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My Lockbox

Kerry from Lancaster, OH asks:

Is there any way to lock a folder in Windows?

Thanks for the question, Kerry. As far as I know, there are no folder lock features designed into Windows, but the article, Finding Hidden Folders [1], describes a built-in way to limit access.

You might also consider the free software application, My Lockbox [2], which enables Windows users to easily hide and lock nearly any folder. While the single locked folder limitation is seen by some as a disadvantage, multiple folders can be moved into the protected folder, or a new one can be assigned at any time (described later). Also, I think the price advantage–$0.00–offsets this minor inconvenience.

Following a straightforward installation, set the password. Remember this password, as it is unrecoverable. I installed this on my wife’s computer and neither of us remembered the password, not only making the software unusable, but it also can’t be uninstalled without a password. Fortunately, no files are stored there.


Then, a protected folder designation must be assigned.


In the Browse for Folder dialog box, select a folder and click OK.


My Lockbox is called up by using the default keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+Shift+P. It can also be found in the Start menu, or in the Program Files folder in the C: drive.


No matter how it’s opened, the dialog box below will appear first, requesting the password that you (hopefully) didn’t forget.


To access protected files, click the Open button in the upper right corner, or click the Unlock button and navigate to the protected folder. To change the designated folder, click the Set button and browse for a new location.


Click the Advanced button to reveal tabs and options in the expanded dialog box, where settings can be adjusted. Once changes are made, click the Save button.


With the protected folder open, move files by dragging them. Or, simply change the designated folder.


A reminder will appear if you forget to lock up.


My Lockbox can be downloaded here [2]. Just click the green Download Free Edition button.