What happens if I change the encrypted folder or file names?

I am just starting to use Cryptomator, and so far no issues, but have one concern about data loss I haven’t been able to find an answer on.

I am using cryptomator primarily on OSx, and using Gdrive to back the vault up in Google Drive automatically. I have a couple hundred files (mostly tax and finance) are in the vault.

As the drive is backed up, hundreds of obscure folder and file names are created in the encrypted vault. However I am concerned that one of encrypted folder or file names will be accidentally altered and lead to irrecoverable files.

What happens if some of the file names are accidentally changed on the encrypted volume? Is there any way to recover from this?


Unless you have a backup. Cryptomator doesn’t prevent data loss, it just ensures confidentiality.

However, it is possible to decrypt the file contents with the name being unknown. This means that in case of a file content recovery you need to guess the file type by inspecting its contents and then you can rename “unknown recovered file” to “my document.pdf”.

Thanks, I played with a separate test vault to see what would happen, and as far as I can tell in some scenarios, files and folders actually disappear from the decrypted webdav vault, so you wouldn’t even know where to look for them.

I realize the desire for file name obscuration, however for my use case I really wish there was an option to not encrypt the file names and structure, only the file contents.

I’ll probably give boxcryptor a try a bit later to see if its a better fit for my use case.


If you only want to encrypt the contents, then you could give AES crypt a try. Its easy, reliable, open source, free, multi-platform and been around a long time.

I use it and have been using it for a while and until now not had any problems with it.

You could look at BoxCryptor. They offer the option of encrypting file/directory names, or not, and work very similar to Cryptomator. [I’m not affiliated or anything with BoxCryptor; just came across it while testing encryption solutions]

Please notice that only the paid version of boxcryptor offers the filename encryption an unlimited cloud provider and devices. The free version is limited to 1 cloud provider, 2 devices and encrypts only file content.

(Just for information, @bigcat already wrote that he has no need for file name encryption.)