Work With Files
We focus on designing Boxcryptor as user-friendly and easy to use as possible. Once Boxcryptor is set up, you will not notice that your files are encrypted. Just keep working with your files as usual.
Boxcryptor encrypts your data on-the-fly and it encrypts every file separately. When you work with your files there is no need for bulk decryption. You can just double click on encrypted files and they will be decrypted automatically before opening. When you save your changes, the files are encrypted automatically again. Simply work with your protected data with Boxcryptor without noticing the cryptographic process behind it. We decrypt and encrypt your files on demand: Do you want to view your content? Just tap on it and we download and decrypt your file for you. Are you finished with writing your essay? Just send it to Boxcryptor and we encrypt the file and store it into the cloud.
Encryption and Permission Hierarchy
You can decide for every file or folder which security level you want to set. Boxcryptor gives you full control over this. You can allow others to access a file by giving permissions, you can choose if the filename should be encrypted as well, or you can leave single files and folders unencrypted.
To make things easier all properties of a file are inherited hierarchically from its containing folder. For example, if you have an encrypted folder called My Secret Files and add a file to this, the file will be encrypted automatically and the chosen permissions will be inherited. The same applies to whole folders.
Encrypted and permission to access for Alice Encrypted and permission to access for Bob Encrypted and permission to access for Alice and Bob
Note: If you add a file to a folder that is not encrypted, Boxcryptor will ask you if you want to encrypt it or not.
Work With Your Files
With Boxcryptor, you never need to manually decrypt any data when you want to work with it.
The Boxcryptor app is a general-purpose file browser, just like the Files App. You can browse folders or preview files by tapping on them. Boxcryptor will automatically download and decrypt files for you. If you tap on the file browser will switch to Operation Mode. In this mode, you can select files and folders by tapping on them. All available operations can be triggered via the bar at the top. Besides basic functions, such as copy, move, rename or delete, Boxcryptor allows you to mark a file as a favorite or to take an encrypted photo.
All files marked as favorite can be easily access via the Favorites tab.
The Recent tab displays all files which have been changed recently.
Editing Files prior iOS 11 (without the Files App)
Editing files on iOS < 11 is a bit trickier than on other platforms. To increase security, iOS sandboxes apps. This means that each app can only access its own folder on the system. Therefore, installed apps cannot access any data of other apps.
The problem is that if you send or share a file with another app, such as Word, the file is in fact copied to another place which cannot be accessed by Boxcrytor anymore. Any changes you make to this file, cannot be tracked by Boxcryptor.
For this purpose we developed the Document Extension that integrates directly into these other apps. If you want to edit files, make sure to always work directly within the third party app, not Boxcryptor. For instance, if you want to edit a Word file, open Word → select More on the Open tab, → Locations → More → select Boxcryptor. This action is only necessary at initial usage, to add Boxcryptor as a location.
Using the Files App
Starting with iOS 11, Apple implemented the new Files App. It allows you to both work with your files on your device and in remote cloud locations.
Features Within the Files App
With Boxcryptor in the new Files App you can:
- Edit and save files that are encrypted with Boxcryptor
- Drag and drop files
- Execute operations on multiple items at one go
- Use advanced sorting options (Name, Date, Size, and Tags)
- See thumbnail previews for downloaded content
- Browse other cloud providers that do not have their own Files App integration
Boxcryptor encrypted files are marked by green tags.
How to Enable the Boxcryptor Integration
To enable the Boxcryptor Files App integration, follow these steps:
- Open Boxcryptor → select Settings → enable Allow Files App Integration
- Open Files App → go to Locations → Edit → enable Boxcryptor under Locations
From now on, Boxcryptor will appear in the Files App and you can directly browse your locations – which have to be enabled in Boxcryptor as described here.
- New files will inherit the encryption status of their parent location.
- New folders are always encrypted. Use your provider apps or the Boxcryptor App if you want to create an unencrypted folder.
- Using App Protection in combination with the Files App Integration is not supported because iOS currently does not offer the option to show a screen to a PIN, password or TouchID entry within the Files App.
- No tags support – tags are internally used to show the encryption status.
- Boxcryptor App favorites are not in sync with Files App favorites (yet).
How to Recognize Encrypted Files
Boxcryptor allows you to have encrypted and unencrypted files and folders. Encrypted files or folders are marked with extra icons. Using the Boxcryptor App you can chose to encrypt / favorize new files or folders on creation. Within the Files App, encrypted files or folders are presented with a green tag - new files will inherit the encryption status of their parent location whereas new folders will always be encrypted for now.
encrypted in Boxcryptor App encrypted in Files App favorite in Boxcryptor App
Work With Filename Encryption
Filename encryption effectively prevents outsiders from analyzing your data structure. However, it also comes with the cost of slightly slower performance and higher efforts regarding a proper setup. If you want to use filename encryption with shared files and folders, please read our blogpost, especially chapter 6, before proceeding.
Filename encryption can be enabled globally. All new encrypted items that do not inherit encryption settings from their parent folders will be encrypted with filename encryption. Existing encrypted files, however, will not be touched, which means that you have to activate filename encryption for existing files manually. Filename encryption is one of the properties that files inherit from their parent folder. Therefore, if you save a file to a folder with filename encryption, it will have filename encryption as well. Go to the Boxcryptor Settings → General → Encryption and switch on Use filename encryption.
Existing files without filename encryption will remain unchanged. Please use one of our desktop clients to activate filename encryption for your existing files.
How to Decrypt Files
You do not need to decrypt your files when working with Boxcryptor.
If there is a scenario in which you want to decrypt a file, here are some possibilities:
- If you want a file or folder to be decrypted but synced to your cloud provider, please use Boxcryptor for macOS, Boxcryptor for Windows or Boxcryptor Portable.
- If you want to copy or move your files to another location or app in decrypted mode, the file browser allows you to view an unecrypted version and export this version to other apps.