Forums Help & support Not encrypting upon Sign Out from AxCrypt or when locking screen Reply To: Not encrypting upon Sign Out from AxCrypt or when locking screen

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Indeed, my issue was related to my limited understanding of how the product should work.  I attempted to access my files the way you described (locating them within Windows Explorer and double-clicking) and I was prompted for my password by AxCrypt.

The only time you need to use the ‘Decrypt’ feature is if you want to permanently remove the encryption on a file. Of course if you decide to encrypt the file again in the future you can, but, doing so requires you (the user) to remember to re-encrypt. That’s why AxCrypt uses a simpler model;

  • for day-to-day use of your encrypted files just double-click and AxCrypt takes care of the decryption and subsequent re-encryption. AxCrypt will seamlessly re-encrypt the file once you close it.

Some software requires you to manually encrypt/decrypt but AxCrypt doesn’t, hence the confusion. The risk of a user forgetting to re-encrypt a sensitive file (and the continued nuisance of having to decrypt/encrypt a file each time you want to work with it) is why AxCrypt automates the process.

The file opened and still appeared to be encrypted the whole time judging by the .axx extension and the AxCrypt icon which was still visible within Windwos Explorer.

Providing your file has the green padlock you can be sure your file is encrypted. That’s the easiest way to check. The other method is to look for the .axx extension as you are currently doing.

Ideally, to improve your general security in Windows, you should open an Explorer/folder window:

  • click the File menu (press Alt+F if it’s not visible)
  • click Change Folder Options and Search Options
  • click the view tab at the top
  • remove the tick from “Hide extensions for known file types”

<b>Every computer user should do this. By following this tip if somebody sends you a file called, for example:</b>


you’ll be able to see the full extension. By default Windows hides the full extension (because they’re “known” file types) and in the example above that poses a security risk because an attacker might send you a specially crafted file (like a JavaScript file above) disguised as an Excel file.

Allowing Windows to show you the full extension helps you mitigate this threat because you get to see ALL file extensions and you can make a considered decision BEFORE you open it.

This raises another related question that perhaps you can answer.  I have noticed that encrypted files are not visible when I attempt to open them within the particular program with which they are associated.  I suppose this means that I am only able to access encrypted files from within Windows Explorer.  Is this correct?


The reason for this is that Microsoft Word, Notepad, ‘Whatever Software Here’ don’t recognise .axx files. The file is encrypted and can only be decrypted by AxCrypt.

There is a way to forcibly display all files (including AxCrypt) within an application, even those not supported/readable by the application, but all you’ll get is lines of encrypted text and you most definitely DO NOT want to modify any file (encrypted or not) in this way because you’ll damage the file irreparably.

So, to safely open your encrypted files, open them in Windows Explorer by double clicking on them. Once you’re finished you can close the application (e.g. Microsoft Word) as normal and AxCrypt will automatically re-apply the encryption.

Never try and open an encrypted file directly through a third-party application because of the high potential of damage. The application can’t recognise the encrypted text and will cause you no end of problems.