This article contains a step-by-step method that you can use to make files and folders private. You might want to make files and folders private if more than one person uses this computer. After you make a folder private, you can still share files whenever you want to. To do this, you would use the Shared Documents folder or another folder.
This article is intended for a beginning to intermediate computer user.
Steps to make a folder private so that only you have access to it
To make a folder private, follow these steps.
Step 1: Log on to Windows
Log on to Windows by using your user account.
Note To use private folders, each user must log on to Windows with a different user account. If all users log on by using the same user account, all users can see your private folders. Therefore, if each user does not already have a personal user account, you should first create and configure personal user accounts for each user. For more information about how to create and configure user accounts, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
279783 How to create and configure user accounts in Windows XP
Step 2: Open the Folder Properties
Right-click the folder, and then click Properties.
Note If you see a Security tab in the folder's Properties dialog box, you cannot use this method. Instead, you must use permissions to make files and folders private.
Step 3: Make the folder private
Click the Sharing tab, and then click to select the Make this folder private so that only I have access to it check box.
Note If this check box is unavailable, you may have to move the folder or convert the hard disk drive to the NTFS file system. For more information about this issue, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
307286 You Cannot Select the "Make This Folder Private" Option
Steps to verify that the folder is private
To verify that the folder is private, follow these steps.
Step 1: Have another user log on to the computer
Ask another user to log on to the computer or log on yourself by using a different user account.
Step 2: Try to open the folder
If the folder is private, you receive the following error message:
My Documents is not accessible. Access is denied.
Similar Problems and Solutions
For more information about how to prevent unauthorized access to your computer or to your files, visit the following Microsoft Web sites: