How to Lock and Protect Folders on Your Computer and Smartphone

A lock symbolWhether you're working on a home computer or on a work computer in your office, sensitive and confidential information needs to be protected from unauthorized access. One simple way is to completely encrypt every single file you tag as important. A more convenient way is to lock the folder which contains sensitive files. Power users who're technically sound can use some of the hacky tricks to protect or hide select folders on their computers. But what about an average user who wants to do the same? Here come the applications and tools made for easy locking and protecting any folder on a computer or smartphone. While using these applications, I'll strongly advise you to avoid playing with system folders and files as it may halt your system making it unusable. So, let's get started and see how we can easily lock our personal folders without using any complex steps in a few clicks. Before trying them out for the first time, I'll strongly advise you to take a backup of the target folder in question.

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1. Folder Locking Apps for Desktop Computers

Hide and lock folder application Lock & Hide Folder - As the name implies, this excellent application can both lock and hide a folder on a Windows computer. It has an easy interface with point and clicks options to complete the folder securing operation. Handy shortcut keys and multi-select options allow you to complete the folder locking task, quickly. It works seamlessly both on a 32-bit and 64-bit version of Windows operating system. Remember, before uninstalling this application, do unlock all the folders to access them.

Folder lock tools for Windows Folder Lock - This is an all-in-one premium tool to lock, hide and encrypt sensitive files and folders on your computer. It has an intuitive and an eye-catching interface which easily enables its users to lock folders. Apart from a desktop variant, it's also available for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone platforms. This tool can password-protect entire hard drives as well as individual folders. It can also create portable digital lockers which can be used to store both files and folders protected from unauthorized access.

My Lock Box folder locking application My Lockbox - This folder locking application is available in several popular languages. It has a convenient interface with simple operations. It supports handy shortcut keys for quick operations and places no limit on the type and amount of data one can protect. It works with all Windows version including 64-bit variants. Its smart sensing feature prevents locking of system folders ensuring smooth functioning of the computer. It can lock and protect folders while the system is running in safe mode.

Instant Lock application for protecting folders Instant Lock - It's one of the tiniest and extremely light folder locking applications made for Windows platform. Folders can be locked in different ways including classic interface-based point and click method, drag and drop method and through the shell context menu. The uninstallation of this tool is also password protected to prevent anyone from removing it without your knowledge. Even if someone has deleted the folder accidentally, the data stored in the purged directory can be recovered quite easily.

Folder protection software from IObit IObit Protected Folder - This popular folder protection application is one of the best candidates included in this list. It has a military grade protection and ensures a protected folder is safe from hackers and intruders. The application has a nice interface and the configuration step is very simple. Once a protected folder has been created, one can easily transfer sensitive information in it to safeguard it against unauthorized access. It works both on 32-bit and 64-bit variants of Windows operating systems.

Password protection for folders Folder Password Protect - Password protecting folder is so easy with this application. You can do it both through explorer context menu or through the regular application interface. It's ideal for situations where you do not want to hide the folder and just want to prevent unauthorized access. It also works seamlessly both on USD drive folders as well as on network folders. One can also use it easily on older Windows version using the FAT32 file system. It's definitely one of my preferred folder locking applications.

2. Folder Protecting Apps for Smartphones

Android app for securing folder File & Folder Secure - This popular Android app is best suited for smartphone users who want to secure their folders containing personal files and information. The app itself is password protected so that no one can lock or unlock folders on your device. It can lock an unlimited number of files and folders with no restrictions on the size of protected information. It also has a password recovery option with SMS and email channels. Users can also hide and unhide important files through toggle function.

Folder Lock Advanced Android application Folder Lock Advanced - With a large user base, this Android app is one of the best folder locking tools available for smartphone users. It's not just folders, but you can also protect, files, apps, and rich media content through this powerful security app. It offers several ways to protect folders and files and ensures hackers do not penetrate into your sensitive data. It also has secure digital wallets to store critical information with a support of secure cloud backup. The application can also run in stealth mode.

File hiding app for Android phone File Hide Expert - This flexible app can hide all your personal folders containing confidential information. Like other security applications, this useful app is also password protected to prevent unauthorized access. It has an intuitive interface and completes the hiding task swiftly. Once a folder or file is hidden, it doesn't appear elsewhere regardless of the application you're using to fetch the hidden content. Removal and reinstallation of app don't wipe your hidden data and can be recovered easily.

File locking application File Locker - This app has one of the best interfaces for locking files and folders. You can password protect and lock almost anything stored on your Android device. Here I must caution you to unlock all the folders and files before you decide to remove this app. One can also import target files and apps from external storage and memory to store them in a secure folder. To save your time, you can directly access and view the protected files from within the application. Do try this file locking application.