How to Put a Password on a Flash Drive

by Matthew Ruane

Flash drives have many uses, mainly because of their portability. You can transfer music, movies, documents, software or pretty much any digital file to a flash drive. One can even install an operating system to one, using that operating system wherever there is a computer. With so many uses, it is only natural to consider protecting the data on your flash drive, in the event it gets stolen, falls out of your coat pocket or just seems to have disappeared. There are many ways of encrypting your flash drive. Many use commercial software, and some use free software.

Encrypt Your Flash Drive


Download TrueCrypt 7.0a from the TrueCrypt website (see link in Resources). Click "save" to save the file to your hard drive when prompted by your download manager.


Run the downloaded executable to start the installation process, accepting the terms of use, and clicking "Next" to accept the default install options.


Run TrueCrypt. Click "Create Volume," choosing "Encrypt a non-system partition/drive," then "Standard TrueCrypt Volume."


Click "Select Device" to choose your empty flash drive, then click "Next" through the "Encryption Options" screen to select the default encryption.


Choose the size of your encrypted volume, then click "Next" to create the password for your encrypted flash drive.


Choose the volume format you wish to use, then click "Format."


  • check Make sure that you will remember your password, without making it to easy for others to guess.
  • check Formatting can take some time, depending on the size of the volume you are creating.
  • check If you feel that you are in over your head at any point during this process, google the concepts that you're having trouble with. Knowledge is power.


  • close Make sure you use an empty flash drive, as formatting the drive may cause data loss.

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About the Author

Matthew Ruane is a certified IT technician and writer. His work in information technology has been published through online channels and in print since 2006. Ruane studied computer information systems and network security and administration at Devry University. He holds his A+, Linux+, Network+ and Security+ certifications from CompTIA, and Cisco's CCNA.

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