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How to Password-Protect Files on an External Hard Drive

Updated February 21, 2017

External hard drives make file storage and transfer easy because of the their ability to mobilise large files and programs. One of the downsides of having an external hard drive, however, is the chance that it could be lost or stolen. When this happens, all of the information on your hard drive could be in jeopardy. To protect your files, put a password onto them with a third-party encryption program for added security.

Connect your external hard drive to your computer through an available USB port.

Download the StorageCrypt program (see Resources link) and double-click on the icon to launch the program.

Choose your external hard drive from the "Drives List" on the left side of the software window. Choose your "Encryption Mode" from the right side of the software screen.

Choose whether you want "Portable Use" with your hard drive.

Enter your password into the "Enter Password" and "Password Again" boxes. Click the "Encrypt" button to encrypt your hard drive.

Connect your external hard drive to your computer through an available USB port.

Download and install TrueCrypt (see Resources link). Launch the program by double-clicking the icon.

Click "Create Volume" at the bottom of the software screen. Click "Create an encrypted file container" in the next screen and then click the "Next" button at the bottom of the software window.

Click the button next to "Standard TrueCrypt Volume" and then click the "Next" button. Click the "Select File" button on the next screen and choose your external hard drive from the window that pops up. Click the "Save" button at the bottom of the screen.

Click the "Mount" button in the home screen and choose your external hard drive from the list that pops up. Choose the "Encryption Method" in the next screen and click the "Next" button.

Type your password into the field that pops up and then re-enter your password. Click the "Save" button.

Connect your external hard drive to your computer through an available USB port.

Download and launch the "SafeHouse" program (see Resources link).

Click on the "Primary Volume" tab in the software window. Go down to the file folder button and click it. Choose your external hard drive from the window that pops up.

Click the "OK" button. Type your password to protect the hard drive in the next window.

Type your password again to confirm it with the software.

Click the "Save" button at the bottom of the window.

Things You'll Need

  • Encryption software (see Resources)
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About the Author

Charles Poole holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from Appalachian State University. He started freelancing in college for local publications in Boone, N.C. and is continuing his career through online freelancing with a specialization in affiliate marketing, blogging and SEO.