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PortableApps – VeraCrypt

VeraCrypt is a free disk encryption utility allowing you to both encrypt full physical drives and make encrypted logical volumes. VeraCrypt requires admin rights to operate.

This is a good utility if you want to encrypt files in the cloud.  Encryption adds another layer of security to your files. Be aware that if you do not have admin rights, you will not be able to access your encrypted files, i.e. if you are at a computer you do not own, you are likely not to have admin rights.


Create Encrypted Volume

In this example, I will create a 650 MB encrypted folder to store my document in Dropbox. I am using 650 MB file size because CD-ROMs are typically 700 MB. This way you can easily take the encrypted file, then burn it to a CD-ROM. The CD-ROM can be put in a different  location, such as give it to a friend or a relative and they will not have access to your data unless you give them the encryption key.

When you open VeraCrypt, the menu as pictured below will appear. Click on Create Volume since you are going to create a logical volume.

VeraCrypt Menu

This will open a wizard menu and choose “Create an encrypted file container” and click next.

VeraCrypt Wizard

Then for the next dialog box, I am going to chose the standard option, to make it easy.

VeraCrypt Wizard – Standard

Then select the volume location. In this example, it will be in a folder in my Droxbox account. I created a folder “Encrypted” under the DropBox folder. Then created a file in the Encrypted folder called “Arbor Times.” Then clicked Next. Since we are saving this to the cloud.  when ever the file is saved, it is updated in the cloud. This can be done with any cloud service, such as Google Drive, Box, ext.

VeraCrypt volume location

For the next dialog box, I am going to go with the default encryption options. You can certainly chose different options based on your level of research and knowledge.

VeraCrypt Encryption Options

Next, I will chose 650 MB file size.

VeraCrypt volume size

The one needs to chose the volume password. As with all password, stronger and longer are better. For this, I will use PW Gen, a Portable App password generator with the default options. Then copied and pasted the generated password into VeraCrypt. Please note that VeraCrypt will politely remind you that it is safer to have a password that is longer than 20 characters.

VeraCrypt volume password

Click Format. Then it will take awhile to create a volume.

VeraCrypt volume format

It will notify you once the volume is created. Then it will give you an option to create another volume.


Open a Volume

To open an encrypted volume, open up VeraCrypt and click on Select File. Then find and select the volume. Where you just saved it. In this example, it is in the Dropbox/Encrypted folder. Select a drive letter that you want to mount it to, this needs to be a letter that your computer is not currently using. The click mount.

VeraCrypt Menu

The next dialog box will ask for the volume password. Enter the password and click OK. It will take some time to un-encrypt based on your volume size and computer speed.

VeraCrypt Enter Password

Then go to My Computer or This PC with Windows Explorer and go to the drive letter that you selected in opening the volume. In this example, it will be “Local Disk (Z:).” Now you can put any files in to this drive that you want to be encrypted. Drive Z: or the drive that you previously selected will now behave like an additional drive. The image below is what is the menu looks like with the volume is open.

VeraCrypt Volume Open


Dismounting the Drive

When you are done with your files and/or volume, you will need to dismount your drive. Before doing this, you will need to save and close any files within the volume. The click either dismount or dismount all. Now when you view your file in Windows Explorer, just looks like a file and cannot be opened.

VeraCrypt Windows Explorer

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