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Encrypt the selected items

In this page the word "key" will be used to identify either a Password or a Passphrase.

Please note
A carefully selected key can dramatically increase the confidentiality of your encrypted documents. Before you proceed with the encryption, please read the page Password or Passphrase?.

  I - Encryption Options

First of all, define whether your source files, i.e. the non-encrypted files, will be shredded (permanently deleted from your hard disk) after they have been encrypted, or if they will remain untouched.

  • If the checkbox labeled "I want to shred the source file as soon as it is encrypted" is checked, each source file will be removed from your hard disk.
    We suggest you check this option to avoid the risk of forgetting on your hard disk non-encrypted "versions" of files you thought secured after being encrypted.

  • If the checkbox is not checked, the source files will remain on your hard disk; in this case, it will be your responsibility to shred the files you do not want to expose.
    This option can be useful if, for instance, you intend to send out secured documents by e-mail, or save them on an other media, while you keep untouched the original files for your own use.

The default state of this checkbox can be changed in the Options menu.

Whatever your choice, never move (from a folder to another or onto another media) non-encrypted files that you want to keep private. Make copies then shred the originals. If you "move" them, according to Windows terminology, the files are copied to the destination folder and the sources are simply deleted. They could therefore be easily restored. More...

If you want to create a self-extracting encrypted archive, check the box labeled "I want to create a self-extracting encrypted archive".

  II - Save Where

Choose where to save your files after encryption.

  • If you select the button labeled "I want to save my encrypted files in their original location", each encrypted file will be stored in the same folder as it's source (see screenshot above).

    If this button is selected, go to step III - Encrypt.

  • If you select "I want to choose the folder where my files will be saved", the encrypted files will be stored in the folder selected when you press the [ Change ] button (see screenshot below).

You can choose where your encrypted files will be stored by doing one of the following:

  • Type in a valid path in the text box (grayed). If the folder doesn't exist, CryptUp will ask you if it must create it for you.

  • Select a folder you already used in the drop-down list which appears when you click the little down arrow (right of the grayed area). This list will build up as you define new paths.

  • Press [ Change ] to select a folder on your hard drive. The selected folder will be displayed in the text box (grayed).

  III - Encrypt

All you have to do now is type in your key and press [ OK ]. Please note that the OK button will remain grayed as long as the minimum number of signs - as defined in the Options - will not be typed in.

A key must be at least 3 signs long and at most 256 (see Password or Passphrase?). By default, this value is set to 8 and can be changed in the Options.

The first time you use a key, you will be asked if you want to save data in relation to the key
to make sure, next time you use it, that it is one of the keys you use regularly and that you did not mistype it.
For more info about saving your keys, click here.

The following window will be displayed:

YES: Encrypts the files and saves data. If you already used this key and saved it's data, this window will reveal a mistype error. In that case, press [ Cancel ] and type in your key again.

NO: Encrypts the files but does not save any data in relation to the key.

CANCEL: Brings you back to the main window.

After you press [ Yes ] or [ No ], you will be asked to type in your key again for accuracy:

Once you type in the key and validate it, CryptUp will compare the two keys. If they are identical, the files will be encrypted. If they are not, you will be asked to enter your key again.

If the above windows do not appear, it will indicate a correctly typed key, previously used and listed in your encryption key list. The files will then be encrypted without any further notice.


  • To be encrypted efficiently, a file should not be too small. Files consisting of a few words will not benefit of full CryptUp potential; 1 to 2 Kb seems to be a minimum for a file to be encrypted efficiently.

  • It is not necessary to use many keys; two or three should be enough: for instance, one key for your private correspondence, another one for your banking records, and a third for the data regarding your company. Those three categories should be placed in different folders to facilitate their management.

    The three categories of our example could very well be encrypted with the same key, especially if you are the only one to use your computer.

    On the other hand, if you share your PC with a colleague, for instance, you can share the same key for files common to both, and keep secret the key used to encrypt your personal documents.

  • The encrypted file names will look like file_name.001 or 002, etc. depending on how many files of the same name are present in the folder. When decrypted, the original file extension will be restored.

  • Always keep in mind that certain applications, essentially word processors, write temporary files on your disk, temporary files that are deleted when you quit the application. Those temporary files may contain some or all of the data you want to keep confidential and, despite their deletion when you exit your word processor, they could be read if they were restored with a special utility.

    So, to keep the privacy of your files to their highest level, we suggest either to restore those temporary files and shred them, which is not an easy task, or to use a word processor like Notepad or WordPad that do not use temporary files.

    Furthermore, depending on the options set, some of those applications save the previous version of your document with a .BAK extension, so you can retrieve your text just as it was before the last time you saved it. Do not check this option or shred the .BAK file to keep the confidentiality at its highest.

See also

Password or Passphrase?

Should I save my keys?

Create a self-extracting encrypted archive

Decrypt the selected items

Shred the selected items

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