How to Password Protect a USB Hard Drive

Written by brad stewart
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How to Password Protect a USB Hard Drive
Password protect valuable information. (usb flash drive image by Bosko Martinovic from

External hard drives provide the convenience of mobilising files of various types and sizes. Though this mobility is useful there is always the risk that your USB drive could wind up lost or stolen. If this happens, any case-sensitive files or private information could be opened quite easily if not properly protected. Securing your USB hard drive by means of a password is ideal and will protect your information should your external drive fall into unfamiliar hands.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Insert your USB hard drive into your computer using any USB port. Bring up the "Start" menu located on the bottom left of your computer screen. Once the menu is up, click on the "My Computer" option.

  2. 2

    Locate and double click on the external drive icon within the "My Computer" window.

  3. 3

    Right click within the blank space in your external drive's window. A window will pop up with options. Choose the one labelled "New Folder." Name this new folder something easily remembered in reference to your USB hard drive.

  4. 4

    Highlight every item from your USB drive. Drag them into this new folder you have created.

  5. 5

    Right-click on your new folder and highlight the option labelled "Properties." Scroll down to the "Sharing" button. Open the box entitled "Make This Folder Private."

  6. 6

    Click the "OK" tab in order to apply these changes. Click on the new folder and, when prompted, input the personal Windows Login password to gain entry to the folder. This will remain the new password wherever it is used.

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