Quite a few software out there to password protect or encrypt external hard drives. While you can use Windows operating system’s built-in BitLocker To Go to encrypt removable USB flash drives, the feature is part of Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise editions only.
Most of the external hard drive manufacturers offer their own software to password protect files and folders on their external hard drives. Western Digital also offers its own software to password protect its external drives.
Western Digital Security is a free software from Western Digital (popularly known as WD) to password protect WD external hard drives.
The WD Security enables you to password protect data on your WD external hard drives in a jiffy. Since the software is from WD, it’s compatible with WD external drives only.
Complete the given below directions to password protect files and folders on your Western Digital external hard drive using the official WD Security software.
Password protect WD external hard drive using WD Security
Step 1: First of all, download and install WD Security program on your PC. Get it from this page of WD. WD Security is available for Mac as well.
Step 2: Connect your Western Digital external hard drive to your PC. Run WD Security program.
Step 3: Upon launching WD Security, you will see the following dialog box with an option to set your password. Enter the password, re-enter the password to verify the same, and then provide a hint for the password so that you can easily remember the password in case you forget it.
Click Set password button.
If you don’t want to type the password each time you connect the WD external drive to your PC, select Enable auto unlock for this computer (current user).
Please remember that if you forget your password, there is no way out there to recover the password. Worst, you will lose all data on your external hard drive if you fail to remember the password. So, either set a password that you will never forget or write down the password in a place where others don’t have access to the place. The only way to remove the existing password is to format the WD drive, but the action will erase all data on the drive as well.
To access password protected WD external drive
Step 1: Connect your password protected WD external hard drive to your PC.
Step 2: Open up This PC to see WD Unlocker drive under Devices and drives. WD Unlocker is nothing but password protected WD external hard drive. Double-click on WD Unlocker to see WD Drive Unlock file.
Step 3: Double-click on WD Drive Unlock file. Type in your password and then click Unlock Drive button to unlock your WD external drive.
Your WD external hard drive will automatically get locked once you disconnect or eject the drive from the PC.
To remove the password from WD external hard drive
Step 1: Connect your WD external hard drive to PC where you have WD Security software installed.
Step 2: Launch WD Security program. Select Remove password option. Type in the current password and then click Update security settings button to remove the password. That’s it!
You will see a dialog with “Your password has been removed” message.
Don’t forget to download Acronis True Image free edition for WD drives.