Flash drives are used to store and transfer data electronically, including documents, photos, videos and other files containing confidential information. Setting the password will protect the information stored on the drive. The procedure for encrypting the flash drive can be performed through the built-in functions of the operating system or by installing additional software.
Be careful! In case of losing the password, access to the information stored on the flash drive will be limited. You will need to crack or format the drive. Before proceeding with the actions described in the instructions, remember or write down the future password.
Data encryption on the flash drive
Among the free tools for protecting and encrypting data, it should be noted programs TrueCrypt, Rohos Mini Drive and USB Safeguard. Each of the utilities provided will provide extended functionality to protect confidential information located in user files.
The essence of the software method for setting a password is to create a hidden volume on the disk, which is used to store files. Access to the allocated memory can only be obtained after correctly entering a combination of numbers and letters or a secret word specified by the user.
Method 1: USB Safeguard
The USB Safeguard program is the simplest way to protect information stored on a flash drive. While using alternative methods of data encryption, an unprepared user can have serious difficulties, so to quickly and securely set passwords, use USB Safeguard.
Step 1: First, download the program. Move the installation file to the drive and start USB Safeguard.
Step 2: During the installation of the utility you will need to format the USB flash drive. To do this, uncheck the box “Do not format” (if the function is checked by default). Then, confirm the action.
Step 3: In the menu that appears, enter the password and click “OK.
Step 4: The utility will create a separate partition on the disk, which will be hidden from prying eyes.
Step 5: To access protected files, you will have to enter the password previously specified.
You can remove the encryption settings and secret files by formatting the USB flash drive. Uninstallation of the program stored on the drive is performed manually.
Method 2: Rohos Mini Drive
To install the password using Rohos Mini Drive, download, install and run the program. In terms of features, this utility is much more interesting than USB Safeguard. The process of setting a password on a removable disk using Rohos Mini Drive implies the ability to personalize some of the settings.
Step 1: Select the “Encrypt USB drive” option.
Step 2: In the menu that opens, click the “Disk Settings” tab.
Step 3: Determine the size of the encrypted space and specify the file system (you can leave it by default). Confirm the action by clicking the “Create disk” button (3).
Step 4: After a few seconds, the system will have a new encrypted disk, access to which can be obtained through the program Rohos Mini, stored in a separate folder on the flash drive.
Step 5: To remove a hidden disk, use the program Rohos Mini Drive or utility for formatting the flash drive. However, after clearing, all the stored encrypted and unprotected data will be irretrievably lost.
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Method 3: TrueCrypt
Using the program TrueCrypt, you can copy files of a different format and size to the flash drive, which will be hidden from unauthorized persons. This method of setting a password is considered one of the most difficult, but its use will reliably “hide” any data. Usually, the TrueCrypt utility is used by owners of USB-drives, intended for the storage of corporate data.
To set a password using TrueCrypt:
Step 1: Download and run the program. Click the Create Volume tab.
Step 2: In the “Create New Volume Wizard” window, select the “Encrypt non-system partition/disk” item.
Step 3: In the next menu, select the “Normal volume” item.
Step 4: Select the drive that you want to password protect.
Step 5: Determine the encryption mode with formatting.
Step 6: Specify the encryption settings by selecting the algorithm “Serpent-Twofish-AES”
Step 7: Confirm the volume size. Enter the password with the recommendations given in the program.
Step 8: Check the box next to “Quick Formatting” and click on the “Place” button. In a new window, select the option “Erase files“.
Step 9: The encrypted flash drive will be unavailable for use without pre-formatting or running TrueCrypt.
Step 10: Re-open the program. Select the item “Device” and specify the encrypted removable disk, then click the “Mount” button.
Step 11: Enter the password, after which the access to the drive will be opened via a new hidden disk in the “My Computer” folder.
Method 4: Set the password through Windows OS
To set the password manually, use the built-in BitLocker encryption technology. The method is available for owners of the Windows operating system. After connecting the USB flash drive to the personal computer, open the folder “My Computer” and right click on the drive icon.
Step 1: Select “Enable Bitlocker” in the context menu.
Step 2: Check the box next to “Use password to unlock flash drive“. Enter the pre-selected password
Step 3: Get a special key that allows you to restore access to the drive in the event of a password loss. To do this, create a separate file, use the Microsoft account, or print the specified code on the printer
Step 4: The easiest way to get a recovery key is to save it to your computer
Step 5: Determine the part of the disk that you want to encrypt. You can protect the occupied space or set a password for all stored data. The second option is preferable, but takes a little longer, especially when it comes to flash drives with more than 32 GB of memory.
Step 6: In the window that opens, specify the “Compatibility Mode” item. The presented encryption method is suitable for removable media, including SD cards and USB flash drives.
Step 7: Confirm the selected actions, and then remove and reconnect the USB flash drive.
Step 8: Check the encryption quality. Back in the folder “My Computer“, click on the drive icon again. In the window that appears, enter the password set in the previous steps.
Additionally, you can schedule an automatic unlocking of a USB flash drive on a personal computer. The instructions show how to set a password for a flash drive using the example of the Windows 10 programming environment. However, the considered method of data encryption is suitable for all versions of the operating system, starting with Windows Vista.
After completing the settings specified in the instructions, do not transfer the secret password and the recovery key to unauthorized persons. The leakage of confidential information will lead to unforeseen consequences.
Presented methods of encryption will allow you to set passwords on various types of flash drives, including drives used for smartphones, video cameras, cameras, tablet computers and other portable gadgets. With the built-in utilities of the operating system and external software, you can protect individual folders and files stored on a USB drive