Technology makes our life sophisticated. USB drives are tiny and portable. The manufacturer is making even more small USB drives. Some USB drives can hold up to 1TB of data. With such capacity, we prefer to keep all our important data on USB flash drive to keep it with us all the time. But do you know how to password protect a USB drive?
But the portable nature creates a problem. It can easily be lost. Hence we should protect our sensitive files and data.
So it is essential to password-protect the USB drive. Encrypting your USB drive with a password is vital and the best way to go when you need protection that is extremely hard to break.
But you may not feel comfortable to protect the whole drive. If you want to protect just a file why you encrypt the whole drive.
In this article, I am going to discuss how to password protect a USB drive.
How to password protect a USB drive for free
Sometimes you may need to protect just one file or a part of your flash drive or full encryption of USB flash drive. Let us discuss these situations step-by-step.
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1. Protect Individual Files With a Password
Is your need to protect just some files? Well, this option for you. There is no need for encrypting the whole drive. You can protect the data using the built-in feature (if present), or a third-party utility tools.
Many programs, including Microsoft Office, allow you to save files with a password. Here is how you can add or remove protection in your document.
You can use third-party to password protect the files and folders.
Do you want to password protect the PDF files on your USB flash drive? Just use PDFTK Builder.
This is the most common and efficient method. Try this method if you need.
2. Create encryption to a part of the USB
Do your USB flash drive contains very important data? Well, you may not satisfied with the simple password.
In this situation, you can create a separate partition in a USB drive and encrypt that partition and add all important data in that partition.
For this purpose Rohos Mini Drive is the best option. It comes with both free and paid versions. The free version can create a hidden, encrypted, and password-protected partition of up to 8GB on your USB flash drive. If you need more space you have to buy the paid version.
You can download Rohos Mini Driver here.
I think 8GB of space in USB flash drive is more than enough for most of the peoples. The tool uses automatic encryption with AES 256 bit key length.
The best thing about Rohos Mini Drive is you won’t need encryption drivers on your local system. Just install it directly on USB flash drive. Do you know how to put a password on Pendrive? The process is the same for all USB devices.
Steps to follow
Follow the steps to know how to install and use Rohos Mini Drive step-by-step.
- Download and install Rohos Mini Drive.
- Open the program
- On the Rohos start, screen select Encrypt USB drive
- A new dialog will open up with all the properties of the new partition that will be created.
- You can change the properties by clicking on “change”
- If you click on “change” you will see the customization options in another window.
- Here you can specify, drive partition letter, space, and encryption type.
- It is not recommended to edit options except partition size and disk letter.
- The free version allows you 8GB of space to encrypt. If you want more space, just buy the paid version.
- When you change all the properties, then click OK.
- Next, you will see two blank fields where you can enter a password to encrypt. Make sure you add a strong password to ensure your data is safe.
- You can create a shortcut to the disk on your desktop by checking the box below.
- When you finish all these steps, simply click on Create disk
- It takes time depending on the partition size.
You are all set to go. Just plug in the USB in any computer. You will see a Rohos icon in the taskbar. Right, click on the icon and select “Connect disk”.
Now you will see a window asking the password. Give the password and the encrypted drive will load in the computer along with other drives.
To disconnect it, you have two options. You can either safely remove the USB drive by right-clicking on the USB icon, or right-click on Rohos icon in the taskbar and select “Disconnect”.
This is the easiest way to encrypt a part of the USB drive. This is how you can put a password on USB flash drive for free. If you want this you should definitely try this method.
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3. Encrypt the whole USB drive
Well, you may have the requirement of encrypting the whole USB drive. For this purpose, I am going to use the tool VeraCrypt. It is a free and open-source tool. VeraCrypt has a really simple interface.
It comes with various algorithms like 256-bit AES, Serpent, and TwoFish.
Steps to follow
Follow these steps to download and how to install and use VeryCrypt
- Download VeraCrypt and install it on your USB drive.
- When you start the program, it will show you all the available drive letters.
- Choose which you want to encrypt and then click Create Volume.
- Now you will see the VeraCrypt Volume Creation Wizard.
- we want to encrypt the entire USB flash drive. Select Encrypt a non-system partition/drive and click Next.
- In the next step, you will be asked to choose either a Standard or a Hidden VeraCrypt volume.
- Using a hidden volume is good because it reduces the risk that someone forces you to reveal your password. if you want to create a Hidden VeraCrypt volume, you’ll have to format the entire USB drive.
- In this case, I am selecting Standard VeraCrypt volume. then click Select Device. Choose your removable disk, confirm with OK, and click Next.
- To encrypt the entire USB drive, select Encrypt partition in place and click Next.
- VeryCrypt will warn you because it cares about your data. It says that you should have a backup of the data, in case something goes wrong during encryption.
- Now select the Encryption and Hash Algorithm. You can go with the default settings.
- Now you get to set your Volume Password.
- In the next step, your random mouse movements will determine how much the cryptographic strength of the encryption.
- Now you will choose your Wipe Mode. The more wipes you made, the safer your encryption. In the final window, click Encrypt to start the encryption.
Microsoft’s BitLocker may be a good option to encrypt your USB drive but it is quite complex. Another drawback is, It only supports Ultimate and Enterprise versions of Windows 7 and above.
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After a long discussion on how to password protect a USB drive, we are in the conclusion stage. I assume that you have a clear idea about how to password protect a USB drive. There are three methods you can use to protect the USB drive from data leak. Sometimes it is essential to encrypt either a file or the whole USB flash drive.