.

encrypt and hide files or folders in audio files using deepsound

DeepSound will now password protect (encrypt) and hide your file(s) or folder(s) or both.

Note: It is very important to remember your password because you will need it to get access to your encrypted data.

Decrypt encrypted files using DeepSound

1. Open DeepSound.

2. Click on Open carrier files.

3. Select the music song that contains your encrypted and hidden data and click on Open.

4. Enter your password and click on OK.

5. Click on Extract secret files.

Your encrypted file(s) or folder(s) or both will be decrypted.

Password protect files and folders with encryption on Android using RAR

RAR is a free app for compressing files and extracting compressed (zipped) files.

But:

You can also use it to password protect (encrypt) files and folders.

Tips:

Follow the following steps to encrypt a file or folder or both:

1. Open RAR.

2. Go via RAR to the location on your Android smartphone or SD card where the file or folder is stored you want to protect with a password.

3. Select the file or folder you want to protect with a password.

4. Tap on the file + icon.

password protect a file using rar app on android 1

5. Tap on the BROWSE button.

6. Open the folder on your phone or SD card where you want to store the file or folder with password protection.

7. Tap on FOLDER ONLY located at the bottom.

8. Select an archive format (e.g., RAR, ZIP or RAR 4.x).

9. Tap on the SET PASSWORD button.

password protect a file using rar app on android 2

10. Enter a password.

11. Tap on OK.

12. Tap on OK.

RAR will now password protect (encrypt) your file(s) or folder(s) or both.

Note: It is very important to remember your password because you will need it to get access to your encrypted data.

Decrypt encrypted files

1. Open RAR.

2. Go via RAR to the location on your Android smartphone or SD card where the file or folder with password protection is stored.

3. Select the file or folder with password protection you want to open.

4. Tap on the file + arrow up icon.

unzip file with password protection using rar app on android 1

5. Tap on OK located at the bottom.

6. Enter a password.

7. Tap on OK.

Your encrypted file(s) or folder(s) or both will be decrypted.

Password protect files and folders with encryption in Linux Mint and Ubuntu

1. Go to the file or folder you want to encrypt.

2. Right-click on the file or folder and choose Compress.

compress files and folders in linux mint and ubuntu

3. Click on Other Options.

4. Enter the password of your choice.

5. Click on the Create button.

Linux Mint or Ubuntu will now password protect (encrypt) your file(s) or folder(s) or both.

Note: It is very important to remember your password because you will need it to get access to your encrypted data.

Decrypt encrypted files

To decrypt an encrypted file you can use any compression program, like WinRar, WinZip or 7-Zip, but you can also do it in Linux Mint en Ubuntu without using any third-party software.

1. Right-click on the encrypted file and choose Extract here or Unzip here or go to 7-Zip (or another file archiver program, like PeaZip) and choose Extract here or Unzip here.

2. Enter your password.

3. Click on OK.

Your encrypted file or folder will be decrypted.


Maybe you're also interested in:

How to password protect a PDF file

How to remove a password from a PDF file

How to burn password protected data CDs or DVDs