Apps locked

Lock programs without locking Windows with this freeware security tool.

WinGuard Pro 2010 Lite is a free app that lets you disable and enable certain Windows features via a password without completely preventing access to your PC. It keeps snoops away from your personal data and programs without having to shut down or lock your computer, which lets you keep programs running and files open even as you're locking down your data.

We opened WinGuard Pro, which appeared in our system tray. We clicked the padlock icon, and a small password entry box appeared along with a notice that we needed to set a password. Although there's a check box marked Save, don't be tempted to enter a password here, since WinGuard won't accept it; you have to set a password via the program's multitabbed Configuration Tool. We used the default password provided by the program, clicked the Settings tab, and then clicked Set Tasks Password. On the Users tab, we could exclude our Admin Account as well as import account data. An interesting feature locks the account when you exceed a time limit. The Advanced tab let us set System Protected Tasks and Policies, while the Encryption tab offered 256 AES protection for specified folders. The Tasks tab is the main view; here we could check a wide range of Windows functions for locking, including Windows Media Player, Word, Paint, Google Chrome, and Live Mail Inbox. We could also remove entries or browse to add new ones to the list.

WinGuard Pro 2010 Lite is extremely easy to use. We checked the apps we wanted to lock and closed the Configuration Tool. When we clicked on a locked program, it opened very briefly but almost instantly disappeared behind the WinGuard log-on screen. Entering our password opened the program normally. Clicking Save on the password entry box saved our password, which let us open locked programs normally without unlocking them for all users. The Help Manual is extensive and clear, and we had no trouble setting up, using, and uninstalling WinGuard.

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