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.

On-the-fly Encryption

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. 2-1   Portable-On-the-fly We decrypt and encrypt your files on demand: Do you want to view your content? Just double click on it and we download and decrypt your file for you. Are you finished with writing your essay? Just store it locally and upload it with Boxcryptor Portable. It will 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.

2-1 Help Inheritance

inline-no-border   Permission A Encrypted and permission to access for Alice inline-no-border   Permission B Encrypted and permission to access for Bob inline-no-border   Permission AB 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 Portable app is a general-purpose file browser, just like the Windows Explorer or the Finder. You can browse into folders or open files by double clicking on them. Boxcryptor will automatically download and decrypt files for you. All available operations can be triggered by right-clicking a file or a folder. Besides basic functions, such as copy, cut, paste, rename or delete, Boxcryptor allows you to mark a file as a favorite. You can select multiple files and folders by holding down Shift on your keyboard

All files marked as favorite can be easily access via the Favorites entry in the sidebar.

The Activities page displays all files which have been changed recently.

2-1   Help Explorer Portable

Editing Files

The portable version has limited support for editing files: Changes to files are not tracked automatically by Boxcryptor Portable. If you open a file, change the content, and save it back, Boxcryptor Portable cannot synchronize these changes. Instead you must store the file locally and manually re-upload the file to your provider.

Therefore, we do not recommend to use Boxcryptor Portable if you plan to work with your files regularly. Consider installing Boxcryptor for Windows or Boxcryptor for macOS for this purpose.

How to Recognize Encrypted Files

Boxcryptor allows you to have encrypted and unencrypted files and folders. Encrypted files or folders are marked with badge icons. Before creating new files or directories, you can decide whether these items should be encrypted or not.

inline-no-border   Help Windows Overlay Encrypted Synced encrypted

Encrypt Existing Files and Folders

If you already have files stored in your cloud, you can encrypt your existing files as well. This is how it works:

  • Open Boxcryptor Portable.
  • Browse to the file or folder you want to encrypt.
  • Right-click the selection and choose Boxcryptor → Encrypt in the context menu.

Note: To improve synchronization results, Boxcryptor adds an _encrypted suffix to the names of the files and folders you encrypt. After synchronization is completed, you can rename them.

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. To activate filename encryption globally, go to Settings → Advanced Settings → and check Enable 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 the decrypted files synced to your cloud provider, the easiest way is to right-click on the file or folder you want to decrypt and select Decrypt.
  • If you want to copy or move your files to another location in decrypted mode, just select the files in Boxcryptor Portable and Export them to the new location. Everything will be downloaded and saved unencrypted to the target location.