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So I believe I just figured this out by myself. It appears to have been Windows Explorer itself causing the problem. I had the Preview Pane activated in Windows Explorer (Organize>Layout>Preview Pane) and this appeared to be causing AxCrypt to recognize the PDF files as “open in another application.” Why AxCrypt did not recognize any other file type (Word docs, JPEG photos, PPT spreadsheets, etc.) as “open in another application” when the Preview Pane was activated, I can’t say, but turning off the Preview Pane has allowed the PDFs I have tested so far to encrypt and decrypt fine.

Also, just to respond to your earliest post, I don’t have Acrobat so it wasn’t open, and Adobe Reader was not open either (according to Tool Bars and Task Manager). And sorry if I misunderstood your earlier point, but I am not sure whether the file being “locked” is the same thing as the file being recognized as “open in another application.” The PDF files did not appear to be “locked” since I could open them, move them, rename them, delete them, and so on. I just couldn’t get the Encrypt function to work with AxCrypt given the repeated error message about the file being open in another application.  When I Googled the phrase you mentioned, I saw lots of people talking about not being able to delete, rename or copy “locked” files (not my problem) or running Command line utilities (HoboCopy?) or downloading even more software (Unlockit?) to unlock locked files. Glad I didn’t go there.

Thank you for your prompt reply.