How To Encrypt Windows Files

| January 17, 2014 | 0 Comments

TrueCrypt is a popular solution for those who want to encrypt Windows files and folders. Why encrypt Windows files? Privacy is a major factor at home and at the workplace. In addition, as more and more people use portable computers, the risk of losing valuable data increases. The thought of photos, financial information or other sensitive files falling into the wrong hands is terrifying and poses a huge security risk for companies whose employees work on the road. You need to encrypt Windows files in order to keep your privacy in-tact.

You can install a TrueCrypt volume in a single directory of a hard drive, an entire partition of a hard drive, or on a USB stick. The TrueCrypt software performs on-the-fly encryption, which means it encrypts and decrypts files as you open and close them, without any additional interaction on your part. Files are decrypted and stored in RAM (memory), meaning no decrypted files are ever stored on the hard drive itself.

Encrypt Windows Files Using TrueCrypt

You can find the TrueCrypt software on their site. Download the correct version for your Operating System. You can select to Run the file or Save it. When the file downloads, launch the Setup Wizard.

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If you’re ready to install, tick the Install radio button and click Next.

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You will then have the opportunity to select some of the install features, such as the location and whether or not you want a TrueCrypt link in the Start menu or an icon on the desktop. When ready, click Install.

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Select which of the three options you want to use.  Most will want to select Create an encrypted file container to encrypt files and folders on a drive. If you want the entire computer to be encrypted, choose the Encrypt the system partition or entire system drive and then click Next.

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Select the type of volume you wish to create and then click Next.

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Browse to the directory you want to create the container in, then type in a file name. In the instance above, we are creating a contain within the Documents folder. Click Save to create the container.

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You can stick with the standard encryption settings or change them to whatever you prefer. Click Next to continue.

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You will then have to select the volume size you want to use to encrypt Windows files. If you plan on encrypting pictures, movies and other large files, be sure to make the volume large enough. In the above example we only created about a 5 GB volume. Click Next when ready.

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It is important to create a strong password, but make sure you can remember the password or write it down and put it in a safe place. If you lose the password the files are virtually gone forever. Click Next to proceed.

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Now you are ready to format the volume. Read the Important message in the bottom of the Window, then click Format.

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You will then have to map a drive letter to this volume so you can mount (open) the container. Select drive letter and then click Mount. You will be asked to input the password you chose in the previous steps.

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You can now open My Computer and see that there is a new drive listed. Anything you put in this virtual drive will be encrypted and decrypted on the fly as you access these files. When you log out of the system, the files are encrypted again and a password will need to be put in to access them when you return. If you intend to staying logged in, you can open TrueCrype and dismount the volume if you plan on stepping away from your computer.

Encrypt Windows Files For Security

This type of software is a no-brainer for portable computers, and it’s an extra layer of privacy for those who have data they want to keep to themselves. It is critical to remember the password, because once you encrypt, it will be virtually impossible to get these files back if you don’t know the password. So you need to decide if you want to encrypt files and folders on your computer. If you want to encrypt Windows files, TrueCrypt is an excellent choice. If you’ve used TrueCrypt, let us know what you think. Or visit our other software recommendations.

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Category: Software

Dave

About the Author ()

Dave has been providing free computer repair and tech support advice online since 2002. Join us on our forums and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for weekly tips and other helpful computer articles. Connect with me on: Google+

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