Windows – How to change settings to a folder on a USB drive (security tab does not exist)

permissionsusbwindows 10

The question seems very simple.
I have a folder in a USB drive and I want:
1) to make it non-readable
2) to make it readable but non-executable

Now, if you google there seems to be a lot of pages with the apparent solution. However they all go "Right click the folder, and select settings. Then select the Security tab…"

I can do that with folders in my C: drive.
I can not do that with folders in my removable USB drive. The security tab does not exist.

How can I do the things I posted above?

Best Answer

To expand on @KRS answer a bit...

If you are not getting a security tab, it is because of the file system being used on the USB drive. Your USB drive is most likely formatted as FAT32. This is a common filetype that is able to be read on most computers that you would plug the computer into. One drawback, is that the max single size you can have on the drive is 4Gb and there is no file permissions able to be set. FAT32 can be widely recognized on Windows, Linux, Macs etc.

If you want the security tab, you will have to format the drive as NTFS instead of FAT32. This can easily be done by opening up the file explorer on Windows10, going to This PC, right clicking on the USB drive, choosing Format and then choosing NTFS. This will wipe all of the data off the USB drive. This WILL, however, give you a security tab on your files and folders.

If you want your files to be controlled by security settings, do the following:

  1. Copy all data to your C:\ drive somewhere first to back it up.
  2. File Explorer > This PC > Right click USB Drive > Format > choose NTFS under file system dropdown/check quick format > Start
  3. Copy all your files back to your USB drive from the C:\ drive backup

You should now have a security tab and be able to set file/folder permissions.