How to Password Protect an External USB Hard Drive

By Charles Poole

External hard drives make it possible to mobilize large files like movies, music or software programs. Although external hard drives can be convenient, there is always a chance they could be lost or stolen. When your external hard drive goes missing, any documents or programs you have on the hard drive could be in serious jeopardy. Securing your external hard drive with a password will protect all of your files and programs from falling into the wrong hands.

Step 1

Plug your external hard drive into your computer through a USB port.

Step 2

Click the "Start" menu on the left-hand side of your computer screen and choose the "My Computer" icon from the right-hand side of the menu.

Step 3

Find your external hard drive's icon in the "My Computer" window. Double click on the icon.

Step 4

Right click on a blank area in the external hard drive's window. Choose the "New Folder" option from the gray menu that pops up. Label your new folder with a name appropriate to your external hard drive.

Step 5

Highlight all of your hard drive's windows and programs and drag them into the new folder you created.

Step 6

Right click on the folder and choose the option that reads "Properties." Scroll over to the "Sharing" option. Click the little box labeled "Make This Folder Private."

Step 7

Click on the "Ok" tab to apply the changes. Double click on the folder and enter your Windows Login password when prompted to gain access to the folder and all of the files inside.