Encrypting an individual file

Hey everyone, I have a really sensitive PDF file and I want to encrypt it before I store it on an external HDD + cloud storage as a backup.

What do I use to encrypt this individual file? My plan was 7-zip with a strong randomly generated password. I can’t have this file ending up in the wrong hands.

Edit: I’ll also change the file name to something completely irrelevant. Maybe like “desktop wallpaper” or something.

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7Zip uses AES256, if you use a strong password it should be fine.

Also you can check https://cryptomator.org/

this post might have some useful information.

7-zip should be fine, so long as you remember to enable encryption, and use a strong password.

If you’re changing the file name, don’t forget to change its extension, too. Make it fit in with other files, like .txt (Documents folder), or .svg (for Pictures folder).

You can also use Veracrypt and since the final archive have no extension you can name it like a game and use the extension.iso or dmg or exe if you think will call less attention.

I use PicoCrypt for encrypting single files and folders. Ectremely small, fast and reliable peace of software (IMHO).
Also I used to chat with the creator of the program - he is a very nice and clever guy.
Try it out :slight_smile: .


PicoCrypt looks promising. No need to be admin, small file size, cross (desktop) platform, and a portable Windows version. If it works well from a USB drive, I can see it taking a place on my Ventoy drive. Cheers for the suggestion.

Hi, Blurb5778.
Happy you find it useful :grinning:.
Pico indeed works from a flash drive. Actually, Pico works from everywhere)). I used Veracrypt for encrypting everything, but now I have a small friend called Pico for individual files (pdf, txt, doc) and folders. Vera still rules on the full disc encryption or full partitions/ usb flash encryption. However, encrypting separate files is much more convenient with Picocrypt.

By the way, there should be a professional security audit of Picocrypt soon. It was mentioned on it’s reddit thread.

Have a great day.


Please don’t use 7-zip for encryption. It is not mant for the job.

As for what you should use-

As @SD_33 has said;

PicoCrypt really is a great option for encrypting individual files and folders. It is really lightweight and easy to use in my experience.


If you are still looking for something, take a look at the list on Privacy Guides


As the previous posters were saying 7zip is fine. You can also encrypt it with GPG.

Just want to add that I watch Henry’s VeraCrypt tutorial every time I encrypt something – I don’t encrypt stuff much, so I always have to watch the tutorial. :joy: The tutorial has become like an old friend though.

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I would not recommend PGP/GPG. If you can avoid it, do so.

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read this post maybe it will help


According to Virustotal scan, Picocrypt is full of viruses, You can check it yourself

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According to Virustotal scan, Picocrypt is full of viruses, You can check it yourself

I copied this reply instead of writing it again

The MacOS version comes out clear. Although, the Windows version does trigger 12 security vendors. As far as I know, this is a false positive - this statement from their GitHub suggests that this is a common issue:

‘If Microsoft Defender or your antivirus flags Picocrypt as a virus, please do your part and submit it as a false positive for the betterment of everyone.’

It is also open-source and they are raising money to get audited by Cure53. Plus, the security vendors that flag it aren’t the most trusted IMO (McAfee and a few others I have never heard of)

Make sure you download it from their official GitHub page (https://github.com/HACKERALERT/Picocrypt)

Doubt it, he’s addressed this and there’s an Audit coming