With the fledgling progress in cloud technology and virtual instances, it has become easier to store, and access files online. The technology pioneer Google also offers free cloud storage through one of their most popular products known as Google Drive. This is a comprehensive guide on how to password protect Google drive folder.
It’s an extremely useful tool for both personal and corporate applications. It allows you to store files online and access them virtually from multiple devices anytime, anywhere. Moreover, the tool also offers real-time changes and edits visibility for collaborators and team members.
Although it’s very handy to have your uploaded file quickly accessible, it also imposes a security concern for your data. A malicious person can easily access your files uploaded on Google Drive with the help of its shareable link. And use the gathered information to carry out social engineering attacks on you.
With that said, you must have a security mechanism such as password protection in place to keep your personal data safe and secure. Even though Google doesn’t offer any official feature to password-protect your folders. There are some nifty tricks to keep your data protected.
Below is a quick rundown of methods on how to password protect Google Drive folder for not-so-techie people out there:
How to Password Protect Google Drive Folder
1. Encrypt Your Data Before Uploading
Through the concept of security by obscurity, a great way to password-protect a folder on Google drive is by encrypting it before uploading it on the drive.
This ensures that even if someone accesses your folder, the data will be completely inaccessible for them.
If you’re using a Windows Operating System, all you need to do is follow the steps here to password protect Google Drive folder.
- Right-click on your desired folder or file.
- Click on the Properties tab.
- On the pop-up window that appears on your screen, choose the advanced tab located at the bottom.
- Tap on the “Encrypt contents to secure data” option.
- Click on the ok button, and select the “Apply This Change to This Folder Only” label on it.
At this stage, you need to back up the key and certificate of your file encryption by clicking on the “backup now” button.
Lastly, you’ll be asked to choose the desired password for your file or folder. Enter your desired password and upload the file or folder on Google Drive. It’ll be encrypted even after being uploaded, and won’t be accessible without the right password.
You may also like, How To Recover Permanently Deleted Photos From Google Drive.
2. Keep Your Account Secure
You may not be able to password protect Google drive folders directly. An attacker cannot simply hack their way through them, because they’re stored on Google’s servers. The folders stored in Google Drive can be accessed only when they have a shareable link enabled for them.
Another scenario may include your account being compromised, in case that happens, you can’t protect your folders at any cost. Therefore, you need to make sure that you keep your account secure in the first place. There are several good practices to keep your account safe.
Foremost, you need to choose a strong password that you can easily recall. Moreover, harness the capabilities of the two-factor authentication feature to add an additional layer of security. If you’ve got a flexible budget, you can also consider using a hardware security key.
The worst-case can be someone snooping or peeping on your smartphone or laptop. If you want to protect your Google Drive folders in such a case, then you can protect them with a pin or password. Using file protection software is also worth the investment.
3. Protecting Folder Content With Microsoft Word
If your folder contains important and sensitive document files that need to be protected, you can use an in-built feature of Microsoft Office Word to encrypt and upload them to Google Drive. To do this, you simply need to open the desired doc in Microsoft Office Word.
Here are the steps you can follow:
- Right-click on the doc and choose the option “Open With” on the menu.
- Once the document is opened in Word, you need to choose the “Protect Document” feature from the top navigation menu.
- Now tap on the “Encrypt with Password” option.
Now, you’ll be asked to set a password for your doc so choose a strong and easy-to-remember password, and proceed with the “Next” button. Repeat the same process for all the documents located in the folder and once everything is done, upload the folder on Google Drive.
4. Change its Sharing Settings
Another method you can use to password protect Google Drive Folder is simply restricting access or changing its sharing settings. Here is what you can do.
- Open your Google Drive account and choose the folder you want to encrypt.
- Now, make right-click on it and click on Share.
- Under General Access, change it to Restricted, which will not allow anyone to access your document.
Other than this, you can also change it to Anyone with the Link and choose between Viewer, Commenter, or Editor. This will help you keep your Google Drive folder protected.
5. Third-Party Apps
Lastly, you can try out third-party apps as well that might help you protect the Google Drive folders. One of the software that is easy to use and highly secure is EaseUS. Here is how you can use it.
- Download the software and register yourself using your email
- Click on Protecting File on the left menu options
- Next, you can choose from the option on the right menu given as Protect File(s), Folder, or Drive.
- Here you can add the folder you want to protect.
- Click on Protect Drive and tap on OK to confirm
You can do it over and over again for all the folders and files. It is much easier, and anyone can use it.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, Google Drive doesn’t offer any official feature that allows you to password-protect your uploaded folders. However, with some clever tricks, you can make sure that your files and folders are secure such as encrypting the folder contents before uploading them on Google Drive.
Yes, the files are secured with 256-bit encryption that prevents hackers from intercepting or compromising your data.
However, physical attacks such as social engineering or client-side bypasses cannot be evaded, and you need to consider several security measures to protect against them.
Until you decide to share them at your own will, the files and folders uploaded on your Google Drive are set private by default. It’s possible to share the documents with specific people by making them public or adding people through their email to view the files.
Google Drive and other cloud services admittedly provide privacy levels, but it’s up to you whether you trust the company with your data or not. If you feel uncomfortable about keeping your sensitive documents on the cloud, you can store them offline in your hard drive instead.
You may like the following Google Drive tutorials:
- How to transfer ownership of Google Drive Files
- How to Upload Large Files to Google Drive
- Download quota exceeded google drive
- How to Unshare a Folder in Google Drive
- How to Restore WhatsApp Backup from Google Drive
- Google Drive vs OneDrive
- How to Download Google Drive Files on iPad
With the amazing capabilities of Google Drive, you can easily access, store, and share your files on the cloud for absolutely free of cost. Although there’s no option to password protect folders on Google Drive, the tricks shared above will surely keep your files and folders a lot more safe and more secure.
There are multiple other third-party tools as well that multiple users have been using all around the world to keep their files and data safe. As we know it cannot be done directly on Google Drive, you can protect your file before uploading it to the drive and make your files much safer. If at all you are unable to follow the methods above, let us know in the comment section.
I am Carissa Gudinoa, a technology buff, and Office online and Apple expert with over 9 years of experience. I am passionate about helping others get the most out of their Apple devices. I have written extensively about Apple products and technologies. I am committed to providing my clients with the best possible service and am always up-to-date on the latest Apple products and features. I also write extensively on other software available for use at minimal cost or free. This includes Word Online, Outlook Online, Excel Online, and other Office online programs… Check out more.