There are many ways to encrypt your private files and information. Two ways we have discussed before are to use TrueCrypt (Windows and Linux) or BitLocker (Windows). If you want a less complicated method for encrypting your files, we have written about an open source tool allowing you to easily encrypt and decrypt files using the context menu. We found another, simpler, open source tool, called Lazar Crypter, that provides encryption and decryption options on the context menu. It adds a Lazar Crypter submenu to the Windows context menu, providing a quick way to encrypt and decrypt files from within Windows Explorer.
Download Lazar Crypter from
To install Lazar Crypter, double-click on the .exe file you downloaded.
If the Open File – Security Warning dialog box displays, click Run to continue with the installation.
The Welcome screen on the setup wizard displays. Click Next.
The Select Destination Location screen displays. If you want to install Lazar Crypter to a different location other than the default location listed in the edit box, use the Browse button to select another location. We accepted the default location. Click Next to continue.
The Select Start Menu Folder screen displays. If you want to add the shortcuts for Lazar Crypter to a different Start menu folder than the default listed in the edit box, use the Browse button. Click Next to continue.
The Ready to Install screen displays with a summary of the settings you selected. If you want to change any of the settings, use the Back button. Otherwise, click Install to continue with the installation.
Once the installation is done, the Completing the Lazar Crypter Setup Wizard screen displays. Click Finish to close the setup wizard.
To encrypt a file, right-click on the file and select Encrypt from the Lazar Crypter submenu.
NOTE: You can also select multiple files to encrypt at the same time, as long as you want to apply the same password to all the files.
The Encrypt dialog box displays. Enter a password in the Enter password edit box and enter the same password again in the Re-enter password edit box. Click Start.
The original file is replaced with an encrypted version of the file with the .lcr extension added after the file’s original extension.
To decrypt a file, right-click on the encrypted .lcr file and select Decrypt from the Lazar Crypter submenu. You can also double-click on the file to decrypt it and open it.
NOTE: You cannot decrypt multiple files at the same time. You must decrypt one file at a time.
The Decrypt dialog box displays. Enter the password you assigned to the encrypted file in the Enter password edit box and click Start. The file is automatically opened in the program associated with its file type. You can make changes to the file, print the file, and any other normal actions for the file type.
When you close the program, the following dialog box displays, whether or not you made changes in the file. Click Yes if you made changes you want to save.
You can encrypt a file and keep the original file by right-clicking on the file and selecting Copy from the Lazar Crypter submenu.
Right-click on the file again and select Paste from the Lazar Crypter submenu. The Encrypt dialog box discussed earlier displays asking for a password for the encrypted file. Enter the password twice and click Start to encrypt the file.
NOTE: If you want to encrypt the file and securely delete the original file, use the Cut option followed by the Paste option. The original file is overwritten with random data before it is deleted. We have also previously written about a tool that allows you to securely delete files.
To check the integrity of your encrypted file, right-click on the file and select Integrity check from the Lazar Crypter submenu.
You can also set a default password that will automatically be used when you encrypt files using Lazar Crypter. To do this, select the Set default password shortcut on the Start menu.
The Set default password dialog box displays. Enter a password in the edit box and click OK. Notice that the password displays in plain text on the dialog box, so be careful when entering it.
NOTE: If you have already encrypted a file with a password, you must set the default password to the same password used on that encrypted file to be able to decrypt it. The password is automatically entered into the Decrypt dialog box immediately decrypting and opening the file.
A dialog box displays telling you that the default password has been saved.
If you don’t want to use a default password anymore, you can remove it by selecting the Set default password shortcut again and leaving the edit box on the dialog box blank. When you click OK, Lazar Crypter will tell you that the default password has been deleted.
Lazar Crypter provides a quick and easy method for encrypting and decrypting files. Unfortunately, it is not a portable option. It is useful if you do not need to take your encrypted files with you. For a portable option, see the second part of our post about AxCrypt.
by Lori Kaufman