Usage tips

Here you can learn what AxCrypt is made for and also find different situations where other users like you have found AxCrypt useful.

Target use

  • Share and work with stored documents and e-mail attachments securely
  • Seamlessly integrate and easily share and store sensitive files in you document sharing service, intranet or file server. If your documents reside on a document sharing service, intranet or file server AxCrypt is especially well suited and will usually seamlessly integrate, and make sharing and storing sensitive data as easy as not protecting it.
  • Send secured files via e-mail as regular attachments. To send secure e-mail, add the recipient as allowed to open the file and, then send your secured files as regular attachments. With AxCrypt sign in and the double-click edit feature even many turns over e-mail is as easy as without security.
  • Keep remotely stored files secure (within the limits of your password). AxCrypt will, within the limits of your password, keep remotely stored files secure. For files on your local hard-disk there are many caveats not due to the security of AxCrypt as such. Please see the section on local PC security.
  • For the programmers and system administrators, AxCrypt provides a command-line interface easy to use from any other programming language on the Windows platform that can execute another program, including .bat files.
  • Developers can integrate AxCrypt by incorporating the .NET core library which has a programmatic API that is easy to use. Get the source code from bitbucket, or via nuget.

Personal Privacy

  • Secure your files – private letters, medical & financial information, correspondence – stored on a local hard disk or network computer.
  • Keep remotely stored files secure (within the limits of your password). AxCrypt will, within the limits of your password, keep remotely stored files secure. For files on your local hard-disk there are many caveats not due to the security of AxCrypt as such. Please see the section on local PC security.
  • Simply right-click a file and secure it with AxCrypt.

Anonymous File Names

In many cases, just the filename is enough to violate privacy. As a AxCrypt Premium user, you can rename secured files from the right-click menu. The file will be given a completely anonymous name, but the original name is restored when you decrypt or open the file. It is also visible in the full AxCrypt application window.

Making archives of secured files

AxCrypt does not support storing many files in an archiver, like WinZip. This is for a reason – because WinZip (and Windows XP or later Compressed Folders) already does it so well!

So, simply create your .zip-file, secure whatever you want to be there in it with AxCrypt, and then move it to the .zip-file. The archive can now be opened in WinZip or in a Compressed Folder view, and you can work with the archive as usual, including opening, editing, adding and deleting individual files.

Securing entire folders

AxCrypt secures files, individually. However, you can designate folders as ‘secured’. The folders will be monitored for new files, and AxCrypt will secure all new files with a single click, or when you sign out.

You can also select multiple files, including all files in a folder, to be secured in a single operation. They still remain individual files, and the folder itself is not secured, just the files in it.


Do you do your backups to CD’s or DVD’s, the cloud, or just to files on another hard-disk using backup programs or perhaps WinZip? If you secure the backup-archive with AxCrypt, you can then store the backup or file in any place, without fear of your privacy being violated should it get lost.

Store a copy of the standalone version of AxCrypt with your backup, and you are independent of an AxCrypt installation when you need to recover.

Confidential data in cloud storage services

Secure your documents with AxCrypt and be assured of preserved confidentiality from your PC to the cloud service and back to your PC.

There are many web-services that allow you to upload documents, such as project services and similar. If you feel uncomfortable uploading sensitive information there, regardless of the providers assurances, secure the documents. 


When you secure your data with AxCrypt, it’s never seen on the network, the server or backups in the clear.

When you store a document on a Local Area Network-server, the data is usually stored in clear-text there, even when access controls are in place, accessible to all system-administrators as well as others who by chance or mistake happen to get read-access.

The data also travels the network in the clear, easily sniffable by anyone on the same network segment. Backups are also seldom secured, so anyone gaining access to a backup-tape has potential access, regardless of the access controls enforced on the server.

All of these cases are handled when the data is secured with AxCrypt.


Some information should be confidential up to a certain time, and then it’s not. It might be a movie trailer, a quarterly financial report or something similar. Secure your file – document, movie trailer or report, distribute it by any means and be assured that it’s unreadable until  a time when you choose to release the information.

Information that must be prepared ahead of time, and is beneficial to have the distribution done beforehand – even though it must not be disclosed until a certain time. Use AxCrypt to secure the document, for example the PDF of the financial report. You can then distribute it by any means, hours and days ahead of time, the information is out there but unreadable. When it’s time to disclose, simply publish the password used. This reduces peak server loads and eases distribution.

Confidential e-mail

A quick and easy method to communicate between two parties. Use AxCrypt to send private e-mail messages.

Write the initial message using Notepad, WordPad or Microsoft Word. Secure the result, add the recipient to the team member list and send it to the other party.

The other party will now be able to open and edit the message directly, respond etc, and then reply and attach the automatically updated secure file in a quick and convenient manner.

This is not quite as easy as regular mail – but not far from it – and most approaches instead require encrypting and decrypting using the clipboard with cut and paste.

Hide/show the .axx extension

Normally, AxCrypt files will display the .axx extension or not, depending on your global Windows settings. This behavior may be changed by modifying the Windows registry.

AxCrypt does not implement any configuration settings to keep things simple, but if you really want this, you can modify the registry manually. If you do not know how to do this, you should probably refrain as the full implications may not be clear then.