Did you know that you can encrypt a file in Windows 10 PC and keep it password protected at the same time? This ensures that no one will be able to open your private files other than those whom you intend to. Encrypting a file is not same as locking a file or folder because locks can be opened and hacked into. But with powerful encryption, your file will be rendered as useless for all those who do not have the appropriate software and the correct password. This guide will explain the steps on how to encrypt and decrypt a file in Windows 10 PC.
Steps On How To Encrypt A File In Windows 10 Using Windows In-built Feature?
Microsoft has inculcated an encryption mechanism and allows users to encrypt files in Windows 10. The process is simple and can also be used to encrypt folders in Windows 10 operating system. Here are the steps to achieve this:
Step 1: Make a right-click on any file or folder you wish to encrypt in your computer to open the contextual menu.
Step 2: From the context menu, click on the last option that is labelled as Properties.
Step 3: In the General tab, click on the Advanced button and a new dialog box will appear.
Step 4: In the Advanced Attributes window, check the box next to “Encrypt Contents to Secure Data” and click on OK.
Step 5: Click on Apply in the Properties dialog box. A prompt will appear on the screen confirming whether to encrypt the file only or the parent folder as well. Place a check on the Encrypt File option and press OK.
This will encrypt your file, and you will be able to see a lock sign on the icon of the file. Only you would be able to access the file with your account and others with a different account on the same computer, or another system will not be able to access this file.
Note: Repeat the steps and uncheck the box next to “Encrypt Contents to Secure Data” to decrypt the file back to normal.
Also Read: How To Send Encrypted Emails Using Gmail And Outlook?
Steps On How To Encrypt A File In Windows 10 Using A Third-Party Software?
The second method of encrypting files in Windows 10 is to use third-party encryption software like Advanced System Optimizer. This application is a complete all-in-one utility for Windows 10 can perform a lot of essential tasks besides encrypting folders in Windows 10 like optimization, remove privacy traces and updating drivers. Here are the quick and convenient steps on how to encrypt a file in windows 10.
Step 1: Download and Install Advanced System Optimizer from the official website, or you can also click on the link provided here.
Step 2: Click on Security and Privacy option located in the left panel of the app window.
Step 3: Next, click on the Secure Encryptor link among the options in the left panel.
Step 4: A window labelled as Secure Encryptor will open where you have to click on Secure Files button.
Step 5: The next app screen will allow the user to choose a file or a folder to encrypt.
Step 6: Once you choose the files and folders, the greyed out Encrypt button will turn blue. Click it to begin the encryption process.
Step 7: Now, you will have to enter a password to encrypt the file. This will have to be entered twice along with a password hint which will help in case you forget the password.
Step 8: Click on OK, and the process will begin. Then click on the Finish button to return to the main screen of the app.
Note: Remember the file will remain in the same location but cannot be opened by any application in your computer unless it is decrypted.
Steps On How To Decrypt A File In Windows 10 Using A Third-Party Software?
Step 1: Launch the ASO application and click on Security and Privacy Option from the left Panel.
Step 2: Click on the Secure Encryptor link among the options in the left panel and wait until a new app window opens.
Step 3: Click on the File Decryptor tab on the top and then, click on the Select Files button.
Step 4: A list of encrypted files will be displayed for you to choose from. In case your file is not displayed, click on the Add button and navigate to the files through the Windows Explorer and select it.
Step 5: Click on the Decrypt button and enter the password to begin the process.
Note: The password hint will be displayed to help the user remember the password. In the above example, the Password Hint is the Fruit of Gravity which means the fruit that fell from the tree on Sir Issac Newton and led to the discovery of the Gravitational Law in Physics. The answer and the password here is “Apple”.
Step 6: Click on the Finish button, and you will be able to open your file again.
Note: Advanced System Optimizer can only carry out the decryption process. So if you encrypt the file and share it someone else, then that person must also have ASO installed in his/her system and must know the password.
The Final Word On How To Encrypt A File In Windows 10?
I believe that you now have understood both the methods of How To Encrypt A File In Windows 10 using the default tool and third-party software. Using a multitasking tool like Advanced System Optimizer, one can not only encrypt files in Windows 10 but also carry out many other essential tasks and fix issues within the system.
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