How to password protect files in Windows 11

Windows 11 password

The main difference that we find in Windows 11 compared to Windows 10, we find it in the aesthetics of the new version. Microsoft has worked on offer an aesthetic more in line with the times and has taken the opportunity to improve it, centering the start menu so that it is easier to interact with it regardless of the size of the screen.

If you are already enjoying Windows 11 and you share your computer with other people, be it your family or colleagues, most likely you do not want other people to have access to your documents, whether personal or work. The simplest solution is to create user accounts in Windows. If not one option, the other goes through password protect files.

Protect folders with a password, will prevent anyone who has access to our equipment from accessing the content stored in them. If we do not want to protect a folder, but our idea is to protect individual text documents, we can also do it natively in Windows 11 without having to install a third-party application.

Protect folders in Windows 11 without installing apps

native Windows 11 password

The first method that we show you to be able to protect files or folders in Windows 11 It is the solution that, natively, Windows 11 offers us. Of course, this function is only available in the version of Windows 11 Pro, Windows 11 Enterprise and Windows 11 Education.

If you have the Home version of Windows 11, you will not be able to use this option, because it is not enabled in the system. You will have to choose one of the other solutions that we have at our disposal using third-party applications.

For lock a folder or file with Windows 11, we must perform the steps that I show you below:

  • First of all, we must place the mouse over the file or folder that we want to protect with a password.
  • Next, we click on the right mouse button and select Properties.
  • Within properties, in the section Attributes, click on Advanced.
  • In this section, in the Compression and encryption attributes section, we check the box Encrypt content to protect data.
  • Next, click on Details, and create a digital certificate with the password that will give access to the files that we have protected, a certificate that we must save off team, since, without it, we will not be able to reopen them

El certificate assistant It will guide us through the entire process to create the password, and save the certificate on an external drive.

This method it is the same that is available in Windows 10 to protect files and folders, so if you have not upgraded to Windows 11 or your computer is not compatible, you can use it without problems.


password files Windows 11

One of the oldest applications in computing in Winrar, an application that we can use completely free and without any limitation despite the fact that it continually shows us a warning message inviting us to buy a license.

Winrar, allows us protect files and folders in a very simple way protecting the files with a password, without which, we will not be able to unzip or open the file in any way, despite being able to access the contents of the folder through the preview.

For add a password to a file or folder with Winrar with Windows (the method is the same in all versions of Windows since XP), the first thing to do is download it from its website by clicking on this link.

To create a compressed file of a folder or file, we must place ourselves on it, press the right button, go to the Add to file option, option that shows the Winrar logo.

Next, the image that heads this section will be displayed, where we must establish the name of the file that will contain the compressed files, and click on Set password, which will show a new window where we must enter the password to use to protect the file or folder.

If you forget the password used, you will never be able to unzip or access the files that are inside.


7-zip add password file

If you don't like the design of Winrar, an interesting application that allows us to compress files and folders with a password, we can find it in 7-Zip, an application that, like Winrar, we can download completely free through this link.

To create a compressed file of a folder or file, we must place ourselves on it, press the right button, direct the mouse to 7-Zip and select from the Add to file drop-down menu.

Next, the image that heads this section will be shown, where we must establish the name of the file that will contain the compressed files, and in the section Encryption, we must establish with which password we want to protect access to the data that is inside it and finally click on OK.

If you forget the password used, you will never be able to unzip or access the files that are inside.

How to choose the best password

The password that we use will be the barrier that we put on the file or folder to which we don't want anyone but us to have access. Forget about using the typical passwords such as password, 123456789, 111111111, the name of your pet, the date of birth, a combination of both ... since anyone who knows you can find out quickly, you just have to try combinations.

When creating a password, we must:

  • Combine uppercase, lowercase and special characters.
  • A length of at least 12 digits.

This is all very well, but you sure are thinking about how are you going to remember a password type idUG934jghYt. Well, making use of applications that allow us not only to generate passwords, but also to store them to always have them at hand.

Ideally use an application that is cross-platform and that allows us to access each and every one of the passwords that we store in it from any device, be it a mobile phone, tablet, via browser, Windows computer or Mac.

1Password, LastPass, Dashlane are some of the more interesting options when managing our passwords from any device and anywhere.

Protect Office documents

Microsoft Office

If what we want is to protect documents created with Word, Excel or PowerPoint, no need to resort to third-party applications or to the operating system itself, since all these applications allow us to add a password, a password that will allow us to:

  • View but do not edit the document.
  • Neither view nor edit the document.

The options to protect an Office document with a password can be found within the options available for saving the document.

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