This guide will show you how to create text files that are securely encrypted and require a password to open.
Crypto Notepad is a “secure Notepad alternative” – it’s free and open source, small, super-easy to use and encrypts your text files.
- Head over to the download page for Crypto Notepad and download the latest version (Crypto.Notepad.zip). Unzip the file somewhere in your Downloads folder and run it from there. It’s a stand-alone app, which means there’s no installation. You can move it and create a shortcut to it later (or even set it to launch when Windows starts).
- You may get a warning from Windows – if you do, click the ‘More info’ link and then the Run anyway button. Crypto Notepad is open source and 100% safe to use.
- When prompted, click Yes to allow automatic update checks in the future.
- First things first, let’s take a look at the settings and configure the app to work the way you want it. Click the Settings button in the Toolbar (the one that looks like a ‘gear’, see screenshot below).
- Adjust any of the Application settings as you see fit. Do the same for the Toolbar, Status panel, Search panel and Editor settings, they’re all quite straightforward. Then, select the Encryption settings category.
- This is where you’ll decide exactly which method of encryption you want to use for your secure notes. The suggested settings are ideal.
- Now select the Integration category. It’ll be very helpful in the future if you place a check in the Associate with *.cnp files box – this will allow you to double-click any of your encrypted text files and have them automatically open in Crypto Notepad. When you’ve adjusted all the options to suit you, close the settings window.
- Back in the app write out a quick test note. Then click the Save button from the Toolbar (or select File -> Save)
- Choose the location you want to save the file, give it a name, and then click the Save button.
- Enter the password you want to use to secure this file.
- In the future, when you double-click a .cnp file (assuming you enabled the Associate with *.cnp files feature back in step #7) Crypto Notepad will open…
- and prompt you for the password associated with that file.
ps. Are you an iPhone user? Did you know you can create password protected Notes on the iPhone too?