How to install and use the Cryptomator encryption tool

Looking for a user-friendly encryption tool? Look no further than the open source Cryptomator.

How to install and use the Cryptomator encryption tool

In the never-ending quest to find more tools to keep data secure, I came across a piece of software that might well become my go-to. Said software is the open source, cross-platform Cryptomator. This particular take on encryption is not only easy to use, it functions in similar fashion, no matter if you're using it on Linux, macOS, or Windows.

Cryptomater features include:

  • Uses AES with 256-bit key length
  • Passphrase is protected against brute force attacks using Scrypt
  • Creates vaults in local storage
  • Can work with Cloud services (so long as said service has a mounted drive on your desktop)
  • Uses WebDAV or FUSE (for macOS and Linux only) and Dokany (Windows)
  • Supports creating multiple vaults
  • Easily installed
  • Well-designed UI

I'm going to walk you through the process of installing and using Cryptomator. I'll be demonstrating on Pop!_OS. Although the usage of Cryptomator will be the same, regardless of platform, the installation will vary. However, the installation on both macOS and Windows is very straightforward.

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How to install Cryptomator

The installation of Cryptomator is quite easy. You won't find this tool in the standard repositories, so you first must add the necessary repo. To do this, open a terminal and issue the command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:sebastian-stenzel/cryptomator

With the repository added, update apt and install Cryptomator with the command:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cryptomator -y

Once the installation completes, you're ready to start using Cryptomator.


Open the app from your desktop menu, and you'll be greeted by the user-friendly Cryptomator main window (Figure A).

Figure A


The Cryptomator main window.

The first thing to do is create a new vault. Click the + button at the bottom left corner of the window and select, Create New Vault. When your file manager opens, navigate to where you want the vault housed, create a new folder (if necessary), give the new vault a name, and click Save. If you need, save that vault in your locally synced cloud storage directory.

Once you've selected the location and file name for the new vault, you will be prompted to set a password (Figure B).

Figure B


Setting a password for the newly-created vault.

Make sure to use a strong and unique password for your vault. Once you've entered and verified your password, click Create Vault. You will immediately be asked to enter the newly created vault password, in order to open it (Figure C).

Figure C


Opening the new vault.

Type the password and click Unlock Vault. 

Once you've unlocked the vault, your file manager will open once again. Here you can drag and drop files into the new window. As you drop the files into the file manager, you should see the Cryptomator throughput meter register their encryption (Figure D).

Figure D


Files being encrypted.

After dropping the necessary files into the vault, close the file manager and click the Lock Vault button. Your files are locked behind the encrypted vault.

To access those files:

  1. Go back to the Cryptomator main window.
  2. Select the vault.
  3. Type the password.
  4. Click Unlock Vault.

Your file manager should open again, displaying the contents of the vault. You can add new files and edit/remove existing files.

And that's all there is to using Cryptomator. Enjoy this secure, user-friendly tool for encrypting your local and cloud-synced files and folders.

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