You probably have financial records, family photos, and other computer files that you'd rather keep private, but that's not always possible if others share access to your computer. Free Hide Folder from Cleanersoft is a compact tool that makes it easy to hide and password-protect files and folders and access them with a few quick clicks when you need them.

When you first run Free Hide Folder, you're prompted to create a password that the program will use to protect hidden files, so make sure it's one you'll remember. Free Hide Folder's interface is … Read more

Multiple applications folders in OS X

After running your system for a while and installing various tools, utilities, and other programs on your system, you may find two Applications folders on your system. The main one will hold most of your applications, but another one in your home directory may contain one or two applications you have installed. Despite this, the applications run fine and there seems to be no difference between the two folders.

The second Applications folder is created for the simple reason that an installer you ran created that directory and placed the application there. If this has occurred to you, you should … Read more

A syncing feeling

Any time you start moving files around--back and forth between a thumb drive and a computer, for example, or between two computers--you run the risk of something getting duplicated or left behind. Moleskinsoft File Sync is an easy way to compare and sync folders to ensure that your files are exactly where they need to be. We've seen syncing utilities with more features, but this one works just fine for basic syncing.

The program's interface is plain and intuitive. We liked the fact that users can create and save particular tasks, allowing them to easily compare and sync … Read more

How to regain access to user files and folders after copying or migrating

There are times when you may copy files or folders to your system and cannot access them because the system does not allow you permission to them. In the case of folders, you may see a small "no entry" symbol to the lower right of the folder icon. This may happen after migrating or copying files, but it can also happen when accessing shared resources such as network drives, thumb drives, or external hard drives.

The reason these files are not accessible is a simple mixup in the permissions flags for them. Usually when you copy files, the … Read more

Disks with a view

If your PC only has one hard disk, the file management tools built into Windows are probably sufficient, but if you manage multiple disks on one or more machines, you need something stronger. AvniTech Solutions' ShowSize Disk Space Analyzer is a specialized disk and file management tool that can quickly study a disk drive and display detailed information about its partitions, folders, and file contents, including advanced sorting and reporting capabilities that go beyond Windows.

ShowSize opens with an attractive, cleanly configured interface and a scan-initiating dialog that includes a selectable Helpful Hint. This tool tip is welcome and helps … Read more

Home folder permissions repair in OS X

The home folder permissions in OS X are set up in such a way as to provide you access to your files, but only allow other users to see certain shared folders in your account. Every now and then people will come across situations where the home folder permissions are not working properly, and sometimes this can prevent them from logging in to their account and accessing files.

Unfortunately, running a permissions fix on the hard drive with Disk Utility will not check or fix the permissions of user accounts, and instead will only tackle faults with system file and … Read more

Locked up

Ever since our teenage years, when we had folders full of journals and unsent love letters, we've wished for a way to password-protect folders on our computer. Third-party software is really the only way to do this, and Sofonica Folder Soldier is one such option. Although the program works, we have definitely seen similar programs that we like better.

The program's interface is plain and fairly intuitive, which is a good thing, because there's no Help file. When the program is first launched, users are asked to select a password; this is the password used to access … Read more

Outlook in sync

Microsoft's Outlook is the world's favorite e-mail client, used by giant corporations and Net-surfing grannies alike. Many users have more than one PC, and it's not uncommon to have several under your control: work, home, laptop, etc. Whether you're a busy executive or just someone who checks their e-mail on more than one machine, one of your biggest challenges is keeping everything together, up to date, and backed up. CodeTwo's Public Folders is a powerful application that's up to the task. It's an Outlook extension that lets users securely share Outlook documents over … Read more

Full of problems

Batch-processing programs can be a lifesaver if you need to rename or add special characters to a large number of files. Rename aims to do just that: rename multiple files in one fell swoop. Unfortunately, a poorly designed user interface and lack of results failed to impress us.

Right off the bat, we were turned off by the program's interface. A tiny window appeared with all of its commands squeezed into the left corner of the window. We thought for sure that maximizing the window would remedy the clutter, but it did not. Radio buttons next to vague renaming … Read more

Hide your files in a secure vault

The ultimate freeware encryption program, TrueCrypt is loaded with powerful features that users concerned with protecting data from prying eyes will find robust and comprehensive.

It offers 11 algorithms for encrypting your private files in a password-protected volume. You can store your encrypted data in files (containers) or partitions (devices). TrueCrypt works hard to offer powerful data protection, recommending complex passwords, explaining the benefits of hidden volumes, and erasing telltale signs of the encryption process, including mouse movements and keystrokes. Though the interface may not be immediately intuitive, its powerful, on-the-fly encryption for no cost still earns the freeware security … Read more