Securing a folder in Windows 10

I have a folder on my password protected website from which authorised visitors can download a series of PDF files. The folder contains important information which I would not want to fall into the wrong hands. Only someone with the password can access the site, but once in, they can download the folder and it would no longer be safe.
I therefore would like to secure the folder itself so that it cannot be opened without a password (or similar) if it is downloaded, especially to a USB flash drive for convenience, which would be very useful and portable.
Windows 10 evidently includes “Bitlocker” for this purpose, but it is only available with the Pro version, not the Home version which I have.
I wonder if anyone could suggest an alternative means of securing a folder loaded onto a USB flash drive ?
I would be most grateful for any suggestions as I cannot find anything simple and suitable on the web. All I want to be able to do is to either lock the USB drive or the folder itself. I would probably want to control the distribution myself, and therefore load the folder onto the USB drive and then secure the folder or the USB drive myself, which I could then distribute physically as required.

Would a password protected zip file do the trick? You can just distribute it over the web and it can be opened on most computers.

Any other solution I can think of always involves an intermediary program which encrypts the files actually on disk, and expose the unencrypted files through the software.

If that’s OK, then VeraCrypt is the most secure solution I can think of.

Bitlocker is the way to do disk encryption in Windows, but it can only encrypt an entire disk, not a single folder. File systems are complicated so protecting a single folder while letting that folder work like any other folder may not even be possible. And with Bitlocker, only Windows 10 Pro users can access the files.

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Thanks for the advice. I cannot see how a zip file would work in this case. The PDF files have an HTML file structure to them. The file structure can be run directly from the USB drive offline just like the website. It is effectively an offline version of part of the website. But if everything were zipped, it would have to be unzipped onto a computer which would defeat the object or portability.

I think therefore that the only solution would be VeraCrypt, so I will try ans ee how user friendly it is - not for me, but for the user.

Thanks for your help.

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