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Intego FileGuardX4 review

Secure folders with password-protected encryption

The interface is clear and easy to use, but the software itself is rather redundant

Our Verdict

Hard to justify spending on software that mostly beautifies a feature in Disk Utility


  • Cheerful interface

    An extra layer of security

    Simple configuration


  • You can learn the OS and do it for free


    Slow and occasionally unstable

FileGuardX4 creates virtual 'safes' on your Mac, which you can fill with files and folders. Drag items in and protect them behind passwords; once the 'safe' is locked, the contents don't even show up in Finder or Spotlight searches.

Imagine creating a new folder, naming it, then adding a password to prevent access. Add some funky icons, the ability to limit the size of the folder and that, in a nutshell, is FileGuardX4.

The application has some other minor features, too, such as floating icons over other windows, and being able to zip and email safes away from your Mac, but it's the ability to add a password to the folders that's FileGuardX4's most touted feature.

FileGuardX4 works, but we have reservations. We made the mistake of choosing to secure Mail content in one part of FileGuardX4's configuration and then check the 'delete original' box in a later panel. When we next opened Mail, all its folders and content had vanished. We then had to reintroduce them manually.

A schoolboy error, but a pain without an Undo feature.

We also put folders away in safes and ran Spotlight searches for them. Weirdly, they couldn't be found when the safe was open and unlocked, which seemed counter-intuitive to us.

The sharper OS X users among you will already have spotted a bigger flaw in Intego's offering: you can already add passwords, access controls and limit the sizes of folders for free in the OS.

Just open up Utilities > Disk Utility, create a New Image, and, under Format, select Sparse Disk Image and choose Encryption from the drop-down menu. All Intego is offering is a more user-friendly interface and cuddly icons to do the same job. We suspect if you pay £35 for FileGuardX4 it's your wallet that needs to be made safe, not those files.