I’m sure at some point or another you’ve wanted to password protect a photo that you were sending to someone else. Maybe it was a confidential image that you didn’t want to end up in the wrong hands, or a personal photo that you wanted to keep secret.

A handy tool called LockImage is here to save the day. It’s a free (and open source) program that will let you create an executable file containing a single image. You can then password protect that file so that so that the contents are kept confidential.

LockImage consists of a single file that is just 32KB after it’s uncompressed… and no installation is needed. It took me a minute to understand just how you create the executable file, but it’s actually rather simple:

  1. Download the LockImage binary (currently labeled LockImage-0.1-bin.zip). Extract the contents of the download, and then run the executable contained inside.
  2. Go to File -> Open, and browse for the image you want to password protect. The image will open up in the viewer.
  3. Go to File -> Save As, choose a file name, and type in the password you want to use to protect the image.

After completing those steps a new executable file will be created. Upon launching the executable you’ll be prompted for the password before being able to see the image:

 Lock Image

This is a really new project, and I could see it becoming a great tool for sharing photos with family and friends. One thing that I hope the developer will work on is a way to include multiple images in a single file so that you can send if off as a gallery.

Note: Many email services and file sharing sites don’t allow executable files to be shared.

Thanks to Aziz for the tip!

There Are 7 Comments

  1. I don’t know… Personally, I’d just either zip or rar it, or at the most, create a self extracting .exe containing the .jpg.

    The reason I’d zip or rar it to begin with, is people are trained (or should be) not to open .exe files they receive via email, etc.

    There isn’t any advantage to using this over a password protected .zip or .rar file (self extracting if necessary) that I can think of.

  2. Bill Minton wrote:
    I don’t know… Personally, I’d just either zip or rar it, or at the most, create a self extracting .exe containing the .jpg.

    The reason I’d zip or rar it to begin with, is people are trained (or should be) not to open .exe files they receive via email, etc.

    There isn’t any advantage to using this over a password protected .zip or .rar file (self extracting if necessary) that I can think of.

    That’s a really good point, and for some odd reason it didn’t cross my mind. Plus by using the ZIP you would be able to add multiple images. The only reason I could see this becoming useful is if it implements a nice looking gallery functionality for people to browse through the photos.

  3. I know what you mean. Sometimes I get excited enough about finding something that hasn’t been done before, that it doesn’t immediately dawn on my *why* it hasn’t been done before. :)

  4. The reason why I wrote LockImage was surely not reinventing the wheel :-). I have a list of bank TAN numbers scanned as image that I want to keep encrypted. I used the zip approach for a while. What was bothering me is the fact that I have to remember to delete the extracted image after use. With LockImage it is easier and safer: open (1 click), type password, close (1 click). The image is decrypted in the memory. No temporary files are generated. I think for this usecase, LockImage will be a good choice. (how many of us would use the zip approach to store passwords in one single text file? :-))

    The idea of encrypting multiple images is good. I have added it to my TODO list.

    Cheers,
    Aziz

  5. There’s the use. Want to know what it’s good for? Ask the dev. :)

    I use LockNote for encrypting passwords, etc. and it sounds like this tool is a good one for just the reason mentioned.

  6. Aziz wrote:
    The idea of encrypting multiple images is good. I have added it to my TODO list.

    Sweet! Once that happens I think this will become a lot more useful.

    Bill Minton wrote:
    There’s the use. Want to know what it’s good for? Ask the dev. :)
    I use LockNote for encrypting passwords, etc. and it sounds like this tool is a good one for just the reason mentioned.

    It’s always nice when the developers chime in and straighten things up. :)

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