If we are in a hurry and want to integrate a faster encryption tool into Windows 10, in this guide we will show you how to encrypt files and folders quickly on Windows 10 using programs that integrate into the context menu of the operating system, that is, the menu that we can call up by pressing the right button on any file or folder.
In this way encrypt and protect important files and folders will become a very simple operation for everyone!
How to protect files from the context menu
The context menu is the menu that can be called from the right button on any file and folder containing management options and shortcuts to use certain functions or programs. Some free tools can be integrated into this menu to offer an item that can quickly protect a private file or folder that we do not want to be seen, through the use of encryption and password (we will need to know the password to open the content encrypted).
The first program we can use to encrypt files and folders quickly is AxCrypt, available for free for Windows.
Once installed on our computer, just right click on any file or folder to be protected, press on the item AxCrypt and finally on Encrypt. In the new window, we will be able to choose the password with which to protect the selected file or folder, so as to make it inaccessible to all users who will attempt to access. The program is also available for Mac (even if only to view the already encrypted files) and as an app for Android and iPhone / iPad.
If we are looking for another free solution to encrypt files and folders quickly on Windows 10, we can download AES Crypt, available for free.
With this program installed on our system, we will get an additional item from the context menu (AES Encrypt): all we have to do is click on it and choose the password to protect the file. After protecting the file we use the same context menu item to unlock the file: obviously we will have to use the same program and we will have to make sure we know the password.
If our main concern is the files and folders we upload to cloud services (many think that files are read and spied on by service providers), we can add additional protection using Cryptomator, available for free for Windows, Mac and Linux and available with open source license.
The program allows you to quickly add one or more folders synchronized with cloud services and to add additional protection (with a password) for access: in this way, the cloud space will be protected effectively and no one will be able to browse in our space personal, not even the managers of the space themselves.
Once added to the system and configured with folders, just copy and paste (also with the contextual menu) in the folder protected with Cryptomator to encrypt it on the fly, without having to use other programs or integrated tools.
The service is available as an app for mobile devices, so you can encrypt and access the protected cloud space anywhere; the app is available for Android and for iPhone / iPad.
Even the most famous compression programs allow you to configure quick access for the creation of a new archive so that you can quickly apply a password to the new ZIP files that we are going to create; the best app of this type is definitely 7-Zip, available for Windows.
Once installed in the system it will integrate into the contextual menu; to use it, all we have to do is press the right button on the file or folder to be protected, select 7-Zip and then Add to archive.
A new window will open where you can configure all the details of the new compressed file to be encrypted.
Make sure to choose the format of the ZIP archive (most compatible) and how the Cryptographic method the voice AES-265, then enter the password chosen in the fields Enter password is Re-enter the password. If we also want to encrypt the filenames (so as not to display them when opening and to let the contents be guessed), just tick the item Encrypt the names of the files.
As soon as we are ready, press OK to start the creation of the compressed and encrypted file, which will be saved in the same folder where the original file was present.
Another compressed file manager that integrates well into the Windows context menu is Bandizip, available for free.
Again, just install the program, press the right button on any file or folder to be protected and press on the item Create an archive (Bandizip).
In the new window, we place a checkmark on the item More options, make sure it’s set as the format ZIP, put a check mark on the item Password and we choose the password with which to protect the content, to be entered in the two proposed fields; to protect the chosen file or folder, just press down on Starts.
We don’t see the voice Create an archive (Bandizip) in the Windows context menu? We can add the option by opening the Bandizip app, going to Options -> Settings by clicking on the Contextual menu, and, in the section Compression menu, make sure to activate the voice Create an archive (Bandizip).
The programs and tools to encrypt files and folders quickly on Windows 10 are not lacking and some are already very famous as file compression programs, which offer dedicated entries to protect the folders we are going to compress.
To discover new tools that can protect files on Windows we can also read our guides How to encrypt files on PC and smartphones is Password protect files and folders on Windows.
Do we have to move files from one PC to another and are we afraid that the files may be stolen? We can protect them by using the tips seen in our article Keep your USB stick data safe with VeraCrypt.