I want to create a private folder/file

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Italstln13, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. Italstln13 macrumors member

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    Aug 10, 2008
    #1
    I have some files on my desktop right now that I would like to secure from wondering eyes. Other people use my Macbook Pro from time to time and I don't want anyone to read these documents. Is there a way to create a folder/file that requires a password to gain entry to view the contents of this folder/file?

    Is there a better way of going about this? I'm open to suggestions. I just want to keep it as simple as possible.

    Thanks!
     
  2. redwarrior macrumors 603

    redwarrior

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    #2
    Disk Utility allows you to create an encrypted disc image that will require a password to mount. Check it out and then ask questions if you need to.
     
  3. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

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    #3
    That's a pretty good idea. I was going to say make a folder with a "." in front of it. But it's anything but elegant.
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #4
    Why not just create a new user account for them to use? They won't have access to any of your files in your user folder.
    How would making a folder with a "." in front of it do anything, even if you could?
    Picture 1.jpg
     
  5. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #5
    You have a few choices.

    One is to give other people their own user name for logging in. Don't leave them logged in as you. You can even use Fast User Switching, a feature of Mac OS X, to hide your login session while they use their own, then switch back, right where you left off.

    Another choice is to put certain files or folders in a password-protected disk image using the Disk Utility program that comes with Mac OS X. You'd have to open it each time you wanted to use those files.

    A third choice is to use a third-party application that will protect a folder.

    Would you like more details about one of these methods?
     
  6. madog macrumors 65816

    madog

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    #6
    I've heard about that method, but that it only works in Windows/Bootcamp/VM (and then I believe only in one of the two formats it can use), when you add the "." to the beginning of a file there, it makes the Mac OS see it as a system file/folder which it then makes invisible by default. But yeah, you can't do that in the current Mac OS, and since you have to switch to Windows then it's not very logical or quick.

    Instantly heard the Starship Troopers quote, "Would you like to know more?", in my head.
     
  7. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

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    #7
    Interesting. That used to work. Guess you'd have to make the folder in the Terminal for it to work.

    Putting a "." in front of the name makes the Folder/File invisible. Guess why you don't see the Trash Can in your Home folder? You guessed it! It's invisible.

    Go into the Terminal and type in: ls -a ~
    You'll see a bunch of folders in your home directory that you might not be aware of.
    EDIT: To create such a folder in the Terminal use: mkdir .(Folder Name)
     
  8. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #8
    If you know how to use the Terminal application, which lets you look at files and folders in a shell (and do many dangerous things, so use it at your own risk), then you can rename a folder to have a leading "." (e.g., rename it from hidden to .hidden) and it will disappear from normal Finder displays.

    You can still open the folder in the Finder using menu choice Go -> Go to Folder... and typing a path like /Users/myname/desktop/.hidden.
     
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #9
    But you can easily change Finder so it displays hidden files, so if someone wants to see a hidden folder, it's not tough. I still think the most elegant solution is to create a separate user account for anyone who uses your Mac.
     
  10. madog macrumors 65816

    madog

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    #10
    That's handy to know. Does that also work for defaulted invisible folders such as the trash? Just curious to know even though I have an applescript in my dock to show/hide all files, and I'm not at my Mac at home to test it out.
     
  11. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #11
    The trash is already named .Trash, so it does not appear in Finder displays of your home folder.

    But I don't suggest putting your most valuable files in the trash in order to hide them! ;)
     
  12. madog macrumors 65816

    madog

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    #12
    Well, yeah, :) but I was just curious to know if the "Go -> Go to Folder... and typing a path like /Users/myname/desktop/.hidden. " method works for any .hidden file/folder, or just ones created by the user (maybe permissions might get in the way)?
     
  13. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #13
    Yes it works. I can open my Trash (.trash folder) that way. And I just opened folder /users/myname/.cups. I don't know what that folder is! I guess it's for printing that uses the Common Unix Printing System (CUPS).
     
  14. madog macrumors 65816

    madog

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    #14
    That will enevitably come in handy, thank you. Now I just need to keep it in the back of my mind in case I attempt it for some diabolical purpose and destroy my system!
     
  15. Italstln13 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 10, 2008
    #15
    Thanks so much for the responses! For what I thought was going to be such a simple answer to what I thought was a simple problem is growing more complex by the minute. :)

    Let me get this right. I know how to create a alternate usernames. That is really good idea. I may use this one.

    As for for using disk utility to create a password-protected disk image sounds somewhat risky and the last thing I want to do is screw something up.

    A 3rd party app sounds appealing, any suggestions on which one?

    Thanks again :)
     
  16. claimed4all macrumors 6502

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    Sep 26, 2008
    #16
    You best bet would be just to create a Guest account and let them use that. That way they can't muck anything up and it resets everytime somebody logs into it.
     
  17. JediMeister macrumors 68040

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    #17
  18. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #18
    I use Exces, which I got in a MacHeist/MacUpdate bundle.

    It's trivial to use. You create a "vault" (protected collection of files). To use the files, you just double-click your vault file and type the password. The contents appear in the Finder as a mounted volume, the way a flash drive would appear when you plug it in.

    When you are done with those files and want to reprotect them, you click "Lock", or eject the volume, or just quit Exces.

    Technically, what it does is create its own version of an encrypted disk image, with a friendly interface.
     

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