Noob with a few Q's on vault visibility and sharing (access)

New to CR and have a few easy questions to confirm with the group:

  1. Vault Visibility:

  2. After I unlock a CR virtual drive, I can see it in Windows Explorer, and I can also see my encrypted folders in Google Drive (also via Windows Explorer, BUT, once I close CR or lock drive, the virtual drive is STILL visible in Explorer and therefore accessible to anyone who might use the computer after me. Shouldn’t the virtual drive disappear from Explorer when it is re-locked, OR, once the CR app is closed?

  3. If I access Google Drive through my browser (say after logging into Gmail) I cannot see the CR folders. Are they supposed to be invisible? The website suggests they are supposed to be visible as encrypted text, but this is not the case with mine - cannot see them at all.

  4. Vault Access - I intend to share my CR folders and the files they contain with others, however, A) If I cannot see them when logged into Google drive, how can I share them (using Google Drive sharing?) and B) Do those I share with need CR installed? and lastly C) Can just provide the share recipients the passwords I used to create the vault(s)?

Hi and welcome.

Yes it should disappear and not be accessible anymore. If you can access your unencrypted files without Cryptomator, then you did something wrong in the setup. It’s not possible to access the files inside a vault without a running Cryptomator app.
Please note: closing the app window does not close the Cryptomator app. It just puts it into the taskbar.

Yes you should see the encrypted files in your cloud storage. Another hint that you have a failure in your setup.
Please make sure that your vault (the folder where you can find the Masterkey file in, and all it’s subfolders) is included in the sync of your sync app and the Sync is completely done. You shouldn’t use „My computer“ section of google backup and sync.
Please consider a vault as „normal“ files and include them accordingly into your google file sync.

Yes. Or they use other software that can handle Cryptomator vaults, like cyberduck.

Yes. Each vault has one password. If you give that to others and grant them access to your vault files, they can access your unencrypted files (see 4B)

I can confirm once I lock the vault, I can no longer OPEN it, BUT, the virtual drive (vault) is still VISIBLE
in windows explorer.

I CAN see my encrypted (vaults) in Google Drive if I go through File Explorer (see below)

But if I access Google Drive through my BROWSER, I cannot see them. Am I supposed to? This seems inconsistent so curious if BOTH Google Drive views should show me the encrypted vaults.

If I create vault in GD, and then move a bunch of files into it, they should be encrypted, AND I assume no longer appear as regular unencrypted files outside of the vault (you are not making a COPY - you are MOVING the only field to a vault and the original goes away)

I can confirm that everything up until the visibility issues appears perfectly fine. CR Installed without an issue. Able to easily create new vaults. All vaults appear the CR desktop app. Can lock and unlock each one with ease. The wizard walks me through process to create a new vault and I did so without issue placing it in Google Drive – so no outward signs there is any issue with anything. Good so far and no reason to suspect anything is broken.

I just created a new vault, dragged a file (using File Explorer) already in my GD into the new vault - noticed it said “Copy to [new vault drive]” So i think that question is answered too - it creates an encrypted COPY and the ORIGINAL unencrypted file remains in place, is this correct? Is it recommended then that once you create all the encryptied COPIES you go back and delete all the unencrypted original files?

Can confirm once I re-lock a vault for desktop app, the vault is still visible in file explorer but if I click on it I get a “[vault drive is unavailable” popup message. Seems correct although I’d prefer the vault just disappear.

Yes. A vault is just a bunch of encrypted folders and files. And this is what you should see if you access your GoogleDrive via Browsers.
Are you sure that your sync was completely done?