How to Lock Pictures on a Computer

By Avery Martin

Encryption and write protection can guard your images against modification and stop hackers from stealing them. You won't need a password to protect your files using encryption. Rather than encrypting your entire hard drive, you can use the Encrypted File Service in Windows 8.1 to protect just your images. If you post photos to the Internet, you can put a watermark on your images with Microsoft Publisher 2013 to make others less likely to use them without paying for your work.

Encrypted File Service

Step 1

Create a new folder in Windows and move all of the pictures you want to protect into the folder.

Step 2

Enter Desktop mode and click the "File Explorer" icon on the taskbar. Alternatively, type "Explorer" into the Search box on the Start screen and select "File Explorer."

Step 3

Right-click the folder you created and select "Properties."

Step 4

Select the "General" tab and check the "Read-Only" box. This option locks your files and prevents others from modifying the pictures. By default, the Properties dialog windows should start in the General tab.

Step 5

Click the "Advanced" button.

Step 6

Check the "Encrypt Contents to Secure Data" box and click "OK."

Step 7

Click "OK" again to close the Properties dialog.

Step 8

Select the option to "Apply Changes to This Folder, Subfolders and Files" and click "OK."

Creating a Watermark

Step 1

Launch Microsoft Publisher 2013, select the "Home" tab and click "Pictures." Select the "Browse" button in the From a File section to locate the image you want to watermark.

Step 2

Click the "Insert" tab and select the "WordArt" option.

Step 3

Type your watermark text into the text field and click "OK."

Step 4

Click the "File" tab and choose "Save As" from the list of options. Don't select "Save," since you can't remove a watermark once you add it to the image and saving the image replaces the original with the newly watermarked version.

Step 5

Select a location for your file and type a new name for the watermarked version. Click "Save."