Geekflare is supported by our audience. We may earn affiliate commissions from buying links on this site.
In Windows Last updated: August 14, 2023
Share on:
Invicti Web Application Security Scanner – the only solution that delivers automatic verification of vulnerabilities with Proof-Based Scanning™.

Data protection is the process of safeguarding important information from compromise, corruption, or loss. In the digital world, data protection is more important than ever before.

Importance of Protecting Files or Folders in Windows 10/11

Protecting files or folders is of utmost importance, considering today’s dynamic digital era. Our all-electronic devices are connected to the internet, so all our data is always at risk of getting exposed by an unauthorized threat actor. 

A computer screen with the words data theft on it.

As per Statista, In the USA alone, in 2022, 422 million individuals were affected by data breaches of sensitive data through authorized access. In the first quarter of 2023, the violation of data records stands at an astonishing more than 6 million worldwide.

Let’s see some reasons why it is important to protect files and folders:

  • Unauthorized users can steal sensitive data, like financial and personal information, along with trade secrets, which can be misused for identity theft, fraud, or malicious activities.
  • Unauthorized users could corrupt or delete sensitive data leading to financial loss, disruption in business, legal consequences, and harm to a company’s reputation. 
  • Unauthorized users can disrupt access to sensitive data by overloading or crashing the system, affecting business operations.
  • Sensitive folders being accessed without authorization could lead to cyberattacks against companies, resulting in data theft, system damage, operational disruptions, and individual ransom demand.
  • To comply with regulations, financial institutions and Healthcare organizations need to safeguard specific data types.
  • Protecting files with intellectual property (IP) safeguards business investments in patents, trademarks, and copyrights, securing the rights to valuable creations.

The protection of files and folders is related to companies of all sizes and individuals’ personal computers. 

Windows 10/11 Inbuilt Features to Protect Folders and Files

Microsoft ensure­s the security of files and folde­rs on Windows 10 and 11 by offering built-in features and tools that e­ffectively protect data from hacke­rs or misuse.

A computer screen with people working on it.

Let’s see some of the inbuilt security features in Windows 10 and 11:

  • File e­ncryption: Windows includes a built-in encryption feature­ that enhances the se­curity of files and folders. This functionality ensure­s that unauthorized users face significant challe­nges in accessing files, e­ven if they possess physical compute­r access.
  • Controlled folde­r access is a security feature­ in Windows 10 and 11 that protects important files by preve­nting unauthorized apps from making changes to protecte­d folders. It safeguards and effe­ctively blocks ransomware attacks, ensuring the­ integrity and preventing data from being modified or misused by an unauthorized party.
  • User pe­rmissions determine the­ access levels grante­d to individuals or user groups for files and folders. The­se permissions define­ whether users can re­ad, write, or modify the content.
  • File history: Automatically save copies to an external drive or network, protecting against ransomware and data loss and restoring deleted/corrupted files from the enabled backup.
  • BitLocker, a se­curity feature available on Windows 10 and Windows 11 ope­rating systems, offers robust encryption for your e­ntire hard drive. This encryption shie­lds your data from unauthorized access.

How to Protect Files and Folders in Windows 10 and 11?

As discussed above, various methods exist to protect your files and folder on Windows computers.

In this section, we will see the step-by-step method to protect files and folders in Windows 11 using its built-in password protection method.

This method is called “Encrypt contents to secure data.” Encrypting a file or folder using this method converts it into a format that cannot be read without a password.

For example, the system automatically asks for passwords for any unauthorized threat accessing your file or folder. If your system has multiple logins, another person can’t access it, as it will ask for a password.

Only the person who encrypted the file or folder can access it.

To encrypt a file or folder using the built-in password protection method, follow these steps:

Step 1: Open Windows File Explorer on your Windows 11 laptop or desktop.

Step 2: Select and Right-click the file or folder you want to secure with password protection.

Step 3: After right-clicking it, you will see an option called Properties, as shown below; click on it.

A screenshot of the properties window in windows 10.

Step 4: Under the General tab, navigate to the Attributes section and click on the Advanced tab, as shown below:

How to add a file to a folder in windows 10.

Step 5: After this, Select Encrypt contents to secure the data option from Compress and Encrypt attributes section.

A screenshot of the advanced attributes option in adobe acrobat.

Step 6: Click OK and select Apply changes to this folder, subfolders, and files > OK. Then, click on Apply.

After completing these steps, Windows 11 places a lock icon on the folder to show it’s encrypted. Anyone who wants to open the files in that folder must be logged in under your user account.

The built-in password protection method is a simple and effective way to protect files and folders in Windows 10 and 11.

If you are looking for other more secure methods to protect files, folder, and drive, then you can try Window’s inbuilt Bitlocker method.

Final Words

Windows operating system is one of the most widely used operating systems globally, with 74 percent market share worldwide as of January 2023, so hackers or data theft predominantly occurs on these systems.

So, protecting your files and folders becomes of utmost importance. The above-mentioned data protection methods for your files and folders will help safeguard your personal and organizational data.

If you want to protect your Excel sheet, then look at Excel protection.

  • Satish Shethi
    I have been in the IT industry for more than 20 years. I have served Fortune 100 company in a senior role looking after projects related to US Banking, BFS, Mortgage, Insurance, and FMCG. Apart from IT, I like to read books, especially spirituality… read more
  • Rashmi Sharma

    Rashmi has over 7 years of expertise in content management, SEO, and data research, making her a highly experienced professional. She has a solid academic background and has done her bachelor’s and master’s degree in computer applications…. read more

Thanks to our Sponsors
More great readings on Windows
Power Your Business
Some of the tools and services to help your business grow.
  • Invicti uses the Proof-Based Scanning™ to automatically verify the identified vulnerabilities and generate actionable results within just hours.
    Try Invicti
  • Web scraping, residential proxy, proxy manager, web unlocker, search engine crawler, and all you need to collect web data.
    Try Brightdata
  • is an all-in-one work OS to help you manage projects, tasks, work, sales, CRM, operations, workflows, and more.
    Try Monday
  • Intruder is an online vulnerability scanner that finds cyber security weaknesses in your infrastructure, to avoid costly data breaches.
    Try Intruder