Securing Your Files with TrueCrypt

We have already gone through the steps in putting passwords and encrypting different files and folders using built-in Windows tools and a file compression software in the previous tutorial that we had and his time, we will try using a third party software that functions the same as BitLocker in Professional and Enterprise editions of Windows. If your machine is running a Home version of Windows Vista, Windows 7 or the standard version oWindows 8 (which is not called a “Home” version) then you need to install this software so you can start encrypting your files and folders and as well as enable passwords for specific portions of your hard disk, create and encrypted USB flash drive or encrypt your entire hard drive so that people who does not know the password will not be able to access anything in it.

The software that I am referring to which we will be using in this tutorial is called “TrueCrypt” and of course, you need to be connected to the Internet before starting  since this program still needs to be downloaded and installed on your machine before you can start using it. But before anything else, let us first take up a little bit of background about this software.

What is TrueCrypt?

There are lots of file, folder or disk encryption utility which are available on the Internet but “TrueCrypt” is one of the best open source disk encryption tool that is compatible with different versions of Windows, Linux and Mac. This software allows the encryption of a portion of the hard drive or even the entirety of it or even encrypt a flash drive so that no one can access it except you and the other ones you’ve given the password to. It encrypts files, folders, drives and other stuff efficiently and after the process of encryption is done, you can start using everything like you would normally do but of course, a password will be needed each time you access the encrypted sections of your machine’s memory.

But of course, we first need o download the software and install it on our computer before we can start encrypting some stuff with it. Since the software is FREE, you won’t be required to pay anything just to have it. To go to TrueCrypt’s download page, simply CLICK HERE.

Installing TrueCrypt

After downloading the software, you will then need to go to the folder where the downloaded file is located (usually the “Downloads” folder) and run the setup file to initiate the installation process.


After double-clicking on the setup file, a UAC prompt will appear asking you to authorize the software install process. From here, all you need to do is click on the “Yes” button and afterwards, you’ll see a Window that looks like the screenshot below where you need to check the “I accept license terms” box then hit “Next”.


The Window that follows will then ask you if you want to install the software to your system or just extract its contents so you can use its portable version. From here, you need to select “Install” then click on the “Next” button.


Moving on to the next Window, you’ll now be able to select other setup options. Once you are done checking all your preferences, simply click on the “Install” button at the bottom and follow all the on-screen instructions that will be flashed on the screen during the installation process.


After the software is completely installed on your computer, you can now start using it simply by clicking on the shortcut that was created on your computer’s  desktop screen. If you are a beginner, you won’t need to worry about making mistakes in using the software because the whole encryption process of whichever drive you wish to secure and be protected with a password is very simple and straightforward because of the wizard that guides all the tasks that needs to be done. The next section will show how to do a simple encryption process using “TrueCrypt” but of course, the screenshots will be limited so as to save some space on this tutorial but as I said, the whole process will be very easy because it is guided by a wizard.

How to Use TrueCrypt in Encrypting Your Hard Drive

First, you will need to run the software by double-clicking on its shortcut on the Desktop or by clicking on its Start Menu entry. Once the software opens, you need to click on the “Create Volume” button so that the disc will start to be set up for the encryption process.


Afterwards, the wizard will then ask you what type of drive would like to put an encryption on. From here, you just need to select the option that corresponds to the process that you would like to do then follow the instructions that would come next. In this example, I have chosen to encrypt the whole system drive or the the portion of the hard disc where my operating system is installed on. If you didn’t partition your disk then the encryption will be done to the whole hard disc space.



There are more steps that you would need to go through and follow than what is shown here but you don’t need to get intimidated by it if you are a beginner because the encryption wizard will help you get through everything.

Next, you’ll be asked by the wizard to choose the “Encryption Algorithm” that you want to use on your drive/partition. Each of the options available differ in terms of encrypting techniques and other qualities but the “AES” encryption option would work best for most users.


Once the process finally completes, you’ll be required to restart your computer so that all the changes will take effect. Once prompted to do a system restart, simply click on the “Yes” button but of course, be sure to close or save all files you’re working on before restarting your machine.


The length of time that it takes for the encryption of an entire system drive depends on the size of the drive itself. In my hard drive’s case, it took around 6 hours to complete and the size of my disk is 500GB. If your hard disk storage capacity is smaller then it would take a shorter time to for the process to complete. Once your computer’s system drive gets encrypted, you will now be required to enter the encryption password that you’ve assigned to it every time you turn on your machine.


That’s it! You now learned how to use “TrueCrypt” in encrypting your computer’s hard drive, this same process is involved if you want to encrypt a flash drive or a portion of your hard disk. Encrypting your disk would help you secure files and other stuff that you don’t want to be accessed by other people and using “TrueCrypt” would be one of the best FREE choices that you can settle with if your operating system is not equipped with an encryption feature. There are other choices available out there but so far, “TrueCrypt” is one of my trusted encryption software. Are you using encryption on your computer? If so, what software do you use. If you’re using another software which you would like to recommend to our readers please feel free to describe it using the comments section below.