Is there a flexible way to Encrypt USB Pen drives?

I am aware of the open-source software veracrypt but I would like to know if there is a way to encrypt a USB stick in such a way that I could plug into a Windows, Mac, or Linux OS and be able to decrypt without any additional software.

If I encrypt a pen drive with veracrypt then I always need to carry another USB stick with portable versions of veracrypt for Windows, Mac, some Linux distros.

There are two half solutions to my problem but I am not satisfied with either:

  1. Instead of having another usb stick with portable veracrypt version I could partion the main usb stick into two sections (one encrypted and one not) and keep the veracrypt installer on the non-encrypted section.
  2. If I encrypt a usb stick with with windows bitLocker sofware then I can plug the USB to any windows 8 or higher and I can decrypt it right away however I believe such would not work when I plug into a Mac or a Linux system.

Does anyone know of a more versatile way to encrypt a Pen drive?


You don’t need to encrypt the entire drive, you can also use use an veracrypt container and put the veracrypt portable on there, no partitions needed. Alternatively there is cryptomator which is similar. You can create container and each file you drop in there will get encrypted on it’s own.


I would just like to note that cryptomator leaks some metadata such as the modification date and file size data, unlike some alternatives, and has not withstood the test of time.
In your case, @dino, I think cryptomator is your best bet for a cross-platform-friendly USB. :man_shrugging:

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It’s pricey, but you can buy encrypted USB’s with keypads right on them.
Apricorn, Kingston and others offer different options.
I think that’s the simplest, but most expensive solution.

Also check out:

USB Secure
(but I suppose that’s simply password protecting the USB and not encrypting it–)

Wouldnt it be enough to put everythinf in a zip file and then password protect that zip? Most operating systems have tools to open a password protected zip archive.

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Is it audited by a security company?

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Yeah, I probably should have checked that before suggesting it. It was mentioned in a beginners cybersec course I took.
It doesnt’ say one way or the other on the web page so I’m guessing no.

No. Please don’t.