How to Password Protect a Flash Drive

Flash Drives are convenient, compact and affordable devices that provide portability and peace-of-mind for those who need to back up or transfer important data from one computer to another. To safeguard valuable data in case of flash drive theft or loss, you should password protect your flash drive. While some removable drives include factory password protection, others don't automatically provide protection. Many password and encryption programs are free while others are available for purchase.


  1. Encrypt Individual Files and Folders on a Flash Drive

    • 1

      Choose "Tools" from the menu bar at the top of the program, such as Microsoft Word, and pick "Options."

    • 2

      Select "Security" from the many tabs displayed in the new popup window. Create a password in the "Password to Open" or "Password to Modify" section and click "OK" at the bottom of the box.

    • 3

      Confirm your password when prompted. Drag the password protected files to your flash drive. To open a protected file, enter password when prompted. Remember, passwords are case sensitive.

    Encrypt Entire Flash Drive

    • 1

      Download and install the freeware program "Cryptainer LE" onto your PC or laptop. Enter a meaningful password from 8 to 100 characters and define the file location and size, which you can change at a later time. Enter your password when prompted.

    • 2

      Install Cryptainer Mobile when the Cryptainer LE installation is complete. Select "Tools" on the menu bar at the top of your screen. Select "Install Cryptainer Mobile" and follow the prompts. The Mobile version comes with the LE download.

    • 3

      Close the LE version on your desktop. Select a location and meaningful password for the Mobile version. To protect important files and folders, drag and drop them into the vault, the location of the encrypted files.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cryptainer LE works with Windows 95, 98, Windows ME, 2000, XP, 2003 Server and Vista operating systems.
  • Don't write down passwords. Choose passwords that are easy to remember but aren't common knowledge.
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