How do I lock my computer files from kids?


I have a 3yr old who loves the computer a LOT and I like him being on it but he knows to much already. He knows how to copy and paste folders, put folders into different locations, change file names, resize icons and font, change settings, etc. How do I keep him from doing all this? I know there is a software program but is there a way to lock folders within Windows XP without a separate program?


send him to a school for the gifted.


Do you know how to create multiple usernames in Windows XP? You could create two usernames – one for you and one for your son. When your son is logged in, most of the changes he makes will not show up when you are logged in. You can put a password on your username so your son can’t use it.

Also, you can set your son’s username to be “limited” so he has less power to change the settings.


That’s currently what I do now but I want something a little more secure because he jumps on when I get up for a moment and don’t sign out.


I know you can password protect MS Office files and I believe there is a way to password protect folders. I have never had the need to do it and I no longer use a PC at home.

One thing I always did was keep all my personal and data files in one folder and business in another folder. This made it easier for me to make backups of my important documents.



Tabitha, why not get him his own computer? If it were loaded with children’s programs, he could play to his heart’s content and maybe he’d leave your system alone. Sounds like he has his vocation all figured out. Smart boy!


Do you have a screen saver? If so you can set it up for a low time like 2 min. There is a way that in order to remove the screensaver you need to enter a password. If anything, you can hold down Cntr, Alt, Del and in the “shut down” menu are options before you walk away.


Yeah set the screensaver to come on after 1 min and set it to go to the password screen after the screensaver starts.

What I did is got an old computer (Someone was gonna throw it out) with WIndows 98 on it. Then google “Child Proof” and download it. It sets it so the little one can only go to programs you list out and he can’t even move them around. I used that Child proof program for three years. It’s really nice. But it only works on 95/98.


Okay, when you get up to leave the computer, hold the button that has the windows symbol on it and at the same time hit the “L” button. If you have a password assigned to your account, this will lock your computer until such time as the password is correctly entered.


I’ve been looking for a solution just like this. I just tried it on my home computer. This one is not password protected so it went to the log on screen and I clicked on my name and it came right up.

I will probably use this at work where it is password protected but the short time (3 minutes) before the screen saver kicks in is impractical. I love these simple solutions!


What about teaching your son obedience? I am amazed that people would recommend giving a three year old his own computer!

The OP’s son is a young child and should not be allowed to use the computer unless supervised. He should also have been trained to obey by now so that, at least most of the time, he would not use it without permission.

Sure, its great that he has the intellectual development to be able to do so many things with the computer at such a young age, but virtue is far more important.

If you have left teaching obedience until now, you are going to have problems!


It’s very easy to set up… this is also my recommendation.


This is what I found.

I’ll try it out tonight and let you all know how it works.

Currently I do have a user name with passwords set up for us and that’s good for when he’s not on the computers but when he is not on the computer, he likes to venture out of whatever program he is playing with and go into the main computer. I figured out how to hide the desk top icons and that worked for about a day. Then he figured out how to get them back. I would like to figure out how to have him have his own account but where he has no access to the internal files (which are still accessable) and prevent him from making excess copies and changing file names. Hopefully that’s what the above program does.


Yes, the boy should be taught to obey. The OP said “I like him being on it…” that dosn’t sound like the child was disobeying by using her computer. It sounds instead like the kid is using it with permission but dosn’t know how to properly double click, and therefore accidently drags things around and probably also clicks randomly, managing to make copies of some of the desktop icons.

My Three year old benefitted greatly from having her own computer, now at age four she emails her grandmother and tells hher how much she loves her, reads the emails she gets back and occasionally plays “Studydog” which teaches reading skills and other educational games. I see no reason for you to be appaled that having thier own is so bad. This generation of kids will have to be very comfortable with computers to make it in the world. If they love it, encourage learning.


Just set up a password for your particular windows account. When you get up, hold down the “windows” key (looks like the windows logo, between ctrl & alt), hold that down and press L it’ll “lock” the pc and require a password to get in. ta-da! Or, if it’s Windows XP, when you get up, click Start -> Log Off/Switch Users. It’ll take you back to the intro screen and require a password for someone to ge into your account.


There is a super secure option, that also protects your children, yourself and your computer. There is an operating system that is free from viruses, mailware and hacking called Linux and there is a extra secure version called Christian Ubuntu that has parent control built in (very much like vista has now, but for free!!)
You can set it up with different users like windows, and control what sites your children can access, with various levels of protection,

Its worth considering if your windows 98/200/xp keeps getting slower every day, or you want to bring life to an otherwise non-vista compatable computer.


I was about to recommend a linux distro like Ubuntu… turns out is just that plus some.

Keep in mind its a little more difficult to run your windows only programs from there.


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