Until the release of Windows XP Professional Edition by Microsoft, password protection within a Windows environment could not be achieved without the use of third party software. While Windows 2000 and Windows XP Home offered password protection if the hard drive was in the NTFS file format. Windows XP can password protect your files without the need to change your hard disk format. Password protecting your files in Windows XP is an effective method of hiding or restricting sensitive data. It can also allow you to set up a computer for use in a public environment, where access to it is unrestricted.
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Things you need
- Microsoft Windows XP Professional Edition
Click "Start" and then click the "Control Panel" icon. In "Control Panel" scroll to the "Accounts" icon and double click it.
Click the option "Change an account." Choose your account and then click the "Create/Change Password" option.
Enter your chosen password into the first field. Repeat the password in the field directly below. Click "Apply" followed by "OK."
Click the "Change the account type" option. By default your main account will be an "Administrator" account. In order to limit the accessibility of the account, change this to "Guest" and decrease "User Rights" as deemed necessary and Click "Apply" followed by "OK."
Right Click the chosen folder to open the drop down menu.
Click the "Properties" option. In the "Properties" pop up, click "Advanced."
Tick the "Encrypt contents to secure data" option. Choose a password for the folder. Then click "Apply" followed by "OK."
Start the Winrar program. Right click the file or folder you wish to be password protected.
Click the "Add to archive" option in the drop down menu.
Click the "Advanced" tab in the Winrar pop up. Then left click "Set Password."
Enter the same password in both blank fields. Tick the "Encrypt file names" option and then click "OK."
Click "OK" and wait for the program to compress the chosen file or folder. The created rar or zip file will be password protected.
Tips and warnings
- Ensure that you do not lose the password used to encrypt the files as they are difficult to retrieve.
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- Computer Hope: How do I password protect my files and folders in Windows?
- Microsoft Support: Best practices for the Encrypting File System
- Microsoft Support: How to create and configure user accounts in Windows XP
- Microsoft Support: How to set, view, change, or remove special permissions for files and folders in Windows XP