This guide will show you how to create text files that are securely encrypted and that require a password to open.
Crypto Notepad is a “safe alternative to Notepad.” It is free and open source, small, very easy to use and encrypts your text files.
Windows tutorial time
Go to the Crypto Notepad download page and download the latest version (Crypto.Notepad.zip). Unzip the file somewhere in your Downloads folder and run it from there.
It is a standalone application, which means there is no installation. You can move it and create a shortcut to it later (or even configure it to start when Windows starts).
You can get a Windows warning. If you do, click on the “More information” link and then on the Run button anyway. 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 configuration and configure the application to work as you wish. Click on the Settings button on the Toolbar (the one that looks like a ‘gear’, see the screenshot below).
Adjust any of the application settings as you see fit. Do the same with the configuration of the Toolbar, the status panel, the search panel and the Editor, all of them quite simple. Then select the category Configuration of encryption.
This is where you will decide exactly what encryption method you want to use for your secure notes. Suggested settings are ideal.
Now select the Integration category. It will be very useful in the future if you place a check in the Associate with * .cnp files box – this will allow you to double-click on any of your encrypted text files and have them open automatically in the Crypto Notepad. When you have adjusted all the options to fit your needs, close the configuration window.
Back in the application, write a quick test note. Then click on the Save button on the toolbar (or select File -> Save).
Choose the location where you want to save the file, name it, and then click the Save button.
Enter the password you want to use to protect this file.
In the future, when you double-click a .cnp file (assuming you have enabled the Associate with * .cnp files in step 7), Crypto Notepad will open and ask for the password associated with that file.