Using AES Crypt on Windows

Graphical User Interface (GUI) Option

You do not need to be an expert to use AES Crypt for Windows to securely encrypt your data files. To encrypt a file, you simply right-click on the file you wish to encrypt, select the "AES Encrypt" option, and enter the desired password. AES Crypt will produce a file that cannot be read by anybody who does not know the secret password. It is as simple as that.

Encrypt Context Menu

AES Crypt will produce an encrypted file with the same name as the original file, but with an ".aes" extension.

Note that when you encrypt a file with AES Crypt, it does not delete the original file. Generally, people encrypt files for the purpose of sending a file securely via e-mail or copying it to a portable storage device that is more susceptible to loss. As such, most people do not want to delete the original. However, you may certainly delete the original file: just do not forget the password. It is impossible to recover the contents of an encrypted file if the password is lost.

Decrypting an encrypted file produced through the process described above is just as easy. To decrypt the file, you simply right-click on the encrypted file, select the "AES Decrypt" option, and enter your secret password.

Decrypt Context Menu

Command-Line Option

There is also a command-line (console) application available for Windows included in the installation package and also downloadable as a separate application.

To encrypt a file, you simply enter the "aescrypt" command with the appropriate command-line arguments.

Suppose you have a file called "picture.jpg" that you would like to encrypt using the password "apples". You would enter the following command:

CLI Example

aescrypt -e -p apples picture.jpg

That's it! The program will create a file with the name "picture.jpg.aes".

When you want to later decrypt the file "picture.jpg.aes", you would enter the following command:

CLI Example

aescrypt -d -p apples picture.jpg.aes

The program will create the file "picture.jpg", containing the contents of the original file before it was encrypted.

It can't be any simpler than that!

In all of the examples above, the password is provided on the command line. Since there are certain risks associated with that kind of usage, it may be preferred to let AES Crypt prompt you to enter the password. This can be accomplished simply by not including the -p parameter, like this:

CLI Example

aescrypt -d picture.jpg.aes

AES Crypt will prompt you for the password, but what you enter will not be displayed on the screen.

What if you want to decrypt a file, but just want to have it displayed on the screen and not stored in a plaintext file? That's possible. To do that, just use this syntax:

CLI Example

aescrypt -d -o - passwords.txt.aes