Announcing version of AxCrypt for Mac

After 1375 downloads and a slow increase of support e-mails and ideas, it was definitely time to address some outstanding issues and pour some love onto the application. Version of AxCrypt for Mac is all about integration with the underlying system. To quote from the version history:

    • .axx files should now be automatically registered with the system and get the shield icon as start AxCrypt from your Applications folder. However, the integration is more than skin-deep: It’s now possible to double-click on .axx files on your system to have them automatically opened with AxCrypt! Just as with the QuickView/Edit command, you can edit your document and have it re-encrypted as you quit out of your associated editor.
  • Thank you to for using AxCrypt for Mac! I’m in hopes that the updates in this version will make your workflow easier!
  • Download here. (Requires a Mono Runtime)
  • Getting “The operation couldn’t be completed. (OSStatus error -67053.)”? See this comment.
31 Responses to Announcing version of AxCrypt for Mac
  1. Juan Hernandez Reply

    Great news, was waiting for the double-click support on Mac OS with automatic reencryption (moved from Windows recently and was missing that feature).

    It works superb with my dropbox account!!

    * I’ve seen a .tmp file being created and deleted quickly after editing the axcrypt encrypted file. Is that file encrypted too? Wouldn’t like to leave a plain text file version of the file on my dropbox account because probably gets stored in the history of the folder.

    Thanks very much for a very handy encryption tool.

    • Sami Lamti Reply

      Hey Juan! I’m glad you’re enjoying the latest version of AxCrypt for Mac!

      As far as the .tmp file is concerned: Yes, it’s encrypted as well. AxCrypt is encrypting your document to a temporary file first, and then switches your old file for the temporary file once it is done. That said, I’ll see if we can’t figure out a way to write the .tmp file somewhere else, so that it is not so much in your face. :-)

      Thank you for the feedback!

      • Juan Hernandez Reply

        Hi Sami,

        actually there seems to be an issue some times when double-clicking on the file. It seems the temporary unencrypted file (inside /private/var/… folder) gets removed even if the editor is still open and the editor cannot save the file after that (some editors create a new file and that never gets synced back as it seems axcrypt loses the link).

        * Let me know if there is another channel to report issues. Happy to do some testing.

        • Sami Lamti Reply

          Thank you for offering to spend some time testing this release! As per your e-mail feedback, I’ve published a bug fix release ( The link in the original post above has been updated.

  2. David Torrey Reply

    Glad to find a beginning port of AxCrypt to Mac. Have Mountain Lion and it works fairly well. Can’t get to hidden files even though I’ve made them visible. Will keep an eye out for future releases. How can I remove the Mono Runtime installation?

    • Sami Lamti Reply

      Thank you for giving AxCrypt for Mac a shot, David! To navigate to hidden files, I’d suggest simply navigating to them in Finder/Terminal (temporarily making them visible) and then double-clicking on them (alternatively right/control click and choose “Open With”, selecting AxCrypt) to open your AxCrypt documents.

      As far as uninstalling the Mono Runtime, a quick Google, rendered the following hit:

  3. David Torrey Reply


    Thanks for the reply. When I’m double-clicking/right-control clicking on the file, it opens the option menu from which I can select “Open With”, but Axcrypt is greyed out and unavailable. Also, was able to encrypt one file, but then Axcrypt stopped working and am unable to encrypt any further files. Have restarted the Mac with no change. Unless I can get these two issues resolved, will pursue uninstall and wait for further releases. (P.S. – am new to Mac environment from Windows so it’s entirely possible I’ve got something set that’s interfering).

  4. Tiger Reply

    Is there a way to open/decrypt multiple files with the Mac OS version of Axcrypt? I’ve enjoyed this program tremendously since 2004 and just found the Mac version, I am delighted. However, I have literally thousands of files individually encrypted so that b/w a dozen and a hundred may have the same encryption key. I’d like to be able to decrypt those in one shot. Is this possible? Thank you.

    • Sami Lamti Reply

      Hi Tiger! Thanks for your interest in AxCrypt for Mac! At the moment, it’s not possible to re-use keys as you describe. However, I’ve added your request to the product backlog, hoping to get to it as soon as possible (earliest in August). For update notifications, please check this blog. Thanks!

  5. James Reply

    I have many files encrypted using Axcrypt (using key-file) from Windows. I have now switched to Mac. I cannot enter the key-file in Mac version. Please build Axcrypt for Mac with the option of using key-file.

    • Sami Lamti Reply

      Hi James! I’m glad that you are giving AxCrypt for Mac a shot! I’ve added your request to the product backlog and will try to address it for the next release. Have a great day!

  6. Grizzly Reply

    Hi Sami. Thank you for creating an OS X version of AxCrypt! I’ve been using it on windows PCs for a while and love it. I use it to encrypt text files I keep in dropbox to access across PCs and a Mac Mini. I’ve noticed that if I’m on my new Mac Mini and I open a dropbox file for editing, AxCrypt will request a password and then open the file for editing. I edit the file and save the file and close the file. If I open the file again then it will show the changes to the file, but it doesn’t seem to register with dropbox that the file has changed (it appears) and so does not update the same file to my other PCs to reflect the change. If I change the same AxCrypt encrypted file on the PC, it will update across all PCs and the Mac Mini. If I remove encryption on the file altogether, then any change I make to the file on the Mac Mini will update the file across all PCs. So, it appears that it is only the case that if a file is encrypted with AxCrypt, the file lives in a dropbox folder, is edited using the Mac Mini, which is opened with AxCrypt on the Mac Mini, is edited and saved and closed, does this behaviour exist where dropbox does not seem to see that it has been changed. I just wanted to let you know of this behaviour I have experienced.

    • Sami Lamti Reply

      Hey Grizzly! I’m glad you’re finding AxCrypt for Mac useful! As far as your Dropbox issues are concerned, it sounds like there is some kind of file locking issue. If so, then Dropbox should synchronize your file eventually (although, that may be a little longer than you’d like to wait ;-) ). I’ll create a task in the product backlog to investigate it, however I’m afraid I cannot promise you a fixed-by date. When it gets fixed, however, I’ll make sure to post a notice about it on this blog!

  7. chris mealer Reply

    Sam thanks so much for creating this…I have one issue I noticed. I have been using Axcrypt for quite a while and have a great deal of very large files encrypted but it seems on the Mac version, the limit to unencryption is 2.5GB. Is this a MAC file formatting issue?

    • Sami Lamti Reply

      Hi Chris! I’m glad you’re finding AxCrypt for Mac useful! As far as your question, I’m not sure what happens around the 2.5GB mark, as I haven’t tried to encrypt/decrypt such large files myself. What happens when you do?

  8. Deborah Oakley Reply

    Dear Sami,

    First I want to thank you for producing a version of AxCrypt for Mac. I used to use it on Windows until I switched over to the Mac platform a few years ago. One of the things I missed was AxCrypt as there really isn’t anything like it. I used TruCrypt for Mac, but it’s not possible to encrypt a single file…only create an encrypted volume.

    The reason I’m posting here is to point out what I would call a bug in AxCrypt for Mac.

    I opened one of my old AxCrypt encrypted files from my archive PC files (worked like a charm), and I was curious where the temporary unencrypted file was being stored. I found it quite easily by using a “Save As” command, and saw it located within hidden folders with “Private” as the root hidden directory.

    So I opened a PathFinder window to watch what would happen when I closed the file. To my surprise, the temporary file remained there, unencrypted. While it’s true it’s in a hidden file and buried in several subdirectories, it certainly is not hard to find. I tried this a couple of times with the same result. To use AxCrypt for Mac securely therefore requires manually shredding the temporary file.

    Can this be fixed in an update?

    Thanks again!

    • Sami Lamti Reply

      Dear Deborah,

      Thank you for your feedback! I’ll add your bug to the backlog, making sure I address it as soon as possible. When a new version of the app is released, you’ll find a notice about it on this blog.

      Thanks again!

      Best regards,

      Sami Lamti

      • Callum Reply

        Hi Sami,

        I too have the same query as Deborah. I first noticed this when I condensed a folder to a zip file then encrypted it. When decrypting, axcrypt would produce a copy of the zip file decrypted and a version of the original folder decrypted. When I had finished editing the contents of the folder, the new zip file and the folder produced on decryption in the “Private” hidden folders still remain. Then I wanted to see if this happens with just a normal file and like Deborah, and the condensed zip file, the copy in this “private” folder remains.

        I was wondering if this has been addressed yet?

        Other than that its a great little tool to have on my mac, I loved using it on windows.

        Regards Callum

        • Sami Lamti Reply

          Hi Callum,

          It’s being addressed and a new release will be available in the coming weeks.

  9. Eva Reply

    Dear Sami,
    thanks a lot for providing a version of AxCrypt for Mac! Unfortunately, I have not been able to use it so far: after downloading the file, it is saved as .app file on my desktop. When I double-click on it, a pop-up asks for “Open”, but when I select “Open”, nothing happens.
    Can you maybe explain what I am doing wrong?

    Thanks so much and best,

    • Sami Lamti Reply

      Dear Eva,

      It sounds like you might be missing some supporting software (the Mono Runtime) for AxCrypt to work properly. Try the following steps:

      1. Download and install the Mono Runtime (direct link to runtime).

      2. Start the settings app on your Mac
      3. Go to Security Settings
      4. Enable the “Allow every app” setting
      5. Start AxCrypt for Mac
      6. Restore your security settings (AppStore and identified developers)

      Since the app is not signed with a developer key and distributed through the Mac App Store, your Mac is a little restrictive in an attempt to protect you.

      Good luck!

      • Eva Reply

        Dear Sami,

        now it works – thanks so much for your time and support!

  10. Bike Rider Reply

    I can’t seem to get the edit function to work. I’m using .txt files with Mac TextEdit. Any changes that I make are not being saved.

    • Sami Lamti Reply

      Please try to exit the Mac TextEdit app (by using CMD-Q) after you have saved your file and see if that is enough of a trigger for AxCrypt to re-encrypt your modified file. Please let me know how it goes :-)

  11. Tomestos Reply

    Dear Sami,
    is AxCrypt for Mac compatible with OS X Version 10.9 (Mavericks) and v10.9.1?

    Thanks a lot,

    • Sami Lamti Reply

      Dear Tomestos,

      Yes, AxCrypt is compatible with both versions of Mavericks. :-)

  12. Zelaza Reply

    Hi Sami. I love the fact that there is a version of AxCrypt for Mac OSX. I use it on Windows, have installed it on the Mac (OSX 10.8.5) and am having a problem with it that I think other people have had or are having: when I open a file in AxCrypt, go into TextEdit, change the file, save the file, the system does not complain, but the changes are not saved!

    Other thing. Reading through some of the posts above, I am absolutely shocked to find out that AxCrypt even writes temporary unencrypted files to disk, let alone leaving them there…?! I would have thought you’d keep them all in RAM or, at the very least, be very diligent about shredding them! Am I to understand that I may have unencrypted copies of my encrypted files laying around on disk somewhere? If so, this is absolutely shocking for an encryption program…

    • Sami Lamti Reply

      Hi Zelaza,

      Thank you for your feedback. You are correct in your understanding that AxCrypt is decrypting your files into a temporary folder on your hard drive. As you restart your computer, the temporary folder will be cleared. That said, I realize the flaw in this workflow, since many people leave their Macs running for weeks on end.

  13. Zelaza Reply

    I did some additional testing, and on the first problem above (the silent data loss problem) it looks like it may only apply to .axx files that were brought over to the Mac from Windows. I created a file from scratch on the Mac, encrypted it, edited it, saved it, and it seems to have actually saved the changes…

    But that issue with files from the Windows environment is really, really bad – I’ve been using AxCrypt for OSX fort months and have made many, many changes to my most sensitive information that are now just… lost. There are few things worse than a computer program that indicates it has saved something when in fact it has not…

  14. Deborah Oakley Reply

    Dear Sami,

    Well, I’ve been waiting patiently for a resolution to the issue I posted back in early October, 2013, where an unencrypted copy of a file is left in a folder on the system. (I find mine in /private/var/folders/_6/hc72ffmj4f16tg0rmt8571nw0000gn/T)
    It’s not hard to find despite being deep in the root of the system, just by doing a search on the newest created file.

    So until this is fixed, I really don’t feel like I can use this, which is a shame because so far as I can tell there just isn’t anything on the Mac side to match the simple encryption functionality of AxCrypt in Windows.

    Hope you can fix this soon!


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