HomeGadget Bridge AceHow can you encrypt and decrypt files and folders in Windows 10?

How can you encrypt and decrypt files and folders in Windows 10?

Windows 10 come with a built-in tool to encrypt your files and folders. Here is how you can use it.

Encryption is a process of converting a piece of information into a form that can’t be read by anyone except one who has the access key. Encryption is commonly used in different instances even though we may not observe it. For instance, the messages sent or received by WhatsApp or Signal app remain encrypted throughout the transfer chain. They remain in their raw format only at the users’ ends. Other examples of data that remain encrypted include cash withdrawal from ATMs and data on cloud storage like AWS and Microsoft Azure.

There are several methods to encrypt your files and folders. Several third-party free and paid applications are available that provide quick and fast methods to encrypt your data. Here, we will use the built-in feature of Windows 10 to encrypt files and folders.

How can you encrypt a file or a folder in Windows 10?

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To encrypt a file or a folder in Windows 10, follow these steps.

  • Right-click the file or folder that you want to encrypt.
  • In the menu, select Properties.

In the menu, select Properties.
In the menu, select Properties.

  • Click the Advanced button given in the Attributes section. Here you can change the settings for the folder.
  • Under the Compress or Encrypt attributes, check the box that says, “Encrypt contents to secure data”.

Under the Compress or Encrypt attributes, check the box that says, "Encrypt contents to secure data".
Under the Compress or Encrypt attributes, check the box that says, “Encrypt contents to secure data”.

  • Click OK to close the Advanced Attributes window.
  • Click OK in the Properties. You will be prompted with a Confirm Attribute Changes window. Here you can select either of the following options.
    • Apply changes to this folder only
    • Apply changes to this folder, subfolders, and files

Here you can select either of the following options.
Here you can select either of the following options.

  • Choose the desired option and click OK.
  • You will receive a pop-up notification that asks you to “Back up your file encryption certificate and key”. You may also access the message in your notification area.
  • Insert a USB drive to your PC and click Back up now (recommended). You must back up your encryption key otherwise you may lose access to your encrypted file or folder.
  • Click Next to create a certificate and accept the file format.
  • Set a strong password to secure your file or folder.
  • Click Next and choose your USB.
  • Confirm the password and click Next.
  • Click Finish and keep your USB in a secure place.

How can you decrypt a file or a folder?

To decrypt a file or a folder in Windows 10, follow these steps.

  • Right-click the file or folder that you want to decrypt.
  • In the menu, select Properties.

In the menu, select Properties.
In the menu, select Properties.windows 10

  • Click the Advanced button given in the Attributes section. Here you can change the settings for the folder.
  • Under the Compress or Encrypt attributes, uncheck the box that says, “Encrypt contents to secure data”.

Under the Compress or Encrypt attributes, uncheck the box that says, "Encrypt contents to secure data".
Under the Compress or Encrypt attributes, uncheck the box that says, “Encrypt contents to secure data”.

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