Secure your files and disk with VeraCrypt

Securing personal and sensitive files is fairly simple by using VeraCrypt, a free open source disk encryption software that you can use on macOS, Windows, and Linux.

For macOS users, you need to have FUSE for macOS installed.

It provides an on-the-fly volume encryption and no files stored on the encrypted volume can be read without the correct password, keyfiles, or encryption keys.

I use this to encrypt/decrypt the thumb drive attached in my keychain so no one can access my files in case it gets lost. Best of all, I can open the drive on all my computers with different OSes.

Veracrypt has a GUI that you can use to mount your encrypted files and drives. You can create a virtual encrypted disk or encrypt an entire partition or storage device such as flash drive.

Veracrypt main window

Creating a Virtual Encrypted Disk

A virtual encrypted disk is a volume in the form of a file. This is recommended for inexperienced users.

  1. Click the “Create Volume” button on the VeraCrypt window. The Volume Creation Wizard window will appear.
  2. Select “Create an encrypted file container” then press “Next”.
  3. Select “Standard VeraCrypt volume” then press “Next”.
  4. On the “Volume Location” page, click the “Select File…” button and set the location where you wish the container to be created. Then, click “Next”.
  5. On the “Encryption Options” screen, leave the algorithm on default setting then click “Next”.
  6. On the next window, specificy the desired Volume Size then click “Next”.
  7. Secure the volume with a good password then click “Next”.
  8. On the “Format Options” page, select “FAT” filesystem type on the dropdown, then click “Next”.
  9. On the “Volume Format” section, move your mouse as randomly as possible within the dialog window to generate random values for encryption then click the “Format” button.
  10. Click “Exit” on the next page once operation has succeeded.

For device encryption and advanced setup, please visit the documentation online.

Mounting a VeraCrypt Encrypted Disk

When you attach a VeraCrypt-encrypted device, your OS may warn you that it is not formatted correctly. Ignore this and do not reformat the device. You need to use VeraCrypt to mount it.

  1. On the VeraCrypt main window, click “Select File…” (virtual encrypted disk) or “Select Device…” (encrypted partition or device), locate the file or disk that you wish to mount then click “OK”.
  2. Highlight the slot where you want to mount the volume on the listbox then click “Mount”.
  3. Enter the password of the volume on the password input of the dialog that will appear. Click “OK”.
  4. Wait for the mounting for the complete, which may take a while. If you enter a wrong password or key, do step 3 again.
  5. If successful, the file will be mounted as a device volume on your system. Access the volume using a file explorer (Finder, Windows Explorer, etc.) like you would normally do when you attach a flash drive.

Mounting a volume on VeraCrypt

Further Reading