Forums Help & support New "Include Subfolders" Option

This topic contains 8 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  RobertM 12 months ago.

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  • #6453 Reply

    Robert M

    I’ve never fully understood the discussions about nested folders.  If I use the right-click (shell) functionality, everything gets encrypted, including the contents of any nested folders.  So it’s never been a missing feature for me.  If I enable the new “Include Subfolders” option, exactly what am I enabling and why do I get the following warning?

    “You are about to enable a dangerous option.  If you are not careful, you may affect more data than you intend causing operations to take a very long time, or breaking other softwares including the operating system. Are you sure?”

    Dangerous option?  Break the OS?


    #6455 Reply


    Let me make it simple.

    In Windows you have folders (directories) which store your files. Here’s a hypothetical folder:

    • Music

    Inside that folder you copy all of your favourite pieces of music. Now as long as you can find your music, you’re happy but let’s assume that you want to be organised and categorise your music.

    • Music
      • Pop
      • Jazz
      • Rock
      • Metal
      • Classical

    So Music is the main folder and the other genres of music are sub-folders. If you wake up one day and want to listen to Jazz then you can play the contents of the Jazz folder without needing to individually find everything in one cluttered main folder as in my first example.

    Previously AxCrypt could only encrypt the main folder (first example).

    Now AxCrypt can encrypt recursively (folders within folders) like in my second example.

    The reason it can be dangerous is that if somebody encrypts the “Windows” folder on the C:\ drive you risk locking yourself out of your OS (Operating System) because you’re encrypting critical system files.

    If however you’re encrypting your Music folder or your Tax returns (within yearly sub-folders) then you’ve not got a problem. But don’t go encrypting critical folders like Program Files, Program Data or Windows.

    The moral of the story is be careful. Encrypt only your documents, photos, videos etc. Don’t encrypt folders which contain software programs.

    #6459 Reply


    Hello, Roger.  Thanks for your reply.

    The reason I’m confused is because it has always been possible to encrypt folders within folders with AxCrypt, by selecting the root folder, right-clicking, and selecting “Encrypt” from the context menu.  I do understand how it would be an awful mistake to encrypt, for example, your Windows folder and all subfolders therein.  But it was already possible to do this.

    Now we have this option setting to “Include Subfolders.”  Since encryption of subfolders was already enabled (when using the contextual menu), what is this newly minted option enabling?


    #6460 Reply


    I should add that recursive folder encryption still works with the contextual menu, whether the option for such is selected or not.

    #6461 Reply


    The reason I’m confused is because it has always been possible to encrypt folders within folders with AxCrypt, by selecting the root folder, right-clicking, and selecting “Encrypt” from the context menu.

    I don’t blame you for being confused!

    When I used the option you describe above (right-clicking and then selecting “Encrypt”) it would only encrypt the root folder and its respective contents but not the sub-folders therein.

    Are you certain the old version actually encrypted the contents of the sub-folders (or the sub-folders within sub-folders)? The current version is: 2.1.1502.0.

    It was a common complaint on these forums that recursive encryption wasn’t available so I wonder if you were under the misapprehension (because of how AxCrypt presented the sub-folders) that your sub-folders were being encrypted when in fact they weren’t?

    According to the release notes the new feature is described as “#191: Add option for recursive operation”.

    I’d like to hear what Svante has to say about this because the feature, as I described to you in the music example, is the textbook definition of a recursive operation.

    If you’re right and I’m wrong then this “newly minted option” must have some other purpose.

    #6463 Reply


    Yes, it’s confusing.  I’m positive it was encrypting the contents of sub-folders.  Even now, I can encrypt all folders and sub-folders using right-click, even though the “Include Subfolders” option is not active.

    #6465 Reply


    Hi All,

    I understand the confusion. Yes, the right-click context menu was actually recursive before this new option. The reason for that is that the list of files to encrypt is actually expanded before sending it to AxCrypt for encryption, it’s done by the shell extension – not AxCrypt proper, and it was the old behavior of old AxCrypt so we tried to keep that.

    The new feature is about what happens when you use the AxCrypt main window, and more specifically, when you use the “Secured Folder” feature – where a folder is watched for new unencrypted files and can encrypt them automatically, or semi-automatically at the click of a button.

    It’s dangerous because not all understand the consequences of, let’s say, encrypting their entire Google Drive or Dropbox. We do try to forbid known dangerous locations, specifically the root folder, the program files directory and the windows directory.

    We debated whether to remove the recursiveness of the shell extension for consistency, but decided against so as not to antagonize the current free users who might depend on that function. We try to play as nice as we can, while still trying to give incentives to upgrade to Premium so we can continue to develop the software. With a few exceptions (anonymous rename, shred and delete) we try to stick to “If it was available in AxCrypt 1.x, it’s free. If it’s a new function or feature, it may be free or it may be part of the Premium Plan”.

    #6470 Reply


    Yes, the right-click context menu was actually recursive before this new option.

    That makes sense.

    I never use the context menu. I keep AxCrypt on my taskbar and then open the software and drag and drop files to encrypt them; that’s simplest for me.

    I wish I’d known that I could’ve recursively encrypted in the old version as it’d have saved me a lot of time.

    #6473 Reply



    Thanks for the explanation.

    I’m the opposite of Roger.  I use the context menu almost exclusively so it’s no wonder we had differing perceptions.

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