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Password protect applications on Windows 10

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If you’re on a shared computer, one way to keep other users out of certain apps is to require a password to open that app. You can password protect individual applications with a third-party application.

Should you even do this? Read these restrictions

In this tutorial we will be using My Lockbox, which offers a free and paid version. There are other third-party applications available that offer free trials, including Folder Guard, which can also protect apps, but will require you to purchase a license after the trial period ends.

Freeware is not known for its privacy or security. There are risks associated with using freeware as a quick and easy way to achieve a goal. Almost all freeware comes with bloatware, and while most bloatware isn̵

7;t harmful, it isn’t always. But even if the bloatware isn’t malicious on its own, it takes up disk space, which in turn can slow down your computer – a price most aren’t willing to pay for free software.

RELATED: Spread the word: Ninite is the only safe place to get Windows Freeware

The specific freeware application we are using in this article does what it says well: password protection of folders (and the apps in those folders) and preventing access by unauthorized users. However, there are ways to get around this. For example, if someone is logged in with an administrator account, they can bypass Lockbox by changing the Windows permissions and access the previously locked folders. While it isn’t the easiest thing to do, it is is possible.

Alternatives to password protection apps

If you really want to password protect applications, there are other measures you can take in addition to downloading third-party applications. For example, if your goal is to control content and screen time for your child, you can set rules with Windows 10’s parental controls.

You can use separate Windows user accounts to prevent other people using a shared PC from also accessing your files.

If you want to protect certain business apps on your computer, but you have a shared account with a partner, you can create an encrypted container file and install the app in that location.

That said, if you need a quick and (ideally) workaround, here’s what you can do.

RELATED: How to password protect files and folders with encryption

Lock apps on Windows 10

First, download and install My Lockbox by going to the “My Lockbox” page on the FSPro Labs website and clicking the “Download” button.

Download button on my lockbox website

After downloading, double click on the “mylockbox_setup” icon. This will launch the My Lockbox setup wizard.

mylockbox setup icon

The wizard will guide you through the installation process. The first two windows ask you to select a language and accept the license agreement. You will then be asked to choose a folder to install My Lockbox. This is C:Program FilesMy Lockbox standard. If you want to change the location, click “Browse” and then select the location where you want to install My Lockbox. Otherwise click on ‘Next’.

You need at least 9 MB of free disk space to install My Lockbox.

Select a location and click Next in the installation wizard

Continue through the wizard and click ‘Install’ at the end. The installation of the software only takes a few seconds.

Installation button in installation wizard

My Lockbox will now be installed. Double click the app icon to launch it.

My lockbox app icon

The first thing to do when launching the app is to add a password. Enter a strong password and retype it to confirm it. If necessary, add a hint and your email address to recover the password in case you forget it.

Click on “OK” to continue.

Enter the password and recovery email address

Then you will be asked to select the folder you want to protect. What you want to do here is select the folder with the app you want to lock. If you lock the folder containing the app, you will not be able to open the app even if you try to open the app from the start menu or the desktop shortcut.

Click on “Browse” to open Explorer.

Browse the file explorer to select the folder you want to protect.

Navigate to the folder containing the app you want to lock, click to select it, then click ‘OK’. In this example, we select the folder that contains Google Chrome.

Select the folder to lock

Confirm the file path in the “Folder to protect” box and click “OK”.

Confirm the folder and select ok

You will now be denied access when you try to start the app.

Access Denied gif

Start My Lockbox and enter the password to open the app. Click OK. “

Enter the password and click OK

The contents of the locked folder will now be displayed in the “My Lockbox File Browser”. You can double-click the app here or elsewhere to launch it.

Contents of locked folder

The app is now accessible without protection until you turn the setting back on. To do this, click on the “Enable Protection” button in the top right corner of the My Lockbox app.

Enable security

The app in the folder is now back behind the password wall. Make sure to enable this security feature every time you are done using the app.

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