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Deleting Veracrypt without losing my files.

Topics: Feature Requests
Jun 25, 2016 at 3:15 PM
This is the deal.
I went to another country for three weeks and needed to protect some "personal" files that I have on my computer. I downloaded Veracrypt and installed it. I encrypted my folders and everything was working fine. I logged in and out a few times. Everything was working good.
When I returned I tried to log in, but nothing happens, it doesn't say wrong password or anything. It just doesn't show my folder. I tried so many times and nothing. I even contacted Veracrypt and they were not able to help.
I want to know how to "uninstall Veracrypt without login" in and recover my files and folders.
Can you help me with this? I really need those files.
Thanks!
Jun 30, 2016 at 2:34 AM
Hi Parker1,

What do you mean exactly by "I encrypted my folders" and by "I logged in"? Are you using Windows or another Operating System?
Did you use a file-hosted (container) encryption, a non-system partition/device based encryption or perhaps you encrypted even the system partition/drive ?
For the differences between the two see here: https://veracrypt.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=VeraCrypt%20Volume
  1. In my case I use Windows with file-hosted encryption, so when I created a volume, I created a file container K:\MyStuff.hc, then mounted it as drive O: added this as a favorite volume, so anytime I mount favorite volumes it mounts this container as drive O:. So whenever I make a change to a file on drive O:, the change it written to the file container K:\MyStuff.hc. So once I uninstall VeraCrypt, the data is still in K:\MyStuff.hc, but I cannot access it (after all that's the purpose of encryption). (BTW your container could have any file ending.)
  2. A non-system partition/drive container works in a similar way, except it doesn't use a single file as the container, but the whole drive. If I wanted that (and moved all my other files out from the drive that hosts the partition mounted as K:. I could create a partition container and mount the whole container as drive O: , but specifying the partition to mount.
  3. And finally you can encrypt your system drive you have to enter a password, when you boot up the computer (even before Windows/MacOS/Linux starts). This is an "in-place" encryption, meaning, you don't have to mount anything and other than entering the boot password, this method is completely transparent.
  4. So which of the three methods did you use?
  5. And assuming you used either 1) or 2), what do you mean by "log in"? Do you mean you selected "Mount favorite volumes" or "Auto-mount devices?
    If you did indeed use method 1) or 2), you need to
    a) remember, which file or non-system partition/drive was your container, then
    b) reinstall VeraCrypt,
    c) mount that file/partition manually
    d) upon successful mount, move/copy your files to a partition/folder that is not encrypted
    e) dismount the encrypted partition and uninstall VeraCrypt again
    f) Once you've double- and triple-checked, that you indeed have all your data back, it would be good practice to secure erase the container file or partition, as it still holds an (encrypted) copy of your data.