What is an ENCRYPTED File?

How to Open, Edit, & Convert ENCRYPTED Files

Illustration with circuit cogs and a lock, representing the concept of encryption
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A file with the .ENCRYPTED file extension may be called a TopStudio Encrypted file. However, any program that encrypts a file may use the .ENCRYPTED extension too, not just TopStudio software.

What the .ENCRYPTED file extension normally indicates is that the file has been encrypted. However, sometimes, a malware infection may rename a bunch of files to ones that have the .ENCRYPTED file extension - there's some more information on this below.

Note: Files that are encrypted for privacy reasons don't necessarily use the .ENCRYPTED file extension. They may use a completely different extension or not even have one at all.

How To Open an ENCRYPTED File

EasyCrypto is one program that creates encrypted files. When it does so, it adds the .ENCRYPTED extension at the end of the file name. However, various other programs can encrypt data too, many of them just use a different method to store the encrypted data.

TrueCrypt, for example, is a full disk encryption program that encrypts data much like EasyCrypto, but it doesn't use the .ENCRYPTED extension. You can still open the encrypted files, but because they're used with TrueCrypt, you need to use that program to open them.

Another example is the .FORTENC file extension used by Fort. These are encrypted files too, but they're not .ENCRYPTED files (they don't use the .ENCRYPTED file extension).

Tip: Do you have an .ENCRYPTED file that you know isn't used by EasyCrypto? If there is any other file encryption program on your computer, try using its File menu to load or mount the .ENCRYPTED file. It's possible that the program you already have is the one that created the .ENCRYPTED file, and therefore is the one that opens it too.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the ENCRYPTED file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open ENCRYPTED files, see my How To Change the Default Program for a Specific File Extension guide for making that change in Windows.

How To Convert an ENCRYPTED File

ENCRYPTED files that are used with EasyCrypto are not supposed to be converted to any other format, which is why EasyCrypto doesn't provide a way to convert one.

However, if you have files inside the .ENCRYPTED file that you want to be converted, just decrypt them first and then use a free file converter on them. For example, if the ENCRYPTED file is full of MP3s that you want to convert, decrypt the files first so that they're no longer associated with the .ENCRYPTED extension, and then use a free audio converter to convert them to WAV, M4R, or some other format.

Restore .ENCRYPTED Files Created By Viruses

If there are lots of .ENCRYPTED files on your computer, you have no idea how they got there, and none of them will open like they should, your computer has probably been infected with the Crypt0L0cker or Dr. Jumbo ransomware.

What happens is the malware encrypts a number of files and then holds them ransom.

These files normally retain their names but have the .ENCRYPTED extension added at the end, like imagefile.jpg.encrypted.

Sometimes, these .ENCRYPTED files won't even try to open when you double-click or double-tap on them. Others will open a text file - the same text file for each file you open - that says something like "All your data was encrypted! If you don't contact this email address in 48 hours, all your data will be erased!".

They make you believe that the only way to get your files back is if you pay for them, but that isn't true.

You can open these types of .ENCRYPTED files by removing the Crypt0L0cker or Dr. Jumbo malware.

I recommend starting off with the free Malwarebytes Anti-Malware program. If that doesn't remove the virus, use the trial version of HitmanPro to scan the computer for infections.

If neither of these programs removes the malware and restore your files back to normal, see How To Properly Scan Your Computer for Viruses, Trojans, and Other Malware for more help.

Note: Some malicious programs copy your files, encrypt the copies, and then remove the originals, which means just removing the virus won't be enough to restore your files. You may need to use a file recovery program to "undelete" your data.

More Help With ENCRYPTED Files

See Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more. Let me know what kinds of problems you're having with opening or using the ENCRYPTED file and I'll see what I can do to help.