Encrypted files can be opened in Windows with a variety of methods depending on the type of encryption used and the intended purpose of the file.
If the encrypted file is intended for use with a specific application, such as Microsoft Office documents, this will often entail opening the encrypted file through the application. For example, a Microsoft Word document can be opened by opening Microsoft Word and selecting the right-click > Open option. You may need to enter the encryption password when prompted in order to decrypt the file.
Another option is to use encryption-specific software such as 7-Zip or WinRAR. This requires you first to download the relevant software. Once the program is installed, you can open the encrypted file by right-clicking it and selecting the appropriate option (e.g. “7-Zip” or “WinRAR”). When prompted, enter the encryption password and your file will be decrypted.
You may also be able to open an encrypted file from the command line. To do this, open the Command Prompt by typing “cmd” in the Windows search bar. Then, type in the name of the file along with the applicable details and parameters (e.g. “file.enc -d -i password”).
If you have an encryption key for the file, you can use the free encryption software TrueCrypt to open the file. Download and install the TrueCrypt software onto your computer, then drag the encrypted file into the TrueCrypt window and enter the encryption key when prompted.
Lastly, you may be able to open the encrypted file with a third-party tool such as ElcomSoft Advanced Archive Password Recovery or Passware Kit Standard. ElcomSoft Advanced Archive Password Recovery can decrypt a wide range of file types, while Passware Kit Standard can be used to recover passwords for a variety of encrypted file types. In both cases, a trial version is available that allows you to test the software before purchasing it.
Follow the steps outlined above and you should be able to open an encrypted file in Windows. Keep in mind that there may be other methods or tools available depending on the type of encryption and the file type, so it’s worth looking into if none of the above methods were successful.