You can save the Private Folder 1.0 MSI installation file to your harddrive or run it directly from the download location.
The Private Folder MSI instllation file is only 1.46 MB.
I choose to run the applcation from the download location and IE popped up this security warning. I clicked Run and the process began.
The Private Folder installation and setup wizard should be familiar to most Windows users.
Don't forget to accept the EULA. Oh joy!
By default, Private Folder will be installed to Windows Progam Files folder.
With the setup finished, you're ready to begin the installation.
The installation took only a minute or two on my IBM ThinkPad T42 running Windows XP SP2.
The setup and installation went smoothly.
A restart was required after installation.
When the installation and required restart are finished, a My Private Folder shortcut is placed on your desktop--announcing to the world you have stuff you don't want them to see. You can hide the shortcut once Private Folder is configured.
When you click the My Private Folder icon for the first time, the setup wizard will help you create a password.
A built-in password strength gauge will help you choose a password that's not easily guessed. I know you always use your first pet's name, favorite sports team, high school mascot, parent's telephone number, children's birth dates, etc. -- but that's beside the point.
You can set the Private Folder to a weak password, but I wouldn't recommend it.
No one will crack this password of steal. Now, if I can only remember what it was.
With the password set, I'm ready to start using My Private Folder. Now where did I put those embarrassing photos of me at the Christmas party I want to hide?
Once you set the password, the folder is automatically locked.
When you try to access the folder through Windows Explorer or by double clicking the Desktop shortcut, Private Folder prompts you for the password.
Enter the correct password and a folder window opens showing the contents of your private folder.
Private Folder 1.0 also places an icon in the System Tray.
When you unlock the private folder, the System Tray icon let's you know with this informative message box.
Right clicking the System Tray icon allows you to edit the Private Folder program properties--like hiding the My Private Folder desktop icon.
The My Private Folder desktop shortcut icon also changes when the folder is unlocked. By default, the folder will remain unlocked for 15 minutes and then automatically lock. You can change this time in the program properties.
Right clicking the unlocked desktop shortcut allows you to lock the private folder or change the program properties.
If you delete the desktop shortcut, you can always put it back through the Private Folder Control Panel applet.
Private Folder runs as a Windows Service. Stopping the service however, had no effect on being able to access the folder.
You can configure the Private Folder service using the Service add-in to Microsoft Management console (MMS).
If you want to remove the My Private Folder directory, you must first uninstall the using Add/Remove Programs.
Selecting Remove from the Add/Remove Programs list, launches the Private Folder Setup Wizard. From here, you can repair or remove Private Folder 1.0.
When you uninstall Private Folder 1.0, any files left inside the My Private Folder will remain encrypted, but without access protection. This means anyone can see the files, move them, copy them, and delete them--but not open them. To open the files, you will need to reinstall Private Folder and use the SAME password used to protect the files in the first place.
To complete the removal, you'll need to restart Windows.
This is what happens when you try to open a Word document that was left in the My Private Folder directory after Private Folder 1.0 was uninstalled.