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Microsoft Private Folder 1.0

July 6th, 2006 by Patrick S

Microsoft have released Private Folder 1.0, which lets you have a folder called ‘My Private Folder’ which you can password protect.pvtfolder
Microsoft Private Folder 1.0 is a useful tool for you to protect your private data when your friends, colleagues, kids or other people share your PC or account. With this tool, you will get one password protected folder called ‘My Private Folder’ in your account to save your personal files.

You can grab a copy of it HERE (However this requires a “Genuine” version of Windows-As most free Microsoft software requires now days.)

Patrick S

Posted in Computing, Products, Windows XP | 129 Comments »

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 6th, 2006 at 12:15 am and is filed under Computing, Products, Windows XP. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

129 Responses

  1. e-Fuze mobile » Microsoft Releases Private Folder 1.0 Says:

    […] Microsoft has released Private Folder 1.0, which will allow you to have a password protected folder on your PC which can safe house your personal files. Genuine Windows users can get a copy of Private Folder 1.0 from the Microsoft website here. Via ShareThese icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]

  2. Brodie J Says:

    Awesome, thats a great idea. Thanks for the heads up!

  3. Kikker46 Says:

    How do you download this stuff for vista ?

  4. yardman Says:

    Does this work in MCE?

  5. Wolfy Says:

    The installer places “My Private Folder” right on the desktop. So basically you’re telling everyone you HAVE something you’d like to keep private, causing others to wonder what you have to hide.
    I think a much better solution would be to make this part of the shell, so you could right-click a folder and select “Make Private” on a folder of your choosing.

  6. Patrick S Says:

    I am certian it will run in MCE…

  7. SV Says:

    It would have been a lot more useful if we could store this private folder wherever we like. I would like to store it on a usb drive for instance.

  8. Stuart Graham Says:

    Oh great have they even thought about the impact this could have on enterprises. Im already trying to frantically find information on this product so that A. I can block to all our desktops and B. figure out how we then support it when users inevitably lose files. I can see the benefit in this product for home users but its a bit of a sloppy release by Microsoft (no documentation from what I can see and no enterprise management facilities.

  9. Patrick S Says:

    hey Stuart i agree…It would cause major problems for network admins…blocking it would be the best option and not allowing users to install it.

  10. Stuart Graham Says:

    I guess a saving grace is it installs a service which is a lot easier to incapacitate than an exe. GPO’d it to death :-)

  11. Daniel Goldleaf Says:

    > The installer places “My Private Folder” right on the desktop.

    That’s optional. Right-click on the tray icon, open the Options menu and uncheck “Show desktop icon.”

    > Oh great have they even thought about the impact this could have on enterprises. Im already trying to frantically find information on this product so that A. I can block to all our desktops and B. figure out how we then support it when users inevitably lose files.

    1. You company’s terms of usage for PCs should specify that users can’t install software on work PCs. When users lose files, point to that document and apologize.

    2. If they install it, uninstall it from Add/Remove Programs.

    This software isn’t rocket science, and it hardly need documentation, although is does include a marginally helpful Help feature from the tray icon. Moreover, this capability has existed for quite some time, so this is all a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

  12. Daniel Goldleaf Says:

    > I think a much better solution would be to make this part of the shell, so you could right-click a folder and select “Make Private” on a folder of your choosing.

    I agree, and there are products available with which you can do this. I think Microsoft was looking at a different level of solution, though, something more like My Documents and Control Panel, a single, centralized repository.

    > It would have been a lot more useful if we could store this private folder wherever we like. I would like to store it on a usb drive for instance.

    If that’s what you’re looking to do – and it’s a logical desire – this isn’t the software for you. Asking this piece of software to do that is a little like saying it’s too bad Calc.exe doesn’t play MP3s: that’s not really its point. But there are plenty of freeware apps out there which will do exactly what you’re asking, with better encryption, and which won’t require WGA verification [if that’s a problem for you].

    I do wonder, though – this comes from both Wolfy’s initial statement and SV’s comment – if TweakUI’s “change special folder location” will work with this. I’m on a production PC which I haven’t put TweakUI on, so I can’t test it, but it would be interesting to note how comprehensively this was developed.

  13. Marceau Says:

    “My Folder” was originally my idea. After having to call Microsoft to reactivate Windows (WGA apparently didn’t recognize my Genuine Copy of Windows), I had told the Microsoft Support Tech. on the other end about my idea when she asked me about what had happened.

    Apparently, after hearing of my idea, Microsoft developed it into “My Private Folder”. Sooo, I, of course, think My Private Folder is great idea.
    But, it looks like Microsoft doesn’t see fit to give me credit for the idea, now that they have ran with it and developed it. I guess they don’t have to, as I don’t get my paycheck from Microsoft for trying to help them develop their software, and in make it more secure.

    The little guy doesn’t really have a chance against the giants like Microsoft with copyrights and patents in this day and age, Oh well.

  14. Steven Says:

    Does not work with Windows XP 64 Bit :(

  15. Daniel Goldleaf Says:

    > “My Folder” was originally my idea. After having to call Microsoft to reactivate Windows (WGA apparently didn’t recognize my Genuine Copy of Windows), I had told the Microsoft Support Tech. on the other end about my idea when she asked me about what had happened.

    Not to be dismissive, but don’t you think it’s possible that two people had the idea, “Have an encrypted folder on the hard disk?” It seems like a dubious stretch to think that your comment to a Microsoft support tech has made it to development, when it’s just as likely something like this could have been thought of independently…particularly since the mechanism has been built into Windows XP from the get-go.

  16. Daniel Goldleaf Says:

    > The little guy doesn’t really have a chance against the giants like Microsoft with copyrights and patents in this day and age, Oh well.

    Microsoft was a little guy once. So was Google. So was eBay. So was – in recent memory – AMD. The little guy has as much chance as he’s always had: with hard work /and the right circumstance,/ success is possible. I mean, really, when was it /easy/ for the little guy? How many people worked on water pumps before Wilkinson built the predecessor to the steam engine? How many people built automated looms, just to have craftsmen smash them, before Jaquard rebuilt a model of one for the Paris museum and made history? But if Wilkinson had just said, “Well, those big drainage operations will just freeze me out with their patents; I may as well go home and never think of anything new,” where would we – and he! – be?

    If you want to stop being the little guy, and start being the big guy, I’d recommend starting by not making recommendations to Microsoft support techs about features which already exist in software form somewhere else, and then complaining when Microsoft does the same thing. I suspect that’s more your problem than patents and copyrights.

  17. George Says:

    This will be a real support problem. Imagine someone maliciously places important files in the folder and deletes the originals. Someone pointed out that this isn’t a new feature. But this version is poorly thought out since previously if one used EFS it has a key management system so that if someone forgets their password or leaves the company it is possible to retrieve files. Since this one has no documentation it isn’t possible to determine what to do for such a case. I think smaller businesses have the most jeopardy since typically they aren’t locked down tightly. And people who are instructed not to install software won’t think twice \

  18. Richard Says:

    When you uninstall the program it says it leaves the folder an its contents unprotected on the computer so when a user forgets the password just uninstall the program.

  19. Patrick S Says:

    Ha Ha Ha serious?,
    Well its not thats secure then is it…

  20. Zoe Says:

    In this day and age of notebook theft and the potential for the misuse of the information stored on them, the encryption of data is a good plan. I would recommend a Open Source program (http://www.truecrypt.org/) instead of some questionable Microsoft product. Zoe

  21. Roberto J. Dohnert Says:

    Too Bad it doesnt work on Server 2003

  22. Roberto J. Dohnert Says:

    I recommend TrueCrypt.

  23. jean Says:

    A hint for Wolfy to make his folder as dicrete as possible/
    1 dont show the icon on your desktop
    2 go to document and setings\your_name
    3 make a shortcut of “my private folder”
    4 drag it and drop it on the “send to” folder
    5 now, wherever you are in the explorer you can sned a file with a right click to you private folder.

  24. Peter Says:

    Richard, the files will be visible on the disk after installation, but they are still encrypted. I like TrueCrypt much better as well though, much better support for encrypted files on USB sticks. Also: if this program is made for SHARED account usage, why can you only create ONE folder per account? That means only one of the users can effectively have “private” data. It would make more sense if one could create multiple folders, preferable at arbitrary locations (like an USB key).

  25. Pete Says:

    Wolfy: The installer places “My Private Folder” right on the desktop. So basically you’re telling everyone you HAVE something you’d like to keep private…”
    Right-click taskbar icon, untick ‘Show Desktop Icon’

    Patrick S: “I am certian it will run in MCE…”
    It does here.

    Stuart Graham: “Oh great have they even thought about the impact this could have on enterprises. Im already trying to frantically find information on this product so that A. I can block to all our desktops and B. figure out how we then support it when users inevitably lose files”
    Erm. You allow MSI installs for your users anyway? That’s really your decisions not MS’s for publishing software. Your users could just as well download PGP, so it’s not fair to say it’s MS’s fault.

  26. Marceau Says:

    In response to Mr. Daniel Goldleaf. Thank you for replying to my comment. The points you make have been well taken. Especially about your recommendation of not making suggestions to Microsoft Support Techs.

    I still think the idea of “My Private Folder” is a great idea. Apparently Microsoft has directed this more toward the home user, rather than towards enterprises. As pointed as by others here, I can see the potential for problems with it being used by enterprises.

  27. Marceau is a POSER TROLL!!! Says:

    Marceau is a POSER TROLL!!! Yeah, Right, you (Marceau) says you (Marceau) came up with the Microsoft Private Folders idea. What a POSER!!! What a TROLL!!! What a POSER TROLL who claims credit for an idea he coincidentally came up with!!! Well, you didn’t write the program code, did you?!?!! NO, you didn’t!!! What a POSER TROLL!!!

  28. Zoe Says:

    I just checked the True Crypt site, sound like it runs on 2003? (Latest Stable Version – 4.2a – Windows XP/2000/2003). I must admit I am a big fan. Hope they get it to run on OS/X one of these days. That will make it perfect.

  29. Varsha Bhosle Says:

    Putting it on the desktop is a totally stupid idea. When (not “if,” of course) Windows and its active drive crashes to death, all will be lost.

  30. mzar720 Says:

    Is there any method to put the icon (My Private Folder) to My Computer instead of Desktop ?

  31. Marceau Says:

    To whoever is calling me “Poser Troll”. What is your name? “8 July 2006@22:04”. No I didn’t write the code, Microsoft did, after I had mentioned to a Microsoft Support Tech that I had made a new folder that I named “My Folder”. I figure Microsoft got the basic idea from me and developed it. That’s all.

    You can call me a “POSER TROLL” or whatever you would like to call me. I would call you a “COWARD” for not posting a name on your comments. As far as you calling it a “coincidence”, I consider it to be a “Correlation”, thank

  32. Gilberto Cardosso Lopez Says:

    Microsoft Private Folder 1.0

  33. Antonio Pombo Says:

    tank kiyuA

  34. OberData : La nueva carpeta privada de Windows Says:

    […] La nueva carpeta privada de Windows Monday, July 10, 2006 12:22 PM por Isabel Microsoft lanzo la aplicación “My Private Folder”, la que permite crear una carpeta protegida mediante una clave de seguridad. La herramienta está destinada a proteger archivos y documentos confidenciales. El software Microsoft Private Folder 1.0 se puede descargar gratuitamente desde el sitio para desarrolladores de Microsoft, siempre que el usuario demuestre previamente que su copia de Windows es auténtica.   Más información en: http://www.tectimes.com/secciones/notas.asp?codnota=18963 http://www.msblog.org/?p=886 Archivado en: Varios, Tecnología […]

  35. RealOpen IT - Open Source, Open Mind » Archives » Microsoft introduceert Private Folder voor Windows Says:

    […] Microsoft heeft enkele dagen geleden Private Folder 1.0 vrijgegeven. De installatie van dit gratis stukje software zorgt ervoor dat een speciale map met de naam ‘My Private Folder’ wordt aangemaakt die alleen is te openen na het ingeven van een alfanumeriek wachtwoord. Deze map zou dus bijvoorbeeld gebruikt kunnen worden om bepaalde gevoelige data te beschermen, zodat niet iedereen met toegang tot een bepaald Windows-gebruikersaccount er toegang toe heeft. De software zorgt er standaard voor dat er een snelkoppeling naar de map op het bureaublad komt te staan, maar via de meegeleverde software is dit uit te schakelen. Een nadeel is dat de map na installatie van de software niet verplaatst kan worden naar een andere locatie en dat de toegang tot de beveiligde map automatisch wordt afgesloten na een bepaalde tijdsperiode, ondanks dat er nog wel actief met de map gewerkt wordt. Het verwijderen van de software zorgt er overigens niet voor dat de inhoud van de beveiligde map voor eeuwig verloren zal gaan, aangezien de map dan weer een gewone map wordt. Om de software te installeren, moet de gebruiker beschikken over een legale versie van Windows XP Home, Professional of Media Center Edition. […]

  36. Drew Says:

    An allaged security app that’s easily circumvented and completely unsupported? With absolutely no documentation? Oh, dear. With all due respect, who the heck came up with this and why? Better question: does anyone in Windows security realize this is available? As a former ‘softie who used to work on EFS (which was documented, supported, underwent 3rd party scrutiny, pissed off the FBI, etc.), this new toy seems like a possible PR nightmare. I can only imagine the threads that must be spinning on the internal sectalk DL right now . . .

  37. Drew Says:

    My apologies. I should have spell-checked. “allaged” makes my eyes burn. Oops.

  38. Mark Says:

    Daniel, you say:

    >1. You company’s terms of usage for PCs should specify that users can’t install software on work PCs. When users lose files, point to that document and apologize.

    Sorry, it doesn’t work that way in the real world. Especially when the user outranks me (which is practically everyone). Just like locked doors only really keep out honest people, corporate policies only really apply to people who don’t have the political clout to ignore them. And *those* are the people who are going to get bitten the hardest, and have the greatest negative impact on my company (and my career).

  39. Teleston Says:

    Good for Microsoft to offer this useful tool, but why all this fuss about one more encryption utility?

    For many years a lot of similar programs are there to download for free, and they do a very good job to protect confidential data. They employ the latest encryption algorithms and their source code is open for all. I only expect MS to offer something even better!

  40. Aaron Says:

    Good for Microsoft to offer a tool that *some* people might find useful. As per the norm, one of the first comments is someone else claiming ownership of the idea (shocking). As if the name “my private folder” or very idea of personal secure files on any windows PC is a new concept. Frivolous litigation and baseless claims are however, not, old ideas.

    So to sum it all up, Microsoft offered a free tool – for those who wish to use it. It’s not as good as other commercial products on the market right now that accomplish the same thing. That leaves the vendors selling those products thanking their lucky stars. It accomplishes pretty much all the encryption you’d need as a basic windows user, which most people are. This only leaving the network admins to complain, as it could potentially require them to learn something new to either support or circumvent.

    More options on the install of this utility would be preferable but as the average windows user goes there’s something to be said for simplicity. This is especially true if you have ever dealt with end users. 😉

    Bottom line, if this utility causes a massive problem for your network support staff – it’s time to hire some new ones. At home Windowsâ„¢ users will probably enjoy this if they’ve ever felt the need for added security on their personal documents.

    Pure opinion?

    In a time when less and less privacy is protected by law, Microsoft could be doing more to enable us to protect our own privacy. For Free. Cheers.

  41. Sean Says:

    This appears to have very limited security. If you use the standard windows backup tool to backup the private folder, then restore it to another location, then all the files are restored in the open.

    Gives people a completly false sense of security. This is worse than no security at all.

  42. Bo Says:

    Yes, you can backup and restore the files in the private folder, but they remained encrypted. You still need a password to read the files. It seems the app implements a kernel mode driver that does all the encryption/decryption work in the file system level (similar to EFS) so it is pretty hard to crack.

  43. kemo Sabe Says:

    I tried unsuccessfully to install the application on a hard drive other then the root drive(C drive). I have store photos, documents, etc. on another hard drive. Each time I tried to install the application on another hard drive(E drive), the installation always creates the private folder on the root drive even when I specify a drive other than the root drive during the installation process. Has anyone experienced a similar situation?

  44. Bo Says:

    Installing the app won’t automatically encrypt files. You need to copy files that you want to protect into the private folder (which is always in the root drive of your OS).

  45. rachel Says:

    If you not able to download and install Microsoft Private folder for some reason there is a other option to do the same with some limitations.


  46. Charliebrownau Says:

    Gotta love the work around programs that Microsoft release.
    Simple File sharing is utter crap and problematic for loads of xp users.
    The amount of times Ive heard or seen a person cut and paste files from another pc and the person on that pc losing the files is amazing

    Fix up Windows file sharing in Vista and XP SP3

    The Windows 98/95 method was great, its share dialog box was a great and easy method and could be applied to recent windows (XP/2003/vista)

    but microsoft keep on bringing out bloated os’s with everything turned on , 5000 services and crap drives that need replacing any way …

    Im sure vista will be the final staw with a lot of users and people will go back to Windows2000 , swap to linux or swap to mac os for intel x86

  47. Fouz Blog : My Private Folder Says:

    […] My Private Folder Nuevo complemento para Windows XP que permite crear una carpeta protegida mediante una clave de seguridad, está destinada a proteger archivos y documentos confidenciales. El sofware Microsoft Private Folder 1.0 se puede descargar gratuitamente desde el sitio para desarrolladores de Microsoft, siempre y cuando el usuario demuestre que su copia de Windows es legal. Para poder efectuar esta verificación, es necesario correr la controvertida herramienta del programa “Windows Genuine Advantage”, la explicación de WGA la postee hace unos dias aquí. WGA ha sido demandado Según Microsoft, la nueva aplicación resulta “una herramienta útil para proteger datos privados cuando colegas, niños u otras personas poseen cuentas compartidas en la misma PC”. Más Información y descarga de “My Private Folder” Microsoft ha sido demanadado por WGA La demanda ha sido presentada en el Tribunal de Distrito de Seattle en Estados Unidos, cuatro días después de la primera. La nueva demanda ha sido presentada por Engineered Process Controls y Univex, así como los ciudadanos Edward Misfud, David DiDomizio y Martin Sifuentes, todos ellos propietarios de copias con licencia de Windows XP con WGA.En la demanda alega que WGA es spyware y que Microsoft confundió a los usuarios al clasificarlo como una actualización crítica de seguridad. La demanda mantiene que Microsoft no avisó a los usuarios de que WGA contacta con frecuencia con los servidores de la compañía.“WGA recopila la dirección IP de un ordenador, datos sobre la BIOS, la versión del sistema operativo e información sobre la configuración y el lenguaje local”.Microsoft reconoce que WGA recopila datos sobre el hardware y el software, pero sostiene que sólo lo utilizó para verificar que únicamente se ha registrado una copia del sistema operativo en un ordenador. Si Microsoft encuentra una irregularidad, WGA puede notificar a los usuarios a través de avisos en ventanas emergentes que su sistema operativo puede no tener licencia. Más información Filed Under: S.O. […]

  48. RickT Says:

    My computer’s configuration consists of two hard drives. One drive is devoted to the operating system, it’s files, and other application programs. The second hard drive is utilized for storing various files and documents(photos, music, etc.). It is on this drive that I want to create the “My Private Folder” and not on the operating system drive. However the installation “always” creates the “My Private Folder” on the operating system drive. Any suggestions/work arounds?

  49. payam Says:

    yzi payam calarest in new orginal web site

  50. HurricaneAndrew Says:

    Not a bad idea, but there are a few issues. I had the program hang when trying to change the password on my XPPro machine. Rebooted and upon opening MPF, was told that the program was interrupted when changing the password, but it hung again when I tried to complete the process. Had to uninstall.

    I can say with certainty though, that the data is still encrypted after uninstalling MPF. I tried opening one of the documents left behind, and noting but encrypted jibberish. Fortunately, I had the originals backed up.

  51. Richard Staley Says:

    What is Microsoft thinking? I agree with Gregg that this is an excellent idea for the home users, but can imagine the chaos this could cause in the corporate environment? As a network administrator, I am already up to my eyeballs in security. Chasing down viruses and spyware is a never ending job. Now I may have to contend with a disgruntled user placeing a time-bomb in a private folder that the Domain Admins cannot access. Maybe I am jumping the gun a little bit, but the documentation on the add-on does have any specifics, yet. So will I allow the users to download this add-on and place it on company computers? The answer is NO. That’s the reason everyone on the network is given a “Home” folder, which has access restricted to the user and the admins. If everything is configured correctly on a corporate network, this should not even be an issue to the end user. I can just see the hype when this information gets out, especially from the higher management personnel. They will not even consider the implications, they will just demand the add-on. Just another reason to have a good reputation and give sound advice to the President/GM of the company.

  52. Ron Says:

    As long as Microsoft doesn’t force this down in a service pack everyone should be fine. You should know how to keep this off corporate machines already.

  53. Patrick S Says:

    Ron i doubt that It will ever be forced upon us as curfrently this software is just for people who have Genuine software (aka Windows)in the form of a reward. Even if this were to be forced (through a Service pack) you really dont have to use it…It appears that the problems experienced in the above comments are as a result of using the software.

    Patrick S

  54. Habib Bashor Says:

    I need a copy of this

  55. Virtual Kings » Microsoft Private Folder 1.0 Says:

    […] Related: http://www.msblog.org/?p=886 […]

  56. Andy Says:

    Stuart Graham: Enterprise desktops should have appropriate group policy in place to stop non-administrative users from installing software. Windows Installer packages specifically are very easy to block. Therefore you wouldn’t have to worry about users causing chaos.

  57. Parvez Says:

    I need it

  58. papamike Says:

    Too bad it doesn’t work with Directory Opus

  59. slap maxwell Says:

    A piece of rubbish, at least on my WINXP Pro machine. I placed a folder of .jpg files into this thing and upon removing them, they would no longer open in any program whatsoever… even though the thumbnails would show up within the folder. I tried placing an .avi file into it and it caused a BSOD and immediately rebooted the machine, corrupting the copied file and deleting the original. In a word, this thing is a oad of bollocks.

  60. John Says:

    hmm, it works fine for me, I have a bunch of files in the private folder and I have no problem using them. Does anyone know if storing these files in private folder will increase the disk usage? I would think it needs additional space to store encryption data, just don’t know how much extra it needs.

  61. davi jons Says:


  62. Patrick S Says:

    I doubt it would need much at all…

  63. Arthur Fatt Says:

    So they realeased something users have been asking about for the last 10 years. Big deal. If your worried about this you are naive and not a sysadmins fart. Considering that programs that did this have been available for years, you would think it was a major issue. Does it keep you awake at night?

  64. Joe Says:

    A sysadmin who hasn’t the computers of non-developers locked down so that nothing can be installed, is quite frankly, incompetent.
    So, this is a tempest in a teapot, nothing more.

  65. Patrick S Says:

    Very important indeed… How does an intrest in this new software make someone “naive” quite frankly you obviously dont know what you are talking about.

  66. Devin W Says:

    Joe’s right… For all of you wannabe Systems Administrators belly-aching about this MPF program: Maybe you should think about creating user groups on your domain, implementing GPOs, and enforcing software restrictions via Group Policy. You must believe all your users should have local Administrator privileges. LOL, that’s too funny!!!

    If you let your users install software, you deserve to inherit the problems associated with your lack of control over the domain you’re supposed to be the administrating. Think about going to school and getting an MCSE/A certification so you can perform your duties properly.

  67. Peter S Says:

    Mate you sound like you know what you are doing you are my new found idol. Why do people like you search out blog threads like this and complain for the sake of complaining. The above chat regarding the problems of this new software on client machienes is constructive and valid discussion…However once again it is RUINED by the likes of you, thinking they are above everyone else and criticising. People like you get on my nerves go find somewhere else to whine!

  68. The Tech Journal » Microsoft Shutter Private Folders Says:

    […] My Take; Stuart Graham over on MSBlogs wants to know how to handle the program in an enterprise setting, fine heres how to deal with it, use your common sense.  If its an unsupported tool and you dont trust it enough in your office for it to be used, tell your users that its unsupported and not to use it..  This wasnt pushed out as an automatic update and its an addon.  Grow some balls and be a manager, if you cant control your users or give your users so much control they dont need your authorization to download software then you have no business being an IT manager or working in IT at all. […]

  69. Patrick S Says:


  70. Microsoft Private Folder to be AXED » MSBLOG Says:

    […] Last week i posted about the ‘new’ Microsoft Private Folder 1.0. Being the first on the block with this new news we were lucky enough to get a lot of comments from System Admins explaining how this new tool could cause serious nightmares (users hiding & locking admins out of files etc) This will be a real support problem. Imagine someone maliciously places important files in the folder and deletes the originals. Someone pointed out that this isn’t a new feature. But this version is poorly thought out since previously if one used EFS it has a key management system so that if someone forgets their password or leaves the company it is possible to retrieve files. Since this one has no documentation it isn’t possible to determine what to do for such a case. I think smaller businesses have the most jeopardy since typically they aren’t locked down tightly. And people who are instructed not to install software won’t think twice (Quote from George [MSBLOG comment])  […]

  71. M.vayunandan Says:

    it s very usefull for users liker me

  72. Patrick S Says:

    UPDATED HERE: http://www.msblog.org/?p=911

  73. Raul Batista Says:

    From an administrator point of view this is a BAD NEWS. If any tool is available for users to protect information is should be necessarily managed by the system administrator. If not, the user information is its own property and does not belong to the company anymore. The general rule is that information stored in company servers and PCs belong to the company not to the user. So this tool need to have a back door accesible for the domain administrator.

  74. Niel Says:

    Ok Patrick you say is very bad for the administrators, why doesn’t he/she just block the program from being installed in the first place. I mean you have to have genuine windows to have this feature and for that you either need to update or download a copy of the genuine certification program form MS website. If you enable all those feature in the first place then maybe they should go back to school.

  75. Patrick S Says:

    The file comes in a .msi file – it has to be installed. Don’t companies forbid people from installing software on their machines? If they don’t, they worry about people creating a password protected folder, when they can go ahead and install any software they want – including software which includes spyware/etc?…I agree

  76. Microsoft Private Folder, un passo indietro sulle cartelle private Says:

    […] Il problema subito evidenziato da molti amministratori di reti era che per una applicazione di tale impatto su una rete dati aziendale, non era stato previsto da Microsoft nessun tipo di supporto: nessuna informazione in merito alla possibilità di recuperare dati nel caso che l’utente avesse perso la password, nessuno strumento amministrativo; si trattava quindi di una possibile mina vagante. […]

  77. nollkoll Says:

    seems you are over reacting (polite understatement). all sysadmins are over reacting. its part of their job spec to over react. like yeah…what is some one hides a bunch of virus spreading software. and what id someone steals corporate secrets and hides them ! horrible! / – u are true sysadmin wimps if this is a problem for u !!!!

  78. Steven Bishop Says:

    M Private Folder is a great program. There is no problem transfering files out of this folder. It is a sophisticated encryption 256 Blowfish that prevnts access. I am glad I downloaded it & saved the application.

  79. Steven Bishop Says:

    IT is no longer available.

  80. w cannon Says:

    What a bunch of whiners , people like Stuart are, without even exploring the positives of this software you are already looking at how you can block it from all of your users. Hey, I’ve bet I’ve been a network admin longer than you, it just shows how technically challenged some of my fellow admins have become. There are plenty of third party solutions that do the same think, if you look around your companies you will find folks with winrar, portable usb keys etc.

  81. 2gunsup Says:


  82. was up Says:

    If Stuart was any kind of administrator he would not be allowing his users to install windows updates at there own leisure. Is it not the administrators job to test these downloads first, before releasing them to the users

  83. doowopdj Says:

    Wow can any GOOD news come from Microsoft? Sounds like QA is an afterthought, or they’d rather the public be the QA. Microsoft needs to invest some better QA and publicity personnel. Don’t believe me… just try asking Microsoft how many times they are receiving “feedback” from their “feedback” features. Personally I turn it off, cause it is worse than a pop-up. When I saw this personal folder feature, I knew to avoid it. TRUST or QUALITY is not a word I’d associate with any new product of theirs. But maybe things are improving, cause it seems every new product that is announced keeps getting postponed, maybe Personal Folders 1.0 should have been one of them.

  84. was up Says:

    I dont think personal folder is a bad thing, its just a case of distributing it, to where it can be best utilised. Havent had a look at it yet. but I would imagine that as long as the administrator still has overall power and can access the folder.. it shouldnt cause to much problems

  85. JUAN Says:

    IT is no longer available

  86. srlevine1 Says:

    Did anyone notice the short window of opportunity to grab the newly encrypted file — in unencrypted format? When the file is placed in the folder, an encrypted copy of the file is created. The old unencrypted file is simply deleted and trapped in Norton’s Protected Wastebasket until it is emptied. To insure security, the old file should have been overwritten to DOD/NSA standards.

  87. Matt Snyder Says:

    Stupid Microsoft. How about, “Private Folder Opener For Business 1.1”? MS could have given away Private Folder 1.0 and SOLD the opener to corporations for big money. The download page for Private Folder 1.0 has already been removed from the MS website! I have been wanting to be able to password protect a single folder for years. I can’t believe I missed it. Nobody tells me anything, until it’s too late! Is there anybody out there in cyberspace willing to email me a copy for my new XPpro OS? ruk9p@yahoo.com

  88. Qwe Ieo Says:

    TrueCrypt does not need even installation. Just put TrueCrypt.exe, TrueCrypt Format.exe and truecrypt.sys in some folder, and create shortcut for TrueCrypt.exe. That’s all. It’s freeware, it’s open source.
    For sysadmins: Why do you want to be able to read other people’s files? Backup encrypted files, and it is not your concern if user forgets his password.
    Personally, my favorite is PGP. But it needs installation.

  89. CyberXZT Says:

    I also would like a copy PLZ! zinetech@gmail.com

  90. JO Says:

    Good Luck

  91. berock Says:

    Has anyone who managed to download and install MS Private Folder 1.0 found that they can no longer access content moved into \

  92. berock Says:

    Has anyone who managed to download and install MS Private Folder 1.0 found that they can no longer access content moved into “My Private Folder”? The password I assigned AND RECORDED elsewhere NO LONGER UNLOCKS “My Private Folder”. If Microsoft can release utilities that Microsoft can remotely alter preclude authorized access solely to protect their own commercial interests, how can we trust any Microsoft application?

  93. minimize Says:

    Oh my god. My PC hang when i want change MS Private Folder password. My important data is still in there and i can’t retrive it. After uninstall and install back the problem is still same. Please help me how to retrive back my data.

  94. Mark S. Says:

    You know, things like this wouldn’t be an issue if people could trust their Net Admins. I was shocked and appalled when I found out our Net Admins add themselves to the ACL for all of our personal folders. There’s a reason Admins are not given access to these folders by default. The ability to take ownership and gain access to these folders should only be used at the user’s request OR if there is some sort of corporate reason. This ability is abused way too often by net admins. I actually like our net admins, but this practice makes the concept of holding a user responsible for their network actions and the state of their documents by their usernames ridiculous. We can’t really know what happens to our documents, who’s reading them, who’s changing them, ect.

    I fell Microsoft was actually looking out for their corporate end user here, although maybe not the best approach.

    Maybe some sort of dual control, requiring multiple admins, or a manager and admin combination along with a logging process should be created to access user’s folders.

  95. trvanphuong Says:

    thank you!

  96. John Says:

    Try turning off your anti-virus program when changing password of the private folder. anti-virus and encryption apps don’t live together well.

  97. Viet Says:


  98. Viet Says:


  99. newsBreaks.net » Microsoft closes Private Folder 1.0 Says:

    […] “This will be a real support problem,” a poster named “George” wrote in this post on MSBlog, a Microsoft-related blog. “Imagine someone maliciously places important files in the folder and deletes the originals.” […]

  100. sunil Says:


  101. Vikram Says:

    Can anybody suggest that how to retrieve data form “My Private Folder”. I have changed my domain and user id & password. I can see all the data but not able to access it.

  102. Rosamunde Says:

    I use MPF and I think it is a great tool, does anyone know how this can be done with a script or with ActiveX

  103. Peter Hendriks : Keep it secret, keep it safe Says:

    […] Windows XP (Professional only) has some built-in features to encrypt your data. Encrypting your data this way is very easy, but does not work on USB sticks and it may be impossible to restore the encrypted data when you reinstall Windows.Update: recently Microsoft released another tool: Private Folder, to keep data secure with a separate password, which runs on XP Home as well. The site describes that is handy while working on a shared account (e.g. with the kids at home). Ironically, the software only seems to offer a single non-USB folder protection per account, so only one user can keep stuff private. There is an export/import feature that allows moving encrypted files on an USB stick, but it does not protect the file names, only the file contents, and it’s clumsy to use. […]

  104. MM Says:

    There we are !
    Installed it. Uninstalled it, but can´t get rid of it. The folder “My Private Folder” remains under “Documents” and resists all attempts to be erased. From within Windows XP – with install and unistall again, with DOS boot. Anybody a hint how to get rid of it ? Thks

  105. The Dude Says:

    Like “minimize” I created a mpf and stored personal files within. I tried to open it and was prompted to set it up again! It’s as if I am to set it up for the first time. Has anyone else experienced this?

  106. Ismail Says:

    looking so nice Work for Good

  107. ali Says:

    porfa quiero el archivo

  108. Does it Matter Says:



    1. Installation notes for Microsoft Private Folder 1.0:

    Only Administrators can install this utility.
    Supports Windows XP Home, Professional and Media Center Edition (32bit).
    Supports NTFS and FAT32 system partitions.
    2. Follow the steps in the installation wizard to install the utility.

    3. After successful installation:

    A menu group will appear at Start -> All Programs -> Microsoft Private Folder 1.0.
    A shortcut icon called My Private Folder will appear on your Desktop.

    1. Only Administrators can uninstall this utility.

    2· Administrators can uninstall the utility through Control Panel -> Add or Remove programs -> Microsoft Private Folder 1.0.



    After uninstalling all data in all the private folders (including all accounts), the data will be left in encrypted status but without access protection. Please make sure all users are informed ahead of time.

    Please remember the password of the private folder where the files come from. All remaining files can be imported by using the correct password in the future.

  109. Ralph Says:

    I have problems with corrupted files in MPF. Where can I find the files I have to restore from my acronis true image backup?

  110. Puneboy Says:

    System HANGS when tried to change password. Now problem is I cannot access my important files. IS there is solution or resolve to this problem? Please post more information on retriving encrypted data if any available.

  111. GuyNDenver Says:

    I had to restore my computer’s hard drive by reinstalling windows xp pro and am now looking for My Private Folder to reinstall it. It seems to be removed from the microsoft site. Does anyone know why?

  112. Patrick S Says:

    Yes i can explain Why… Microsoft pulled it from their site because too many System Admins complained that it would be a neusance as users would be able to hide things from them (even though you need admin privs to run the application 😎 )
    If you want it you can still download it from HERE: http://www.softpedia.com/get/Security/Lockdown/Microsoft-Private-Folder.shtml

    Hope this helps,
    Patrick S :)

  113. GuyNDenver Says:

    Oh, IC, so the home user gets the shaft again? thanks! what the heck is a .rar file? that’s what it downloads as…..

  114. Patrick S Says:

    ha ha ha i guess you are right… A rar file is a type of file compression (just like .zip) except you need a program such as winrar or 7zip to open it. IF you still cannot open it ill find you another link :)

    Patrick S

  115. Michael Says:

    I am trying to restore data backed up(MS Backup utility) from My Private Folder onto another drive. Formated the drive and installed software again including My Private Folder. I now want to restore data (video files) back but it gives me a file extension error.All data is there, just cant seem to run it.
    Any idea’s

  116. Ninara Poll Says:

    Has anyone yet coded an app or devised a method that would be able to unencrypt the files left behind by uninstalling (unintentionally or otherwise) My Private Folder? I recently had my hardware profile wiped out by what seems to have been a virus and had to reinstall XP Pro, after which I discovered My Private Folder was no longer usable. Installing it again simply resulted in a new, empty folder, but somehow all the files I had originally placed in the first installation of My Private folder are still on my drive — but are now permanently encrypted. I’ve also noticed that there seem to be two separate files for each encrypted file: one that had the original file extension, and one that has the same name but has a .$e_ as the file extension, and is much smaller in size than the file that has the original extension (is this file the encrypted key?). It seems to me as though all that is necessary is to merge those two files… but since I know very little about how encryption/decryption works, I’m probably wrong about that. I hope someone manages to invent a way to retrieve My Private Folder data….

  117. Patrick S Says:

    If you install My Private folder again-and use the password you once had-Does that work?
    From what i hear-that should work…

  118. S M Puttabuddhi Says:

    When I was trying to change the Password, the System got HUNG and now the problem is, I cannot access any of my files in the folder “My Private Folder”. Could you please provide me any solution to resolve this problem?. If I uninstal the My Private Folder, can I get the data(Files) which can be used without any difficulty? I shall be thankful to you if you could reply early.

  119. Mohammed Ali Says:

    Hello All there,
    I have installed the Microsoft Private Folder and it was running correctly. But last week one of my friend tried to change my password and then the folder is corrupted and since then i am not able to read the files from that folder. I have too many important files in that folder. If i am able to open it once also i will copy the files in my other folder. Can anybody help me in this. Can anybody tell me how to retrieve the data from the folder.
    Thanks in Advance.
    Hope to hear an early reply from any one of u.

  120. Puneboy Says:

    It looks like Microsfot pulled out this application and there is no fix to PC HANG issue. !!!!!!!!

  121. Gerrit Says:

    If anyone out there could assist me to get the use of my files back after My Private Folder got corrupted and afetr reloading with the same password does not help – please HELP!

  122. Fasterclock Says:

    I put everything in here. I would use this program at home for all of my account records for my home business. One day the password would’nt work. Either I changed it and forgot it or it reset. I need these files more than anything. Does anyone know how to retrieve either a password or know where the encrypted files would be located on the hard disk? Please help!!!

  123. MIKE J Says:

    WOrks fine….
    i got a full working copy from a russian site.
    i got some cheese for all the whine ….Pft.

  124. eriv solte Says:


  125. eriv solte Says:


  126. Gert Says:

    I tested this tool and knowing it restrictions I think it will be useful for many people, but also dangerous (like causing a lot of extra work) for network admins. After I tested it, I removed it from my PC. Now, many months later I reinstalled it, but apparently it still remembers the old password. That is a pitty, because I don’t remember it, so I cannot use this tool again on my PC, unless I reinstall everything off course. I did not loose any files, lucky me, but I would appreciate if MS would have created a full uninstaller that also removed the password that was given. Just a post-mortem thought, I know, but if MS would ever re-distribute this tool in some kind of “new” way, it would be best if they think about this little issue.

  127. sayyed reza musavi Says:

    i love you very hard for your procuct vsta ana i have vista RC1.
    sincerely your’s: sayyed reza musavi

  128. Radagast Says:

    Is there anybody who found the way to recover lost password for Ms Private Folder.
    Someone tried it with Advanced EFS Data Recovery. Someone said tath efs is similar to ms private folder.

    My old password is’t work. I don’t remember if I changed it.
    I’ll lost ~5 Gb data

  129. Markus Engel Says:

    I installed MPF and moved all of my sensitive data in it. Shold have known better. It didn’t take long until I noticed that files opened or copied through replacement explorer shells would not be properly decrypted. Fine, so I quit using those shells. Only to notice that even when using the built-in Windows explorer my files would sometimes (not always) eschew decryption. It seemed I had found a reliable way to avoid that – simply waiting a few minutes after unlocking MPF before using any of those files. Well, it turns out that didn’t alway work. When I finally decided that enough was enough, I copied all my files (using explorer) to a safe destination outside MPF. Interestingly, MPF warned me with each copy operation that files copied to a destination outside MPF would not be ‘protected’ by encryption. Well, I was all to happy to take that exposure.
    Of course, theis warning would make you believe everything now gets decrypted when copying it elsewhere. Wrong! Most of my files were not recognized upon launching them. I’m talking hundreds of important data files in Excel, Word, and Quickbooks format!!!
    It doesn’t take a Ph.D. to figure out why MS pulled the plug on this software: It is a piece of #%! If this is any indication of Microsoft’s current and future quality assurance practices, why would anyone trust their data to one of their operating systems!? (Given my experience I cannot believe anyone in Redmond has seriously tested this!)