Microsoft Private Folder 1.0

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 6, 2006
Updated • Feb 15, 2014

Microsoft released a new software program today called Private Folder. The software creates a folder called my private folder which can be password protected so that no one but you or authorized users can access its contents. The folder works just like any other on the folder on the operating system, but with the difference that a password prompt is displayed on first access. Windows Genuine Advantage will check twice if your computer is running a legit copy of Windows XP before it lets you install the program on your system.

A freeware alternative without WGA that is more powerful than the Microsoft program is True Crypt. You simply create a container on one of your hard drives and mount if whenever you want to use it. True Crypt has another advantage: It is available for all recent versions of Windows and Linux. Take a look at my basic True Crypt tutorial that I have written a while ago to get acquainted with the program.

True Crypt has another advantage over private folders. No one knows that there is a hidden container on your hard disk. As long as you do not mount the container it is hidden and not accessible at all. Private folders are always there and make the curious even more curious in my opinion.

Update: Interested users can download Private Folder from, the download appears to be no longer available on the Microsoft website: MSPF10ENU

It needs to be considered that Private Folder is only available for Windows XP and earlier versions of Windows. Depending on the version of Windows used, you may have access to Microsoft's Bitlocker technology that can also encrypt data on your operating system. If you do not have Bitlocker available to you, I suggest you check out True Crypt instead which works on all systems and editions.

Additional information about BitLocker Drive Encryption can be found here on this Microsoft page.


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. RC said on July 15, 2006 at 4:34 pm

    Brad is misguided/incorrect on all counts he has listed.

    You can hide it from the desktop and you can NOT see any of the files via DOS (unless the folder is unlocked)

  2. Dhany said on July 14, 2006 at 11:52 am

    Hey Brad,.. have you actually try to use your method ? or is that just some assumptions that you’ve been making to make you look clever ?

  3. Brad said on July 13, 2006 at 7:47 pm

    Not a very secure program. First it leaves an unchangable beacon on your desk top that screams “HEY I’M TRYING TO HIDE STUFF!!!!”

    Then you can break into it in 2 seconds by opening a command prompt start -> run -> CMD

    navigate right to the folder and grabbing anything you want.

    Did Microsoft spend money on this?

  4. Jun said on July 11, 2006 at 3:35 pm

    Boomer go have a cookie.

    This is pointless, I’ll just stick
    to using Compressed Zip Folder.

  5. Boomer said on July 11, 2006 at 2:21 am

    you guys crack me up, you’re all so full of copied software and you put up this stupid pretense about your privacy

  6. pk said on July 10, 2006 at 6:29 pm

    What about XP Home users ? encryption is not available for them.

  7. thunder7 said on July 7, 2006 at 3:24 pm

    yeah M$ still trying to peek at our files.
    I guess thjey really do not understand the meaning of the word “Personal Computer.”

  8. gnome said on July 6, 2006 at 6:27 pm

    For a moment there I thought you said MS Pirate Folder, and was quite shocked. Then I realised my folly…

  9. Luke said on July 6, 2006 at 3:21 pm

    Hmmm… This really seems unnecessary… Here is an alternate solution:

    1. make sure your loved ones have separate user accounts on the machine

    2a. if you have XP pro, right click on your porn er.. private folder, Properties, Security, deny everything for everyone but yourself.

    2b. if you have XP home, use the cacls command in the console.

    3. If your loved ones know how to use Knoppix, enable NTFS ecryption on that folder

    Presto. This is poor mans version of a private folder without the need to instal any aditional tools.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.