17 Free BitLocker – Password Folders, Hide Drives, & Encrypt Files

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How to Password Protect a File or Folder in Windows? Have something to hide? Here are some Bitlocker alternatives for those without Windows Pro. When you save your secret files onto your computer, they are retrievable even if you delete them and empty the recycling bin.

See More ▶ 3 Free Software To Force Delete Undeletable Files on Windows 7, 8 and 10

Not all door locks perform the same, this can be said about software. Not all folder lockers are designed to perform the same, most folder lockers are just basic password lockers. A clever investigator such as the FBI knows how to retrieve the files with a few clicks, by passing the password lock. It is like locking a grill door but allowing someone to stick their hands into the house.

With a powerful computer that can compute trillions of key combinations in less than a few hours, that password can be hacked via brute force. However, the same can’t be said when the password together with the content – files and folders are encrypted. A good file and folder locker must come with good encryption. If you intend to hide some unimportant stuff, the free version without encryption is good enough.

If installing any third party software is forbidden due to the company’s policy, try this Windows ‘Hidden Folder’ trick. In case you forget where you put it, hit ctrl+a, it will highlight all the folders on the desktop, including the hidden ones.

1. NordLocker [ The Best ]

3GB Free Password Cloud Storage

NordLocker

Just a simple drag-and-drop to NordLocker – and your files are protected with rock-solid encryption. Their modern, powerful cryptosystem runs fast, so securing your data won’t burn your productive time. All file types are supported. Store and sync files securely. Get 3 GB of cloud storage for free.

In addition to file encryption, their tool also makes sure your files stay with you. Install the NordLocker encryption app on all your computers to access your files whenever you need to. NordLocker’s sync feature makes sure you always have your files with you.

  • Runs on macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS.
  • Automatically lock the app after 15 minutes.
  • Automatically sync between all devices.
  • All files are encrypted.

2. Easy File Locker

Free | No Encryption

Easy File Locker

Easy File Locker is a light-weight and easy-to-use file lock software product for Windows. It can protect your private files and folders. With its great protection, users will not be able to open, read, modify, delete, move, copy the locked files/folders, or even not be able to see it. The hidden files/folders will be totally invisible to all users and to any program. Easy File Locker is designed for protecting files/folders on your local computer. it doesn’t change the protected files and folders, it will not slow down the system speeds and it will never have the chance to destroy your data.

  • Lock files, Lock folders: The locked files/folders are protected from accessing, users can not open, read, modify, move, delete, copy, rename the protected files/folders. Files and sub-folders in a locked folder are also protected.
  • Hide files, Hide folders: You can hide your private files and folders, to make them completely invisible to users and programs.
  • Password protected GUI and uninstaller: Once you set a password, no one can launch the application or uninstall the software without the correct password.

3. GNU Privacy Guard

Free | Files & Text Encryption Only

GNU Privacy Guard

GnuPG, also known as Kleopatra, is a complete and free implementation of the OpenPGP standard as defined by RFC4880 (also known as PGP). GnuPG allows you to encrypt and sign your data and communications; it features a versatile key management system, along with access modules for all kinds of public key directories. GnuPG, also known as GPG, is a command line tool with features for easy integration with other applications.

4. Encrypt Care

Free | Files & Text Encryption Only

Encrypt Care

Encrypt Care is an easy to use and feature-rich encryption software which allows user to encrypt or decrypt text and files in batch mode, generate, verify and export file checksums. Encrypt Care allows you to protect your data using the most powerful encryption algorithms, as well as protect your messages. With Encrypt Care you can do a lot of tasks with checksums – generate checksum of any text or file, generate hash for multiple files, verify checksums.

  • Encrypt and decrypt text and messages
  • Encrypt and decrypt files – photos, documents, programs etc.
  • Generate and verify checksum of text and file
  • Generate and export checksums for multiple files
  • Supports various algorithms (AES, Blowfish, CAST, DES, IDEA, RC2, RC4, TEA)
  • Supports various hashes (MD5, SHA-1, SHA-256, SHA-384, SHA-512)
  • Support Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10 (32 and 64)

5. Encrypto

Free | File Encryption

Encrypto

Encrypto lets you encrypt files before sending them to friends or coworkers. Drop a file into Encrypto, set a password, and then send it with added security. Encrypto takes any file or folder and adds AES-256 encryption to it. With encryption, you know your file is incredibly secure and that only the right person can access it. Rather than relay a password to the recipient, include a unique, embedded password hint that only they would be able to decipher.

Why stop at encryption? Encrypto’s got seamless integration with Hider 2, which lets you hide your files and make them invisible to everyone — but you, of course. With Encrypto, not only can you encrypt and share files, but you can also save them to your own disk. Select your files, put them through Encrypto, and voilà — they’re protected.

6. NEO- Easy Folder LOCKER

Free | No Encryption

password protect folder Software For Password Protecting File And Folder Locker For Windows encryption

A very simple lock and unlock files and folders freeware.

7. Folder Locker Pro

Free | Basic Encryption

folder locker password Software For Password Protecting File And Folder Locker For Windows encryption

Lock Folder with a password and prevent others from accessing them 99%, it is hacker proof because unlike other freeware, it uses an encrypt technology, thus making it hard to brute force their way into your secret folder.

8. Folder Lock

Free | Encrypted Password

folder lock free Software For Password Protecting File And Folder Locker For Windows encryption

Folder Lock 8.5 is a small program that allows you to lock and hide any folder. Whether the folder is on your computer or USB, Folder Lock will take care of it. Small, and simple, just about anyone can use Folder Lock.

Folder Lock now has a working built in updater, so any updates that are released will be available for you to download at your choosing.

9. Quick File Locker

Free | Basic Encryption

Quick File Locker

Do you want to protect private pictures, hide sensitive videos or lockdown documents? Do you want to ensure your privacy by locking, hiding and encrypting sensitive data? Then this free application is for you. Quick File Locker will quickly lock, hide and encrypt files, folders or USB drives to ensure your privacy.

It is very easy to use.Lock files with a simple drag and drop or with a right click on them in Windows Explorer. Also, Quick File Locker has Stealth-mode operation and protects locked data even in safe-mode. You can set a master password and that will be required to lock and unlock files or folders. Also hot keys can be set for locking, unlocking and to show or hide the application in stealth-mode operation.

  • Protect private pictures
  • Hide sensitive videos
  • Lockdown documents
  • Encrypt sensitive data
  • Supports also USB and external disk drives
  • Lock, hide and encrypt files or folders with a simple drag and drop
  • Lock or unlock files or folders with a right-click on them in Windows Explorer
  • Stealth-mode operation
  • Hot Keys can be set for locking, unlocking and showing or hiding the application in stealth-mode operation
  • Protect the use of the application with a master password
See More ▶  8 Free Password Managers For Windows And macOS

10. SecretFolder

Free | No Encryption

SecretFolder

SecretFolder is a powerful solution for protecting your private data from others including crackers. You can hide your data from outside viruses and malware. Also you can avoid ransom-ware which generates a lot of damage to PC users. Information security will be started protecting local data. so you need to manage your private data by yourself. SecretFolder will let you provide a powerful function for your management to protect your private data.

  • Free to use at both home and in the office
  • Support for 64-bit Windows.
  • Immediate data protection (protect and unprotect commands are executed in no time).
  • NTFS, FAT32, exFAT and FAT volumes are supported.
  • CMD command will not be able to access the folders.

11. Hide Folders for macOS

Free | No Encryption

Hide Folders for macOS

If you are interested in protecting your documents and folders, Hide Folders is just what you are searching for. With a click you will conceal files and folders with all their contents. The program is simple and natural to use because it works just as you are used to doing things everyday with your Mac. With this program you will protect your files avoiding them being modified, seen or erased by other users.

Hide Folders is a freeware app for macOS dedicated to protecting documents and folders. With a click, conceals files and folders with all their contents. The application is simple and natural to use because it works just as you are used to doing things everyday with your Mac. With this app you will protect your files avoiding them being modified, seen or erased by other users.

12. Free Hide Folder

Free | No Encryption

Free Hide Folder

Free Hide Folder is a free computer security software to hide your private folders. It is very useful to keep your personal data away from others. Others will not know where your personal files exist and they will not be able to accidentally view them. You can hide folders simply with a few mouse clicks. Free Hide Folder is protected by a password that you can change or remove at any time.

13. AES Crypt

Free | Files & Folder Encryption

AES Crypt

AES Crypt is a file encryption software available on several operating systems that uses the industry standard Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) to easily and securely encrypt files. Using a powerful 256-bit encryption algorithm, AES Crypt can safely secure your most sensitive files. Once a file is encrypted, you do not have to worry about a person reading your sensitive information, as an encrypted file is completely useless without the password. It simply cannot be read.

AES Crypt is the perfect tool for anyone who carries sensitive information with them while traveling, uploads sensitive files to servers on the Internet, or wishes to protect sensitive information from being stolen from the home or office. AES Crypt is also the perfect solution for those who wish to backup information and store that data at a bank, in a cloud-based storage service, and any place where sensitive files might be accessible by someone else.

14. File Lock PEA

Free | No Encryption

File Lock PEA

File Lock PEA (PEA = Password Encrypting Archive) encrypts data at the filesystem level and offers the possibility to decrypt single files or whole directories temporarily. The program is small and consists of a single archive file. Installation is not required. The program is written in Java and therefore platform-independent and runs on nearly every system without installation, but requires a Java Runtime Environment – that is already installed in most cases.

File PEA encrypts files and folders with authenticated encryption to protect confidentiality and integrity of the data and uses memory-hard key derivation functions to prevent custom hardware attacks. File Lock PEA is not intended to replace disk encryption, but to complement it. File Lock PEA is designed to handle several files or folders – for large amounts of data, it is not suitable.

15. Secret Disk

Freemium | No Encryption

Hidden Disk

Have you ever wanted to store your private files in a secret place? To make it so that even if someone opened your computer, they wouldn’t be able to access these files? Their program offers a solution – it will create a hidden (invisible) disk on your PC where you can safely store your stuff. And of course, you can limit access to the disk with a password. The process of opening and hiding the disk with all of its contents takes only a few seconds, with one push of a button.

There is no need to format your hard drive, their program creates virtual (not real) disk space instantly. The disk space will be taken from the existing disks, limited only by the physical size of your storage. This disk supports optional password protection to block unwanted access to it. It can store any file or folder and is compatible with all programs running on the Windows OS disk. When the disk is hidden it won’t appear in Explorer, as it doesn’t exist on the normal disk. The data stored on the disk is not deleted when the disk is in this hidden state.

16. Secret Disk

Freemium | No Encryption

Secret Disk

Creating a secure place for sensitive files has never been easier than with their software Secret Disk. Within a few clicks, you can create a password-protected additional hard disk to store, hide, and lock files. The software also enables you to set several automation scenarios to make usage very convenient for you. If you need more than one secret disk, that can easily be handled by their software.

In the case of a power outage or fatal error of your Windows OS, your secret disk will automatically lock and become invisible as the information related to the disk instance is stored in the virtual memory. The Secret Disk does not encrypt your files, but it does limit access to them by allowing you to keep them password protected. The software ties together your files with the virtual disk to provide ample security to keep your files secure.

17. Top Data Protector

Freemium | File Encryption

Top Data Protector

Photos, videos, work documents or other files on your PC can be easily seen or exploited by others if you do not protect them well. No matter if it is personal data or client data, the leaking can cause very serious results and economic loss. Therefore,to password protect folders and data is extremely necessary. Top Data Protector can password protect all your private data and files through hiding and locking folders. Simply drag and drop any types of files to the software interface, they will become invisible from their original location. The locked files can only be accessed via Top Data Protector using the master password you set.

  • Protect folders with passwords to block unauthorized access
  • Hide private files, photos, videos and data from prying eyes
  • Avoid outsiders to view, modify or delete your documents
  • Stop ransomware from hijacking your computer files
See More ▶  13 Free Password-less 2FA For Google, Facebook, Instagram, Fortnite, Steam, And Etc

18. Lock & Hide Folder

Paid Version | 256-bit Blowfish Encryption

lock hide folder Software For Password Protecting File And Folder Locker For Windows encryption

Lock and Hide Folder provides a quick and easy way to protect sensitive information on your computer from children, employers, and anyone else might access to use your computer including law enforcement and hackers.

This software will hide your sensitive files so that they can’t be seen or accessed. Even links in your recent documents menu won’t be able to find your hidden files! For extra security, use a password to prevent anyone from accessing your files. You can run this software in stealth mode so that no one knows it’s there, and hide or show your sensitive files using hotkeys.

19. Lock & Hide Folder

Paid Version | No Encryption

hide folder Software For Password Protecting File And Folder Locker For Windows encryption

With Hide Folders you can easily protect any number of folders and files on your computer. You can select any file or folder to protect from the program, drag-and-drop the desired files and folders from Windows Explorer into the Hide Folders window or protect the file or folder using Windows Explorer context menu. Works great on Microsoft Windows 10.

20. Folder Guard

Paid Version | No Encryption

folder guard Software For Password Protecting File And Folder Locker For Windows encryption

Folder Guard® is a powerful computer security program that you can use to control access to files, folders, and other Windows resources. You can use Folder Guard to lock your personal files and folders with passwords, to stop other users from peeking into your records. You can even completely hide your private folders from virtually all applications, and such folders would remain invisible until you enter a valid password. You can also protect sensitive system files from modification or destruction, disable access to the removable drives, restrict access to Control Panel, and more.

21. Folder Lock

Paid Version | AES-256 bit File & Folder Encryption

folder lock Software For Password Protecting File And Folder Locker For Windows encryption

Folder Lock lets you password-protect files, folders and drives; encrypt your important files on-the-fly; backup them in real-time; protect portable drives; shred files & drives and clean history. Folder Lock is the most downloaded file-security application with more than 25 million users. It works on 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP.

22. IObit Protected Folder

Paid Version | No Encryption

protected folder password secure Software For Password Protecting File And Folder Locker For Windows encryption

Secure your privacy by Protected Folder to protect your important and personal files from anyone else who might use your computer or when your computer is shared at work.

Protected Folder keeps locking your important data. Even if your PC is threatened by a malicious attack, without unlocking it by entering the password you set, your files can not be stolen and are kept safely.

23. Wise Folder Hider

Free / Paid Version | No Encrypting for Free Version

Wise Folder Hider

Wise Folder Hider is designed to password-protect your folders and files from being seen, read or modified by the priors. It provides enhanced security for files and folders on your Windows PC, blocking the unauthorized access of your private files or folders. It is an ideal utility for those who are concerned about the security of their personal data.

24. File Protect System

Paid Version | Strong Encryption

Encrypt files and directories using a password.

File Protect System (FPS) is a professional solution for personal data protection that encrypts files and directories using a password. The application can be used alone to encrypt files and folders, or as a component of a complete cyber defense system. FPS allows you to build a reliable confidential information exchange system using embedded email clients. The application provides the user the option of choosing an encryption algorithm.

Encryption can be done using a password or a digital object (images or arbitrarily chosen file). Encrypted files can be stored on the local disk, on a server, on external storage or in the cloud. With FPS you can create packages of protected files. This feature is extremely important when creating archives or backups of critical information. If necessary, all processes can be documented in real time, allowing for subsequent analysis and optimization.

The application complies with the requirements of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) The standard encryption algorithms used in the application are validated within NIST’s Cryptographic Module Validation Program (CMVP). FPS was developed in accordance with the requirements of ISO 9797 and ISO 9798-2. The development process complies with the requirements set out in ISO / IEC 15408-1, which guarantees high reliability.

The application includes the following standard encryption algorithms: Advanced Encryption Standard (block size of 128 bits, key lengths: 128, 192 and 256 bits) Blowfish Haval (256 bit, 5 passes) CAST-128 (CAST-5) CAST-256 (CAST-6) Information Concealment Engine (ICE) Information Concealment Engine 2 (ICE-2) ICE Encrypt MISTY-1 (Mitsubishi Improved Security Technology) Ron’s Code 2 or Rivest’s Cipher 2 (RC-2) Ron’s Code 4 or Rivest’s Cipher 4 (RC-4) Ron’s Code 5 or Rivest’s Cipher 5 (RC-5) Ron’s Code 6 or Rivest’s Cipher 6 (RC-6) Serpent Tiny Encryption Algorithm (TEA) Twofish Affordable hash functions: Secure Hash Algorithm 1 [SHA-1] RIPEMD-160 Haval [256 Bit, 5 passes] Message Digest 5 [MD-5] Message Digest 4 [MD-4] Tiger RIPEMD-128 SHA-256 (SHA-2 family) SHA-384 (SHA-2 family) SHA-512 (SHA-2 family)

25. Anvi Folder Locker

Free | No Encrypting

anvi folder locker Software For Password Protecting File And Folder Locker For Windows encryption

[ Discontinued ] Anvi Folder Locker is a new and free security tool developed to help computer users manage or protect their important files. With Anvi Folder Locker, you can lock your personal files for protecting your privacy, set password to files so other users will have no access to visit. You can also add permissions to your files to stop them from being modified, destructed or removed. So just add a file or a folder, Anvi Folder Locker can Hide, Lock, Read Only, Hide and Lock, Password-Protect it.

26. EMCO UnLock IT

Free | No Encrypting

emco unlock it Software For Password Protecting File And Folder Locker For Windows encryption

[ Discontinued ] A neat free utility that helps you to unlock files and folders. It allows you to take control on resources locked by a system, applications and services. For a locked resource the application detects a list of locking processes and allows to unlock the resource by closing file and library handles or terminating locking processes. The application offers Windows Explorer integration that makes possible folders and files unlocking by just a single click in the context menu.

12 Comments

  1. Gravatar

    How can I password protected Windows XP pro.

    • Gravatar
      Kalifa [ Reply ]

      Why not try Folder Lock 7.6.0? I’ve been using it for 1 years, it works very powerful encryption! And now they improved the GUI and it seems more user-friendly than before.

    • Gravatar

      Try File Protect System free edition.

  2. Gravatar

    How can I password protected Windows XP pro

  3. Gravatar
    Stuart watt [ Reply ]

    I personally find and use My LockBox 3 ( https://fspro.net/ ) as the bset one to password protect folder in Windows but it is missing in the list. We use it in our organisation and it is hassle free and the support is much better than Secure Folder

  4. Gravatar

    I am using Protect My Folders (https://www.top-password.com/protect-my-folders.html).
    It works the similar way like the software list above.

  5. Gravatar
    David Boxley [ Reply ]

    Quick File Locker reported as malware by Avast

  6. Gravatar
    Georgi Todorov Gerasimov [ Reply ]

    File Protect System (FPS) have a new version. bAn email client has been added to it. It is possible to encrypt messages through GMail, Yahoo mail, AOL etc.

    There are many other improvements. If you are an online editor, run an IT blog, or are a journalist, you are entitled to two free paid install packages. You just have to use the contact form to request.

  7. Gravatar

    I read this article and bough suggested program number 1: “Lock and Hide Folder”.
    Bad surprise was after I configured in windows “Show system files”. Folders that was hidden by program started be visible again. Moreover, it was accessible!
    It means, I bought for 29$ option to set “system hidden” flag on folder (that I can do by myself for free)! No really hidden, no locking and no any kind of encryption! They are frauds!
    I sent the mail to support, but doesn’t received any answer.
    Beware of this program! It’s fake and money collection!

    • Gravatar

      Thank you! I was ready to buy it. Then tested what you said and there you go!

  8. Gravatar
    Georgi Todorov Gerasimov [ Reply ]

    ABOUT FILE PROTECTION SYSTEM (FPS)

    File Protect System (old name FPS) is now a module of CRYPTHOR and has much more advanced functionality (including the ability to encrypt databases such as MySQL, Oracle, DB2, MS SQL, etc.).
    Some of the new modules are publicly available, others are still only available to enterprise customers.
    Available to users are the modules for batch protection of large arrays of files (FPM-II), as well as the file shredders (FDM-II).
    The public version of the updated FPS will be available by the end of the month.
    CRYPTHOR, DES, Crypto Web (see WebTools, CPM-II, etc.), and other modules are currently under a partial ban for mass distribution.

    FPM-II fe:
    https://www.microsoft.com/store/apps/9NCR9K18F706

    FPM-II spe:
    https://www.microsoft.com/store/apps/9N1V0V4D0B3V

    FDM-II fe:
    https://www.microsoft.com/store/apps/9PLZ069MZJKD

    FDM-II spe:
    https://www.microsoft.com/store/apps/9MZ58Q8WW5KP

  9. Gravatar
    Asif Khan [ Reply ]

    File Protect System (FPS) have a new version. bAn email client has been added to it. It is possible to encrypt messages through GMail, Yahoo mail, AOL etc.

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