Adding a password to a folder

Discussion in 'macOS' started by iPowers, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. iPowers macrumors 6502

    Dec 23, 2006
    is there a way I can add a password of my choice into a folder and if so how (in a same account)?
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    There is no real folder locking that works, IMO. Your simplest bet is to do this:

    Open Applications->Utilities->Disk Utility.

    Select File->New...->Blank Disk Image.

    Name it, set the size to what you'll need, set the encryption to AES-128, and set the format to sparse disk image.

    It'll then create the image and ask you for a password. Be sure to uncheck the option to store the password in your keychain.

    Now you're done.

    Double-click the image to open it after providing the password, use it as you would a folder, and then eject it to close it. It is completely safe and can only be seen if you leave it open.

    If you don't like the ".sparseimage" after the file name, select it, select File->Get Info, and tell it to hide the extension.

    Or check out Kryptospace. Some members have mentioned it before.
  3. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Feb 23, 2006
    You don't password protect folders. You should use Permissions to stop unauthorized access.

    Otherwise encrypt it.
  4. FullmetalZ26 macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2006
    Which, depending on how you set the permissions for the folder, will result in the Finder conveniently asking you for an administrator password when the folder is accessed.

    Also, a downside with encrypted/passworded disk images is that if part of the image becomes corrupted in some way, all the files inside are most likely toast. Not very likely, but entirely possible (have seen it happen before...)
  5. Luis macrumors 65816


    Jul 19, 2006
    Costa Rica
    How exactly do you set the permissions so it works that way? Pardon the ignorance hehe...
  6. FullmetalZ26 macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2006
    In the "Get Info" window for said folder, expand the "Ownership and Permissions" section, then the "Details" section under that. You should be able to set Owner to yourself with read and write permission, and then "no access" to Group and others. Then click the "Apply to enclosed items" button. After that, you should be the only one allowed in. If anyone else tries to open it, they should either be presented with an "Access denied" message, or a request for an administrator's password (or yours.)

    This is also possible from the Terminal, with the chmod and chown commands being a little more direct, but the Get Info method would probably be the easiest.
  7. Keytachi macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2006
    you could always use Apimac Secret Folder
  8. Luis macrumors 65816


    Jul 19, 2006
    Costa Rica
    Thanks, very useful trick.
  9. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Unfortunately, it does nothing to protect the contents if you walk away leaving your account logged in, and it does nothing to protect you if someone steals your laptop and uses one of a few various tricks to get root access.

    If you truly need protection, an encrypted drive cannot be read without the password, and so the strength of your password determines how likely it is anyone will crack it. Of course, that too will fail if you keep the password in your keychain.
  10. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Feb 23, 2006
    Oh this should be cute. Really. Why don't we all just go back to Windows at this rate.,00.shtml


    The "hide" function that Secret folder does, is that it puts a period in front of the file so that FINDER AND ONLY FINDER ignores it! UNIX still knows where it is, it isn't like finder.

    This program is also written in REALBasic. REALBasic is not a language that any developer takes seriously. It's something someone in an office that has no programming experience uses, like Access and the awful cousin of REALBasic, Visual Basic.

    It's taken care of already. Just keep it inside your home directory and out of your shared folder. The only way that anyone can access your files is if they steal your password or get root (by stealing your password)
  11. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Feb 23, 2006
    Insult added to injury?

    The password only works for opening the Secret Folder Application. There is no password that is put on the directory, contrary to what they would have you believe on their website. This is hilarious.

    From their own readme file:

    Meaning, anyone who can use and isn't an idiot to fall for your silly trick.

    So why would I buy this application???


    Also, if you modify the folder or file outside of Secret Folder to not be invisible (ie mv .hiddenfolder hiddenfolder) Secret Folder still will think it's invisible!
  12. Nym macrumors 6502a


    Oct 4, 2006
    Porto, Portugal
    Maybe the OP is not asking about how to password protect a folder because he's afraid of getting robbed or because he needs to store his bank account login.

    Maybe he just wants a simple way to keep certain folders away from visitors (friends, family, etc) who probably don't know anything about root, unix, terminal, etc... and if that's the case then such a simple app that adds a dot to a folder name is quite enough.

    I use HideFolders, I don't care if it's good or badly programmed, I click it and it works for the 2 hours I usually need it.
  13. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Feb 23, 2006
    Then you use encryption, like FileVault or an DMG with encryption!

    My God. My God. This is what revolts me about most Mac users. You guys just don't get it!

    At all!

    If you're worried about friends and family using your computer, create a guest account for them with a password! Then you don't have to worry about them accessing anything that is yours! UNIX principles here people. Even Windows doesn't screw it up too badly.

    You don't need to worry about using some crap 3rd party application to hide your information! (which it doesn't, at all.) If your friends and family don't have a login account on the computer, they can't do diddly! I can't just waltz on over to a laptop, and start looking at his folders and files unless I have a way to log into the system and escalate to a administrator with root privileges!

    No wonder Mac users are the laughingstock of windows users everywhere.
  14. abcdefGARY macrumors regular

    Nov 10, 2006
  15. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    SC68Cal, stop picking your zits and ditch the elitist attitude - you just don't get it! A majority of Mac users don't understand (or care to) how UNIX permissions work, so no need to get your panties in a bundle - that is just the way it is...unfortunately.

    I agree with your suggestions, just not the presentation.

    I'd suggest the OP carry his pRoN on a thumb drive :eek:
  16. Nym macrumors 6502a


    Oct 4, 2006
    Porto, Portugal
    Excuse me? When did this thread go off-road to the point where you're insulting people because they have different computing habits then yours?

    Have you ever tried to think that people are actually different from one another and that some prefer it the "easy way"?

    Just because I can play guitar doesn't mean I go out everyday bashing everyone that is into electronic music like I'm some f*ckn genius and they're all dumb.

    Look, if any one of us has a typical "Mac user" attitude it's you, not me, not the OP. By thinking you're smarter than everyone else and treating others that "think differently" with smugness and disrespect you're the living example of how a PC user describes the Mac one.

    FWIW, I actually have a Guest account created for everyone to use the iMac when I'm at work, however, when I'm showing stuff to my friends or etc I like being in my account, I know where everything is, my preferences are all in place and I know my "Home" folder inside out.
    Still, I hide some folders with pics, nothing porn, just personal stuff, while they're there. If I can do this with one click of the mouse button, why on earth would I open terminal to do this?

    Seriously, I've seen a bunch of your posts and you have OCD in what regards computer usage, you should go back to DOS or basic UNIX and leave OSX for the "lesser beings".

  17. Fairly macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2006
    Cambridge UK
    That's a GREAT idea! That's very handy! :D
    This is true too. If the permissions are set right no one will ever get in. In both cases other users will see there's something there they can't touch but that's about it -- otherwise you're fully protected.

    Hopefully one would set the permissions... correctly? :D And Finder can ask all it wants but if the other users aren't admins they won't get in.
    Yes and a HDD where the folder and its contents reside could be corrupted too and then if you didn't have the sparse image you'd be toast. It goes both ways.

    Keytachi you're dupe of the day. :p

    I haven't checked but I thought it used the Finder visible flag?

    He seems upset but you're the elitist one here. You say "a majority of Mac users" when it's only one or two at this forum and you have no clue what the real majority is like. And it's no longer as you graybeards have had it and that's for sure.

    Secondly and more importantly you're totally wrong even in this case. Your "majority" may not be interested in "how Unix permissions work" but there was at least one in this majority who started this thread to find out how to protect data -- and that, as you see, involves learning how Unix permissions work.

    A little knowledge can go a long way. And for what it's worth it's not possible to hide folders on Windows. It never has been either. Previously they used the combination of the (s)ystem and (h)idden to bar entry but that's no more protected or hidden than Apimac's capable of.

    This is true too.
  18. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    For my important files I have created a disk image with password protection. I called the image iSafe and gave it a funky icon so it looks like some kind of security app. :D All I do is double click it, type in password and boom!
  19. janey macrumors 603


    Dec 20, 2002
    sunny los angeles
    I read it as being more of a "don't-waste-your-time-and-money-on-this-retarded-app" rant...

    Which if you note has already been mentioned - Finder.

    On my side of things, I have quicksilver, visor and terminal always open because it is faster and simpler to use the cli a lot of the time. So what's the point of doing extra work? :D
    Apple's pursuing unix certification for Leopard. Sooo...technically...

    Yes it does :)

    Barring physical access (as mentioned previously).

    Then again, with physical access all bets are off.

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