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[[!meta title="Using VeraCrypt encrypted volumes"]]
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[[!toc levels=2]]
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Introduction to <span class="application">VeraCrypt</span>
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<span class="application">[VeraCrypt](https://www.veracrypt.fr/)</span> is a
disk encryption tool that works on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
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Comparison between <span class="application">LUKS</span> and <span class="application">VeraCrypt</span>
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You can also create and open <span class="application">LUKS</span>
encrypted volumes in Tails. <span class="application">LUKS</span> is the
standard for disk encryption in Linux. [[See our documentation about
<span class="application">LUKS</span>.|encrypted_volumes]]
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[[!inline pages="doc/encryption_and_privacy/luks_vs_veracrypt.inline" raw="yes" sort="age"]]
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To create new <span class="application">VeraCrypt</span> volumes, do so
outside of Tails. See the step-by-step guides by Security-in-a-Box:
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- [VeraCrypt for Windows](https://securityinabox.org/en/guide/veracrypt/windows/) - [VeraCrypt for macOS](https://securityinabox.org/en/guide/veracrypt/mac/) - [VeraCrypt for Linux](https://securityinabox.org/en/guide/veracrypt/linux/)
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<a id="container-vs-partition"></a>
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Difference between file containers and partitions
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With <span class="application">VeraCrypt</span> you can store your files
encrypted in two different kinds of *volumes*:
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<h3>File containers</h3>
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<div class="icon">
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[[!img container-icon.png link="no"]]
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<div class="text">
<p>A file container is a single big file inside which you can store
several files encrypted, a bit like a ZIP file.</p>
</div>
</div>
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<h3>Partitions or drives</h3>
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[[!img partition-icon.png link="no"]]
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<div class="text">
<p>Usually, drives (USB sticks and hard disks) have a single partition of their
entire size. This way, you can encrypt a whole USB stick, for example.
But, drives can also be split into several partitions.
</div>
</div>
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<a id="parameters"></a>
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Unlocking parameters
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To unlock a <span class="application">VeraCrypt</span> volume, you might need
the following parameters, depending on the options that were selected when the
volume was created:
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- **Passphrase**
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**Keyfiles**: instead of or in addition to the passphrase, a <span class="application">VeraCrypt</span> volume can be unlocked using a particular file or set of files.
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[See the <span class="application">VeraCrypt</span> documentation on
keyfiles.](https://www.veracrypt.fr/en/Keyfiles.html)
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**PIM**: a number that is needed if it was specified when creating the <span class="application">VeraCrypt</span> volume.
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[See the <span class="application">VeraCrypt</span> documentation on
PIM.](https://www.veracrypt.fr/en/Personal%20Iterations%20Multiplier%20\(PIM\).html)
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**Hidden volume**: if you want to unlock the hidden volume inside the <span class="application">VeraCrypt</span> volume.
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[See the <span class="application">VeraCrypt</span> documentation on hidden
volumes.](https://www.veracrypt.fr/en/Hidden%20Volume.html)
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- **System volume**: if you want to unlock an encrypted Windows system partition.
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[See the <span class="application">VeraCrypt</span> documentation on
encrypting a Windows system partition.](https://www.veracrypt.fr/en/System%20Encryption.html)
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Using a file container
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[[!img container-icon.png link="no" alt=""]]
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<a id="container-files"></a>
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Unlocking a file container without keyfiles
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1. Choose
<span class="menuchoice">
<span class="guimenu">Applications</span>&nbsp;▸
<span class="guisubmenu">Utilities</span>&nbsp;▸
<span class="guisubmenuitem">Unlock VeraCrypt Volumes</span></span>.
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[[!img unlock-veracrypt-volumes.png link="no" alt=""]]
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Click <span class="button">Add</span> and choose the file container that you want to unlock.
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Enter the parameters to unlock the volume. For more information, see the [[Unlocking parameters|veracrypt#parameters]] section above.
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Click <span class="button">Unlock</span>.
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<span class="application">Unlock VeraCrypt Volumes</span> unlocks your volume.
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If unlocking the volume fails (for example, if you mistyped the
password), click on <span class="button">Unlock</span> to try
unlocking again.
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Click <span class="button">Open</span> to open the volume in the <span class="application">Files</span> browser.
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<a id="container-disks"></a>
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Unlocking a file container with keyfiles
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1. Choose
<span class="menuchoice">
<span class="guimenu">Applications</span>&nbsp;▸
<span class="guisubmenu">Utilities</span>&nbsp;▸
<span class="guisubmenuitem">Disks</span></span>
to start the <span class="application">Disks</span> utility.
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1. Choose <span class=menuchoice">
<span class="guimenu">Disks</span>&nbsp;▸
<span class="guimenuitem">Attach Disk Image&hellip;</span></span> from the
top navigation bar.
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[[!img disks-menu.png link="no" alt=""]]
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In the <span class="button">Select Disk Image to Attach</span> dialog:
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Unselect the <span class="guilabel">Set up read-only loop device</span> check box in the bottom-left corner if you want to modify the content of the file container.
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