Questions & Answers

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is the difference between Kryptel and Silver Key?

What is needed to decrypt a Silver Key file?

First, you must know the password. If the file is .exe (self-decrypting parcel), then nothing else is needed ‐ just double-click the file and enter the password. If the file is .sk (standard parcel without standalone decryptor), then you need to install any (i.e. either free or commercial) Silver Key edition. After installing, decrypt your file exactly as an executable parcel, that is, double-click it and enter the password.

Can your program lock my notebook so no thief could use it?

No program can protect your computer. You can protect your data, that's all.

Can I encrypt my e-mail?

You can encrypt a file or a text message. How you send the encrypted Silver Key parcel is up to you – you can attach it to an e-mail message, or you can store it on a flash stick and send it with a pigeon. Silver Key does not rely on a specific delivery method.

The recommended way is to use the right-click command ‘Create Parcel and Upload’. That command creates an encrypted parcel, upload it to a selected online storage, and returns a download link, which you can send by email.

Can your software encrypt a video (audio, Office, etc.) file?

Yes, any file. File's type and contents does not matter.

Does your software use digital signatures?

Yes, Silver Key can digitally sign a newly created parcel, see the corresponding Knowledge Base topic.

Can your program make my file invisible (impossible to delete, etc.)?

No. There are several programs on the market that offer such capabilities, but we don't think it is a good idea. The level of protection gained by such methods is very low and simply gives you a false sense of security (not mentioning the risk of fiddling with disk low-level structure). If you really need to restrict access to your files, consider using Windows security attributes.

Are the commercial and the free versions compatible?

Yes, they are fully compatible. You can use the free version to decrypt files, created with the commercial one, and vise versa.

How do I move Kryptel or Silver Key to another computer?

There is no special moving procedure, just download, install, and activate the software on your new computer. If your license code is lost, let us know and we will re-send it to you. If your old computer goes to another person, we'd appreciate if you uninstalled the old copy.

Is there any limit on the file size or on the number of files being encrypted?

File size: Neither Kryptel nor Silver Key have any file size limit, but Windows in some cases does. If the target drive is a USB stick or an external hard disk (or, in general, any FAT32-formatted volume), then the resulting file cannot be larger than 4Gb.

Although Silver Key allows you to create a self-decrypting parcel of any size, Windows will not run a very large executable. Such a file can still be decrypted with Silver Key right-click Decrypt command, you just can't decrypt by double-clicking it.

Number of files: There is a limit on the number of encrypted files depending on your system configuration. You might get an error message if you try to place several millions files in a single container. However this number is so unrealistically large that for all practical purposes it is same as ‘no limit’.

What are files with the .shr extension?

If you turn on the option ‘Show hidden files’ in the Windows Explorer, you can see strange files in the directory where encryption occurs with names looking like ‘8AB59B31820F0000-6F060000-4D75603B.shr’.

Those files are produced by the shredder. File shredding is a lengthy process, and in order to avoid name conflicts, the shredder renames the files in the shredding queue before processing. The strange names you see in the directory list are temporary names of the files being shredded. Simply ignore them; they will disappear as soon as the shredder finishes processing.

You can find more information about the shredder in our Knowledge Base: Data Shredding.

Why is Kryptel Shredder in the autorun list? Can I remove it from there?

Shredding is a very lengthy process so it is performed asynchronously in the background. As a result, if you turn your computer off immediately after encryption is finished, some data may remain undestroyed. That autorun program ensures that shredding will be resumed as soon as the system restarts.

It is not recommended to disable that program – if you do, unshredded data will remain on the disk until another shredder job is started, and that may be too long. Anyway, you will not gain much by removing that component from the autorun list – it takes only a few milliseconds of processor time to check the queue, and the program immediately exits if there is nothing to do.

Ordering and Licensing

My trial has expired. Do I need to buy the program to get my files back?

No, you don't need to pay anything in order to decrypt your files back.

Uninstall the trial version, then download the free one from our Download page and install it. Free editions are fully compatible with commercial ones, so you can use one to decrypt your files.

I have not received my license key…

We send licenses automatically, so your license email had been sent the moment we received your order. Please check your spam folder, most likely you will find your license email there.

If there is nothing, make sure that there was no typing error in your e-mail address. Let us know about the issue and we will fix it.

How do I upgrade from an earlier version?

You don't need to buy another license, just renew your update subscription.

Log into your Customer Panel. As soon as you are logged in, the renewal link will be added to the Order page.

Can I use the software on several computers?

Yes, you can. Our license allows using our software on several computers as long as you are the only user of the product. You can also install it on several USB drives that belong to you and are used exclusively by you.

Note that two users need two licenses, even if they use the software on the same computer. In short, our license is user-based, not computer-based.

What if I choose not to renew my update subscription? Will my license expire?

No, you license will never expire. You can use the last licensed version forever, and you will always be able to download it again. You will simply not receive new updates until you renew your subscription.

Can we use your free software in a corporate environment?

Yes, you can. Please note however that Kryptelite and Silver Key Free must be used ‘as is’, not as a part of a third party product.

If we are sending encrypted Silver Key files to our clients, how many licenses do we need?

The number of licenses must correspond to the number of persons who use Silver Key for creating encrypted parcels. If only one person creates encrypted parcels, then you need single-user license. Decrypting a Silver Key parcel does not require a commercial license, so the number of parcel recipients does not matter.

My computer has no Internet access. How do I activate?

Open the offline activation form and follow instructions.

Problems and Solutions

I get an “Access denied” error when I try encrypting a folder…

That happens if you try encrypting a top-level folder under Windows Vista or a later system. “Top-level” means that it resides right in the root of the system drive; for example, ‘C:\MyDocs’ is a top-level folder.

Windows does not allow creating files in the root of the system (C:) drive. When you encrypt a top-level folder (say, ‘C:\MyDocs’), Kryptel attempts to encrypt it into the file ‘C:\MyDocs.edc’, and the system denies the file creation request.

There are two workarounds:

1. Move your folder deeper by creating a dummy top-level folder, so that you encrypt something like ‘C:\DocFiles\MyDocs’. In this case it will be stored to ‘C:\DocFiles\MyDocs.edc’.

2. Use the Encrypt Here command to place the resulting container to another (non-root) folder. Check the Getting Started article for an example of using the Encrypt Here command.

Silver Key produces .exe file that does not decrypt…

That happens when you try to create a too large self-decrypting (.exe) parcel. Windows cannot run too large executable files, and if you create a parcel larger than, say, a gigabyte, then there is a chance that the system will refuse to run it. Such a file can be decrypted with any edition of Silver Key like any non-executable parcel, but it is not possible to decrypt it standalone, by double-clicking the file.

Silver Key files don't decrypt on the receiving end…

Some Internet Service Providers block executable attachments as a measure against spreading of virus and trojan programs. Unfortunately, Silver Key self-decrypting parcels are also executables, so depending on your (and your recipient's) ISP policy you may have a problem sending them.

If the recipient cannot receive parcels from you, or receives them corrupted, the chances are the problem is a result of virus protection. There are several workarounds for this issue:

  • Send the parcel via free Web storage (see Uploaders).
  • Send a non-executable parcel, however your corresondent should install any (including free) edition of Silver Key to unpack it.
  • Try placing the parcel into a zip archive. The recipient will have to unzip the executable file and run it as usual.

Please note that it is not a Silver Key issue – it is a generic issue caused by a specific mail server configuration. Any software would have exactly the same problem; the only difference is that Silver Key offers several workarounds.

The text below relates to the command-line interface only.

If you are using the command-line interface, a typical error is a missed /x switch. For example, the command

SkCmd /e parcel.exe ...

will create a non-executable parcel because there is no /x switch, but the output file will have the .exe extension anyway. An attempt to run it will result in a system error message. Windows Explorer shows such a parcel with the generic icon instead of the Silver Key parcel icon.

Note that such a parcel is perfectly valid and can be decrypted. It simply has a wrong extension and can't be decrypted by double-clicking it because it is not executable.

How do I perform clean uninstall of Kryptel or Silver Key?

There is an alternate uninstall procedure that may come useful if the standard uninstall command does not work for some reason.

Download and run Cleaner program.. That program will remove all Kryptel and Silver Key files and registry records.