I've been looking into encfs as a solution to encrypt my personal data. However I want to access this data both on Linux and Windows on different machines (synced through Dropbox). So far all Google searches have brought up pages which specify that there is no Windows client that reads encfs.

Can it be done?


Note: this answer was written a long time ago and no longer applies to modern Windows version and currently supported software.

Since encfs is built on top of fuse, the obvious way would be to port it to a fuse driver for Windows. Apparently the two most likely possibilities are Dokan and Eldos Callback Filesystem, though neither currently advertises encfs support.

In the meantime, an alternative would be to run a tiny Linux file server inside a virtual machine or with Colinux.

An encrypted filesystem that is supported by both Windows and Linux is Truecrypt. Synchronization via Dropbox is likely to be a lot more expensive than with encfs, but it might still be doable if your files are small enough.

  • Bear in mind that when using Truecrypt with synchronization systems like Dropbox, you have to unmount the Truecrypt drive before synchronizing or your container can get corrupted. – tylerl May 7 '12 at 21:44
  • I have for several years a large 8GB TrueCrypt container in my dropbox and never had any problems with it. The first sync takes a long time. But since Dropbox synchronizes only the changes to the file and not the entire file only the part that has changed will be synced from then on. While the container is mounted Dropbox wont sync him. Once the container is ejected he will be synchronized. – fnkr Nov 17 '13 at 10:00
  • True Crypt doesn't use authenticated encryption, so it's particularly unsuitable for a use case like Dropbox where an attacker can tamper with the cipher text. Encfs has a better design for this use case (file encryption instead of sector encryption), and it uses an authenticated encryption mode (AEAD). See sockpuppet.org/blog/2014/04/30/you-dont-want-xts for more details. – Mark E. Haase Oct 15 '14 at 14:04
  • This answer is now out of date. There are multiple Windows options these days. – Simon East Jul 30 '20 at 22:22

Try encfs4win. Its free and I have been using it for some time now

  • 2
    The original EncFS4win project is not updated since early 2013. I provide EncFS4win Reloaded binaries that provide additional features and bugfixes (eg. ability to open read-only files). Works on Win10. – KrisWebDev Nov 14 '15 at 0:41
  • Try EncFS MP if you want a basic GUI rather than command line. – Simon East Jul 30 '20 at 22:24

There's also Safe. It's fully compatible with EncFS and works on Windows and Mac OS X.

  • I have trouble getting that to work under Windows 8 though – Antony Jun 22 '14 at 2:15
  • @Antony Works on Windows 8.1. You might have to delete the registry key Safe/RebootPending if it keeps prompting you to reboot, however. Also, there seems to be a couple other issues. – mpen Feb 18 '15 at 8:01
  • 1
    I couldn't get Safe to work under either MacOSX (10.10) or Windows (8.1 x64). Under MacOSX it creates the container and mounts it, but no files are actually written int he contain. It seems the container is never actually mounted (files are just copied in /Volume/SafeMount-mysafe). Under Windows, it creates but then fails to mount and asks me to report the problem (which fails too online saying "Submission failed :( Reload to try again.") ... doesn't look very mature, will wait. – Normadize Feb 23 '15 at 22:28
  • Safe works brilliantly for me on OS X 10.10.3. – Adam Lindberg Jun 11 '15 at 13:17
  • Latest version 1.4 is working for me under Windows 10 – meepzh Sep 25 '16 at 8:06

I recently released a new project called EncFSMP, a multiplatform EncFS implementation. It works on Windows and Mac OS X. It is open source, however it contains a closed-source component for the file system access. Since it is based on the same source code as the Linux implementation, it is 100% compatible.

  • 1
    SourceForge is pretty sketchy these days, you might want to consider using GitHub (or even Bitbucket). I might give this a whirl if Safe doesn't pan out. – mpen Feb 18 '15 at 8:10
  • Thanks Roman. This feels more stable than Safe does. I have both of them installed now. – MattBianco Mar 23 '15 at 15:35
  • Can EncFSMP be used to open encrypted volumes? I haven't figured out how to open an external hard disk that I've encrypted using EncFS on Linux on either Mac or Windows. I've just asked this question: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/371550/…. Maybe you can answer it? – Konstantin Oct 3 '19 at 9:49

Frediano Ziglio announced a alpha of encfs4win on the basis of Dokan:


You might take a look at http://boxcryptor.com/ which uses Dokan to implement a encfs compatible file system and integrates with Dropbox. It's still in early beta, but really worth a look.

  • Nowadays the free version is crippled. (Both "Classic" and Boxcryptor2) It doesn't support filename encryption, so I don't see how it could be encfs compatible. – MattBianco Mar 23 '15 at 14:21

I just installed encfs4win on a Win7 box - and it works. Truecrypt worked for a while, then wouldn't open the file from one machine - while still opening it from another. Flaky. I like that encfs is open source and more likely to be around in 5-10 years (imo).

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