March 20, 2024

How to Encrypt Files on Windows Automatically With AxCrypt

We all like to keep our sensitive files private and secure. Be it tax statements, financial documents, health records or our cherished memories in the form of photos and videos. However, protecting your sensitive files and documents on Windows can be a not-so-easy task, especially if you’re not familiar with data security best practices.

Windows is one of the most ubiquitous operating systems in the world, and with this great popularity comes great responsibility – and vulnerability. Due to Window’s dominant market share, it’s also one of the most vulnerable OS in terms of cybersecurity threats. Hackers and cybercriminals love to target Windows systems due to their widespread use, making them a prime target for malware, phishing, ransomware, and other malicious attacks.

Thankfully though, there is an easier and powerful method of securing your sensitive files on Windows. It’s called encryption. Encryption or more specifically file encryption, adds a protective shield over your sensitive files so that your information cannot be accessed by unauthorized users, even if they somehow have access to your files.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at what encryption for Windows is, how it works, and how you can protect your sensitive files all with a step-by-step and super-easy to follow language.

What is Encryption and How Does it Work?

Encryption, particularly file encryption, involves transforming the contents of a file into an unreadable and indecipherable format using complex algorithms and cryptographic keys. In specific terms, the original file or data that needs to be encrypted is called plaintext, and the transformed content after the encryption process is called ciphertext. The reverse of the encryption process to retrieve the original plaintext from the encrypted ciphertext is called decryption.

During the file encryption process, the algorithm reorganizes, shifts, mixes, and alters the contents of the files into a random arrangement of characters. The cryptographic keys dictate the precise sequence or procedures of these alterations, allowing for the reversal of the encryption process to restore the contents of the files to their original state.

How is Encryption Different from Password Protection?

Encryption is intrinsically different from simply password protecting a file, as encryption completely transforms the contents of a file after it is encrypted. When compared to password protection or any other method, a file might only be shielded by a password, whereas encryption ensures that the file's contents are scrambled and unreadable without the decryption key.

This makes encryption a far more robust and secure method of protecting sensitive information, as it renders the data indecipherable to unauthorized parties even if they gain access to the file.

Think of encryption like a secret code that jumbles up the contents of a file, making it impossible to understand without the correct key to decipher it. On the other hand, password protection simply puts a lock on the file that can be easily bypassed or cracked with the right tools or techniques.

Best Encryption Tool Available for Windows

Different encryption tools with different methods are available for Windows. Essentially, you can encrypt your files and data in two main ways: file encryption and disk encryption. File encryption, as the name suggests, encrypts individual files or folders, providing granular control over security measures. On the other hand, disk encryption encrypts the entire disk, including the operating system and related files.

In terms of disk encryption, BitLocker is a built-in option on Windows. While powerful, it is limited to Windows Pro users and lacks the simplicity and accessibility desired by many users. This complexity can be frustrating and time-consuming for users looking for straightforward solutions to protect their sensitive files and not an entire disk.

On the other hand, AxCrypt is a superior option for automatic file encryption on Windows. Unlike BitLocker and device encryption, AxCrypt prioritizes simplicity and effectiveness, offering a seamless and intuitive experience for users. With AxCrypt, encrypting your files is as easy as a few clicks, ensuring robust protection against unauthorized access without the need for technical expertise.

AxCrypt offers additional features such as secure file sharing, allowing you to collaborate with colleagues or share sensitive information securely. Its seamless integration with Windows Explorer makes it effortless to encrypt and decrypt files directly from the file explorer, streamlining your workflow and enhancing productivity.

How to Automatically Encrypt Files on Windows

Step-by-Step Video Tutorial:

Follow these steps to encrypt your files using a password as a key on Windows.

STEP 1: Download and install AxCrypt

STEP 2: Launch AxCrypt and sign in or sign up with your credentials.

STEP 3: To encrypt a file, click the ‘Secure’ button with a padlock icon and select the file you’d like to encrypt. This will encrypt the file.

STEP 4: You can open it by either double-clicking the file on the ‘Recent Files’ tab or by clicking on ‘Open Secured’ and selecting the file.

STEP 5: To automatically encrypt files, click on the File > Options and check the ‘Include Subfolders’ option.

STEP 6: Click on the ‘Secured Folders’ tab and right-click to add the desired folder that you would like to automatically encrypt files within.

STEP 7: Create, modify, add, or drag files to the secured folder and AxCrypt will automatically encrypt them once you click the ‘Cleanup’ button on the top-right or sign out of the application.

You can additionally set AxCrypt to automatically sign out and encrypt any opened files by going to File > Options > Inactivity Sing Out and selecting the desired duration.

Your most recent encrypted files will appear on the main screen on the ‘Recent Files’ tab, and will have a file extension of .axx. You can add new folders and subfolders and AxCrypt will automatically encrypt them as well.

To permanently decrypt a file, click on the ‘Stop Securing’ icon from the main menu strip on top and select the files that you’d like to decrypt.

When you open a file to view or edit, it only creates a temporary decryption process, and any changes made to the file will automatically be re-encrypted.

AxCrypt can also automatically encrypt and sync files from your Windows to your Google Drive and OneDrive accounts, allowing you to access and edit them on the go on your phone.


In conclusion, encryption stands out as a powerful solution for safeguarding your sensitive files on Windows compared to other methods such as password protection. It offers a protective shield against unauthorized access and cyber threats. While various encryption tools exist, AxCrypt can be a superior choice due to its simplicity and effectiveness.

It prioritizes ease of use, providing a user-friendly interface that makes file encryption intuitive and straightforward with just a few clicks. Whether you’re encrypting financial documents, personal photos, or confidential reports, AxCrypt provides peace of mind, ensuring that sensitive data remains secure at all times. Its versatility and accessibility make it a valuable tool for individuals and organizations.

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