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[[!meta title="Using VeraCrypt encrypted volumes"]]

[[!toc levels=2]]

Introduction to <span class="application">VeraCrypt</span>
==========================================================

<span class="application">[VeraCrypt](https://www.veracrypt.fr/)</span> is a
disk encryption tool that works on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Comparison between <span class="application">LUKS</span> and <span class="application">VeraCrypt</span>
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You can also create and open <span class="application">LUKS</span>
encrypted volumes in Tails. <span class="application">LUKS</span> is the
standard for disk encryption in Linux. [[See our documentation about
<span class="application">LUKS</span>.|encrypted_volumes]]

[[!inline pages="doc/encryption_and_privacy/luks_vs_veracrypt.inline" raw="yes" sort="age"]]

To create new <span class="application">VeraCrypt</span> volumes, do so
outside of Tails. See the step-by-step guides by Security-in-a-Box:

- [VeraCrypt for Windows](https://securityinabox.org/en/guide/veracrypt/win/)
- [VeraCrypt for macOS](https://securityinabox.org/en/guide/veracrypt/mac/)
- [VeraCrypt for Linux](https://securityinabox.org/en/guide/veracrypt/linux/)

<a id="container-vs-partition"></a>

Difference between file containers and partitions
-------------------------------------------------

With <span class="application">VeraCrypt</span> you can store your files
encrypted in two different kinds of *volumes*:

<h3>File containers</h3>

<div class="icon">
[[!img container-icon.png link="no"]]
<div class="text">
<p>A file container is a single big file inside which you can store
several files encrypted, a bit like a ZIP file.</p>
</div>
</div>

<h3>Partitions or drives</h3>

<div class="icon">
[[!img partition-icon.png link="no"]]
<div class="text">
<p>Usually, drives (USB sticks and hard disks) have a single partition of their
entire size. This way, you can encrypt a whole USB stick, for example.
But, drives can also be split into several partitions.
</div>
</div>

<a id="parameters"></a>

Unlocking parameters
--------------------

To unlock a <span class="application">VeraCrypt</span> volume, you might need
the following parameters, depending on the options that were selected when the
volume was created:

- **Passphrase**

- **Keyfiles**: instead of or in addition to the passphrase, a
  <span class="application">VeraCrypt</span> volume can be unlocked using a
  particular file or set of files.

  [See the <span class="application">VeraCrypt</span> documentation on
  keyfiles.](https://www.veracrypt.fr/en/Keyfiles.html)

- **PIM**: a number that is needed if it was specified when creating the
  <span class="application">VeraCrypt</span> volume.

  [See the <span class="application">VeraCrypt</span> documentation on
  PIM.](https://www.veracrypt.fr/en/Personal%20Iterations%20Multiplier%20\(PIM\).html)

<div class="bug">

<p>Due to current limitations in Debian, using a PIM fails in Tails. It
will become possible in Tails 4.0 (late 2019).</p>

</div>

- **Hidden volume**: if you want to unlock the hidden volume inside the
  <span class="application">VeraCrypt</span> volume.

  [See the <span class="application">VeraCrypt</span> documentation on hidden
  volumes.](https://www.veracrypt.fr/en/Hidden%20Volume.html)

- **System volume**: if you want to unlock an encrypted Windows system partition.

  [See the <span class="application">VeraCrypt</span> documentation on
  encrypting a Windows system partition.](https://www.veracrypt.fr/en/System%20Encryption.html)

Using a file container
======================

[[!img container-icon.png link="no" alt=""]]

<a id="container-files"></a>

Unlocking a file container without keyfiles
-------------------------------------------

1. Choose
   <span class="menuchoice">
     <span class="guimenu">Applications</span>&nbsp;▸
     <span class="guisubmenu">Utilities</span>&nbsp;▸
     <span class="guisubmenuitem">Unlock VeraCrypt Volumes</span></span>.

   [[!img unlock-veracrypt-volumes.png link="no" alt=""]]

1. Click <span class="button">Add</span> and choose the file container
   that you want to unlock.

1. Enter the parameters to unlock the volume. For more information, see
   the [[Unlocking parameters|veracrypt#parameters]] section above.

   Click <span class="button">Unlock</span>.

1. <span class="application">Unlock VeraCrypt Volumes</span> opens your volume.

1. If unlocking the volume fails (for example, if you mistyped the
   password), click on <span class="button">Unlock</span> to try
   unlocking again.

<a id="container-disks"></a>

Unlocking a file container with keyfiles
----------------------------------------

1. Choose
   <span class="menuchoice">
     <span class="guimenu">Applications</span>&nbsp;▸
     <span class="guisubmenu">Utilities</span>&nbsp;▸
     <span class="guisubmenuitem">Disks</span></span>
   to start the <span class="application">Disks</span> utility.

1. Choose <span class=menuchoice">
     <span class="guimenu">Disks</span>&nbsp;▸
     <span class="guimenuitem">Attach Disk Image&hellip;</span></span> from the
     top navigation bar.

     [[!img disks-menu.png link="no" alt=""]]

1. In the <span class="button">Select Disk Image to Attach</span> dialog:

   - Unselect the <span class="guilabel">Set up read-only loop device</span>
     check box in the bottom-left corner if you want to modify the content of
     the file container.

     [[!img read-only.png link="no" alt=""]]

   - Choose <span class="guilabel">All Files</span> in the file filter in the
     bottom-right corner.

     [[!img all-files.png link="no" alt=""]]

   - Navigate to the folder containing the file container that you want to open.

   - Select the file container and click <span class="button">Attach</span>.

1. In the left pane, select the new <span class="guilabel">Loop Device</span>
   that corresponds to your file container.

   In the right pane, it should have an
   <span class="guilabel">Encrypted?</span> label.

   [[!img container-locked.png link="no" alt=""]]

1. Click the <span class="button">[[!img lib/unlock.png alt="Unlock
   selected encrypted partition" class="symbolic" link="no"]]</span>
   button in the right pane.

1. Enter the parameters to unlock the volume. For more information, see
   the [[Unlocking parameters|veracrypt#parameters]] section above.

   Click <span class="button">Unlock</span>.

1. Select the file system that appears below the unlocked volume. It
   probably has a <span class="guilabel">FAT</span> or
   <span class="guilabel">NTFS</span> content.

1. Click the <span class="button">[[!img lib/media-playback-start.png
   alt="Mount selected partition" class="symbolic" link="no"]]</span>
   button to mount the volume.

1. Click on the <span class="filename">*/media/amnesia/*</span> link in
   the right pane to open the volume in the
   <span class="application">Files</span> browser.

1. Your volume opens in <span class="application">Files</span>.

Closing a file container
------------------------

You can either:

- In the sidebar of the <span class="application">Files</span> browser,
  click on the <span class="button">[[!img lib/media-eject.png
  alt="Eject" class="symbolic" link="no"]]</span> button on the label
  of the volume corresponding to your file container.

  [[!img eject-container.png link="no" alt=""]]

- In <span class="application">Unlock VeraCrypt Volumes</span>, click on the
  <span class="button">[[!img lib/window-close.png class="symbolic"
  link="no" alt=""]]</span> button in the line that corresponds to your
  file container.

Using a partition or drive
==========================

[[!img partition-icon.png link="no" alt=""]]

<a id="partition-files"></a>

Unlocking a partition or drive without keyfiles
-----------------------------------------------

1. If your partition or drive is on an internal hard disk, [[set up an administration
   password|doc/first_steps/startup_options/administration_password]] when
   starting Tails.

   Otherwise, plug in the USB stick or the hard disk that you want to
   unlock.

1. Choose
   <span class="menuchoice">
     <span class="guimenu">Applications</span>&nbsp;▸
     <span class="guisubmenu">Utilities</span>&nbsp;▸
     <span class="guisubmenuitem">Unlock VeraCrypt Volumes</span></span>.

1. In the list of partitions, click <span class="button">Unlock</span> in the
   line that corresponds to your USB stick or hard disk.

   [[!img unlock-veracrypt-volumes-with-partition.png link="no" alt=""]]

1. Enter the parameters to unlock the volume. For more information, see
   the [[Unlocking parameters|veracrypt#parameters]] section above.

   Click <span class="button">Unlock</span>.

1. <span class="application">Unlock VeraCrypt Volumes</span> opens your volume.

<a id="partition-disks"></a>

Unlocking a partition or drive with keyfiles
--------------------------------------------

1. If your partition or drive is on an internal hard disk, [[set up an administration
   password|doc/first_steps/startup_options/administration_password]] when
   starting Tails.
   
   Otherwise, plug in the USB stick or the hard disk that you want to
   unlock.

1. Choose
   <span class="menuchoice">
     <span class="guimenu">Applications</span>&nbsp;▸
     <span class="guisubmenu">Utilities</span>&nbsp;▸
     <span class="guisubmenuitem">Disks</span></span>
   to start the <span class="application">Disks</span> utility.

1. In the left pane, select the drive that corresponds to your USB stick or
   hard disk.

   [[!img partition-locked.png link="no" alt=""]]

1. In the right pane, select the partition that corresponds to your *VeraCrypt*
   volume.

   It should have an <span class="guilabel">Encrypted?</span> label.

1. Click the <span class="button">[[!img lib/unlock.png alt="Unlock
   selected encrypted partition" class="symbolic" link="no"]]</span>
   button in the right pane.

1. Enter the parameters to unlock the volume. For more information, see
   the [[Unlocking parameters|veracrypt#parameters]] section above.

   Click <span class="button">Unlock</span>.

1. Select the file system that appears below the unlocked volume. It
   probably has a <span class="guilabel">FAT</span> or
   <span class="guilabel">NTFS</span> content.

1. Click the <span class="button">[[!img lib/media-playback-start.png
   alt="Mount selected partition" class="symbolic" link="no"]]</span>
   button to mount the volume.

1. Click on the <span class="filename">*/media/amnesia/*</span> link in
   the right pane to open the volume in the
   <span class="application">Files</span> browser.

1. Your volume opens in <span class="application">Files</span>.

Closing a partition or drive
----------------------------

You can either:

- In the sidebar of the <span class="application">Files</span> browser,
  click on the <span class="button">[[!img lib/media-eject.png
  alt="Eject" class="symbolic" link="no"]]</span> button on the label
  of the volume corresponding to your partition.

  [[!img eject-partition.png link="no" alt=""]]

- In <span class="application">Unlock VeraCrypt Volumes</span>, click on the
  <span class="button">[[!img lib/window-close.png class="symbolic"
  link="no" alt=""]]</span> button in the line that corresponds to your
  USB stick or hard disk.