Folder Guard

Folder Guard 18.3

Protect your files and folders by making them invisible to prying eyes
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4.2  (116 votes)
18.3 (See all)

If you happen to share your computer with others (family, co-workers, or otherwise) or if your computer can be accessed remotely via an internal or external network, protecting your personal data from unauthorized users should be a must. From keeping your sensitive information and data away from prying eyes to define permissions for certain Windows apps (such as some of those in the Control Panel), Folder Guard offers you flexible solutions to protect and hide selected files, folders, and subfolders to all or to specific users. Its high level of configurability makes it the ideal fit for users and needs of all kinds.

This tiny yet powerful utility is capable of hiding and locking your data not only from other users but also from other Windows programs, thus making invalid any possible workaround. As it happens with most other similar tools, you’ll be required to create a master password, which will become the sole entry to the program’s main interface. Actually, you’re also provided with a fall-back solution – the Emergency Recovery Utility, a small executable file that can override the master password in case you lose or forget it.

Together with the program’s main control panel, it offers you a simple wizard that you can use to protect your folders in the most straightforward way. Folders can be either locked with a password or restricted without one in various ways. The default option will follow the visibility settings of its parent folder or you can apply various restriction options if all of its parent folders are visible and open. You can restrict access to all the data it contains and leave the folder visible to all users, show it as an empty folder, or make it invisible to all. When it comes to access restrictions, you can choose among granting full access, provide read-only access, or deny access fully, and both access and visibility restrictions can be combined in whatever way fits your preferences. As any restriction can be applied to all users or to selected ones on a folder by folder basis, the possibilities are endless. If you add the option to hide them from your own operating system and the possibility of defining “trusted” apps (the program you use to back up your data, for instance) and extension-based filters, you will easily understand why this extremely high level of flexibility is probably what I like most about Folder Guard.

Its built-in file manager will let you see at a glance all your protected files, allowing you to select any of them and change or remove any restrictions with just one click. However, you don’ t need to open the program’s main window to perform most of these tasks – just integrate Folder Guard into the context menu during the installation process, and you’ll be able to manage your protected files and folders with the right button of your mouse.

Folder Guard includes also means to protect itself from anyone wanting to access your data without permission. If someone tries to kill the process using the Task Manager, it will only close Windows Explorer to restart it again, leaving all your data permissions intact and your folders untouched.

Probably the only thing that might prevent me from using Folder Guard is its tag price. Though not excessively high, it may prevent some users with basic data protection needs from buying a license, though anyone in need to protect really sensitive data and companies whose wealth lies in the information they store will find Folder Guard to be a pretty affordable solution.

Francisco Martínez
Editor rating:

Review summary

Pros

  • Folder protection wizard
  • Creates a restore point
  • Protected by a master password
  • Folder password is optional
  • Flexible restriction options

Cons

  • A bit pricey
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