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 open any encrypted file and it's content will be decrypted automatically in the background. When you save your changes, the contents are encrypted automatically again. Simply work with your protected data with Boxcryptor without noticing the cryptographic process behind it. 2-1   Help On-the-fly Mobile

We decrypt and encrypt your files on demand: Do you want to view your content? Just click on it and we download and decrypt your file for you. Are you finished with writing your essay? Just save 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.

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 automatically encrypt it.

Work With Your Files

With Boxcryptor, you never need to manually decrypt any data when you want to work with it.

Boxcryptor deeply integrates into macOS and can be found directly in the Finder under Locations . The encryption takes place on-the-fly. Therefore, all other programs, including the Finder, will work the same way as with files on your hard drive.

To work with your encrypted files, just browse to the Boxcryptor Location in Finder and edit, view, copy, or move files as in any other folder.

If you do not have Boxcryptor permissions to open a file, some programs will show errors like "cannot open" or "Error code -36". In such a case, verify that you have the permission to open the file via ctrl-clicking the file or folderHelp macOS App Icon Manage Permissions. See Share with Boxcryptor users for more info.

How to Recognize Encrypted Files

Boxcryptor allows you to have encrypted and unencrypted files and folders. Encrypted files or folders in the Boxcryptor location are marked with small icons.

Help macOS Overlay Encrypted 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:

  • Browse to the file or folder you want to encrypt.
  • Ctrl-click the selection and chose Help macOS App Icon Create Encrypted Copy in the context menu.
  • Wait for Boxcryptor to sync everything.

Work With Filename Encryption

Filename encryption effectively prevents outsiders from analyzing your data structure. However, it also comes with the cost of a 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 5, before proceeding.

A filename encrypted file will look like this: 怐悰挦抱沯抮殥枏曕擟敯漢怏搬濂檬浉楻挭抧柜欅䀣.bc

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.

Conclusively, even if filename encryption is enabled globally, new files that are created in a folder without filename encryption will also have no filename encryption due to the encryption property inheritance.

To activate filename encryption globally, go to Settings and check Enable filename encryption.

To change the filename encryption settings of already encrypted items, ctrl-click them and select Help macOS App Icon Encrypt filename in the context menu.

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 ctrl-click on the file or folder you want to decrypt and select Help macOS App Icon Create Decrypted Copy.
  • If you want to copy or move your files to another location in decrypted mode, just select the files in the Boxcryptor location within the Finder and copy or move them to the new location. The data will be decrypted automatically.

On-Demand Files

The Finder has a built in On-Demand File feature, what means not all files are automatically synced to your device. Instead, only the directory structure is replicated on your device and files are downloaded on demand when you open or download them (ctrl-clicking -> "Download Now"). This saves valuable disk space and bandwidth while still being able to access every file from your computer. If you later decide that you no longer want the file locally, you can simply remove it with ctrl-clicking -> "Remove Download". When you browse into a folder the files will get synchronized.