How to Encrypt Files, Folders And Drives In Windows 10?





Before we dive into the procedure to encrypt files in Windows 10, let us have a look at what is encryption first. Encryption means to make your sensitive data secure so that the people that are unauthorised or restricted, don’t have access to any of the sensitive files and folders you have. In today’s time when all the business, work and almost everything is online, one must be aware of protecting the data and learn how to encrypt files and not be lured away into fancy hollow names that provide false security. 

How Does This Data Encryption Work on the Computer?

On the computer, when you encrypt a data the computer scrambles and makes your data unreadable by any third-party. Now, with the help of the encryption key, only you and the people you want to give the access are allowed to revert your data/file/folder into its readable state. Hence, you can reliably save your data on your computer without any fear of theft or piracy. 

The most important thing that you must remember before you learn how to encrypt files in windows 10 is to back up your data on an external device before. Also, your external device must be plugged into some charging point as an interruption of power might up rendering your data unstable. To encrypt files in Windows 10 you have ample of options. You can encrypt files, folders and even whole drives.  

Different Types of Encryption

Now, there are three different types of encryption.

1. Individual Encryption

As the name suggests, individual encryption means encrypting one individual content/file at a time and each file will have its unique encryption password or key. Windows users can encrypt files in Windows 10 using a 7-zip tool. Individual files from Microsoft office can also be encrypted. 

2. Folder Encryption 

One level up encryption is the folder encryption in Windows. This encrypts, as the name suggests, the entire folder and hence every individual file stored inside the folder. This encryption feature is great for organising different folders and maintaining their privacy at the same time. Hence, if the folder is encrypted, every individual file inside it is encrypted. 

3. Hard drive/ disk Encryption 

This encryption is bigger level encryption and encrypts the entire drive and eventually everything inside it. Therefore, if you encrypt your hard drive, no one can be able to access or surpass it without the password or the key, thereby having no access to any folder or even an individual file stored in the hard drive.

This type of encryption is crucial in companies that handle sensitive data. Even if your disk or drive is encrypted, it does not prevent you from encrypting individual files and folders inside it. 

How to Encrypt Files in Windows 10?

If you want to encrypt files in Windows 10, follow this simple and basic procedure:

  1. Right-click or just press and hold for a second the folder or the file you want to encrypt.
  2. Select the ‘Properties’ option.
  3. Click on the ‘Advanced’ button option.
  4. Select the ‘Encrypt content to secure data’ check-box option.
  5. Click ‘Apply’ and ‘OK’ which will close the advance tools option.

This is how you encrypt folders in windows 10. 

Don’t Know the Version of Windows You are Using? 

If you are not a gizmo geek, chances are you might need this information. Not many of us are fully aware of the version and details of the Windows we are using. Let’s get into it to know what license and version we are using. 

  1. In the search option in your PC or the Windows search box, type ‘About your PC’.
  2. Press ‘Enter’.
  3. Scroll down and look for the ‘Windows specifications’ section.

And this will show the currently installed window in your PC. 

How to Encrypt Drive in Windows 10?

Here is how you can encrypt drives in your Windows 10 and BitLocker.

  1. Locate and select the drive under the ‘Your PC’ option in Windows Explorer.
  2. Right-click on the drive and click on ‘Turn on BitLocker’.
  3. Click ‘Enter Password’.
  4. Enter a secure password.
  5. Then choose ‘How to enable your recovery key?’ and save it to the desired location.
  6. Select ‘Encrypt the entire drive’.
  7. Choose the ‘Start Encrypting’ option to go on with the process.

Even though BitLocker is not available on Windows 10 home version, you can avail the similar feature on it.

How to Encrypt a File in MS Word?

If you work a lot in MS docs, then this might be a helpful piece of information for you. Almost every version of MS Word has the same option, so you can use it freely without having to worry about the license or versions. 

Here is how you secure your file on MS Word:

  1. Open and select the file you want to encrypt and secure.
  2. Go to the File menu and select ‘Protect document’.
  3. Click on the ‘Encrypt with password’. From there, create a password and enter it with which you would be able to secure your file.
  4. After entering the password, select ‘OK’.
  5. Enter it one more time to make sure the passwords entered are correct and match with each other.
  6. Press ‘OK’ again and your encryption process is completed.

Here is how your encrypted files in MS Word. 

Back Up Your Encryption Key

As crucial as encrypting folders and files is, so is backing up your encryption key. Let us learn how to do it. 

  1. Click on your back up key option that pops up.
  2. Click ‘Back up now’.
  3. Follow all the instructions from the wizard.
  4. Enter your password as asked.
  5. Choose a destination place where you want to save the encryption certificate and title it.
  6. Click on the ‘Next’ and ‘finish’.

There go all the ways to encrypt files in Windows 10 and how back up your encryption key. Hope the information helped.  

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