Apps are all around us and even though we mostly use our smartphones, we also tend to store our important files on PC. This makes the PCs one of the most important file storages. However, if you share your PC with your family or a friend, it’s important to keep your files under a lockdown. You never know how and when will someone have an access to your files and that’s not a great thing. So, if you are wondering how you can lock a specific app on your PC, now it’s time to cover this simple process.
Use Windows AppLocker Service
Windows AppLocker Service is a built-in app that comes with only specific versions of Windows. These versions are Enterprise and Education. If you are using one of these versions, you can follow this step. If not, then we have the other few guides below this one. These are the steps to lock your apps using AppLocker:
- Click on the Start button in the lower-left corner of your desktop.
- In the search bar, type Application Locker.
- The app should be like a green box with a red sign on it. Left-click on the app.
- Now, the things are pretty simple. You’ll have several apps listed and you can configure your own by clicking on ‘Configure’ under the listed apps.
- If you’ve clicked Configure, browse the app you want to lock, double-click on it and click Save, next to Configure.
- However, if you want to lock an app from the list (Powerpoint, Notepad, MS Painter, etc), just tick the checkbox next to the app and click Save.
- You should receive the message saying that your app is locked. Click on OK and you’re good to go.
- For unlocking the app, just untick the checkbox and click Save.
- If you want to unlock all the locked apps, just click on Unlock All, which is below the list of apps.
Use My Lockbox App
My Lockbox is an app that you can download on any version of Windows, so if the steps above didn’t work for you, we are going to cover this one, which is just as simple. The steps are below:
- Download My Lockbox for free from here.
- Install the app in the desired destination.
- Run the app as Administrator.
- Upon opening, the app will ask you to enter and confirm your password (not necessary), hint and E-mail address. I recommend entering the password for increased safety.
- Click Ok and you’ll be prompted to select a folder to protect. You can either type its location or click on Browse to search for it.
- A new Windows Explorer window will open. Now search for your desired folder and click Ok.
- Again, click Ok in the previous Window and you’ll have that folder and the apps inside the folder locked. You can do this for a single app as well.
- If you want to unlock your file(s) or folder(s), open your app as Administrator again.
- You’ll see your locked folder there and on the left side, you’ll see an option to Unlock. Click on it.
- Do you remember the password you set just a minute before? Enter that password and press Ok, located below.
- You just unlocked your folder (or file).
Use GiliSoft EXE Lock
This method is maybe the easiest method for locking your files. It’s very easy as it requires just to drag & drop your files and that’s it. The steps are below:
- Download GiliSoft EXE Lock from here.
- Install the app and run it as Administrator.
- Now, you’ll see a big blank window in which you need to drag your EXE files.
- Feel free to drag any of the apps you want to lock, including web browsers (if you want).
- In the upper right corner, there is a button Help, and an arrow pointing downwards. Click on the arrow.
- You’ll see options Help, Settings and About respectively. Click on Settings.
- Now, enter the password in the first textbox and confirm it in the text box below.
- Click Change, underneath the second textbox.
- If you want to enter an E-mail, you can do that here, just under these two textboxes.
- Again, click on Change and you’re good to go.
- Because you now have your password and E-mail configured, you can lock your files.
- Now, we’ll continue from the step 4. If you’ve dragged the apps you want to lock, look in the lower left corner of the app and you’ll see a black Lock button.
- Click on it, and you’ve locked your files with a password that you’ve provided.
Encrypt the desired Folder
Encrypting the folder grants you that no one except you can access it, without actually encrypting it with a password. The steps to this are below:
- Search for the folder you want to lock.
- Right-click on the folder and select Properties.
- Now, under the General tab, you’ll see the general info about your folder as well as the option called Advanced. Click on it and the new window will open.
- The new window should be called Advanced Attributes. There are a total of four options there and you want to make sure to select Encrypt Contents To Secure Data, which is the last option.
- Tick the checkbox and click on Ok.
- Again, click Ok in the General window and you’ve successfully locked your folder.
By locking or encrypting your folder, you are not only keeping it safe from the others, but also preventing any further changes to that folder or app. Sure, you can always unlock your app using the exact same app or method you’ve used and it’s easy to do, so be sure to always remember the password you’ve put when locking your folder. Also, remember to keep your files safe, especially on a shared PC.