How to Password Protect Files on Flash Drives?

I have a 1gb Victorinox Swiss Army Knife with a built-in flash drive that came with some cheesy program called “Travel and Work,” that doesn’t offer password protection.  I use Windows Vista Basic Edition, so it doesn’t have the ability to password protect files (as far as I know).

Does anyone know how to password protect files on flash drives with a free program, through Vista Basic, or any other way that doesn’t require purchasing a program?


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TrueCrypt works very well, as long as you have admin rights on the computers you use with the drive.

If you only want to encrypt a few files, you can also use a file compression format like 7-zip that has good built-in encryption (7-zip uses 128 bit AES, IIRC) and just set it up to ‘store’ the files, so it essentially just creates an uncompressed, encrypted archive.  It’s a bit more cumbersome but it’ll work on more computers than TrueCrypt and the file’s size can change dynamically on all filesystems.

Thanks for the suggestions!  I’m going to check those out.  I have used True Crypt before.  It provided excellent security, but I didn’t like it since you have to have it installed on whichever computers you want to access your files on.  That kind of defeats the purpose of having portable flash drives :neutral_face:.  I’d like to just be able to set passwords to certain files in order for them to be opened.

Actually, there’s a portable version of TrueCrypt that you can carry with you, but you still need admin rights on any computer you take it to.

Another option is formatting the drive as NTFS and encrypting the files individually, but I’ve never actually tested how that works when you take such a drive and such files with you to a different PC.  Knowing a little about how it’s set up, I don’t think it’ll work the way you want.  You also have to deal with the limitations of NTFS (slightly-reduced drive life, limited support on other operating systems.) Personally, I wouldn’t bother.

I’ve seen such software before.  You might want to do a quick search at the Download section of

I am also interested in protecting all my files.  Does the cnet you mention really works?  Does anyone have experence using it?