What Is an AXX File?

How to open, edit, and convert AXX files

What to Know

  • An AXX file is an AxCrypt Encrypted file.
  • Open one with AxCrypt.
  • Decrypt it first before converting the files inside.

This article explains what an AXX file is, including how to open one to get the files back out, and what to do if you want to convert the AXX file.

What Is an AXX File?

A file with the AXX file extension is an AxCrypt Encrypted file. AxCrypt is a file encryption program that scrambles (encrypts) a file to the point that it's unusable without first being decrypted with a specific password/passphrase.

When an AXX file is created, it's automatically assigned the exact same name as the unencrypted file but with this file extension appended to the end. For example, encrypting vacation.jpg results in a file called vacation.jpg.axx.

AXX files in Windows

How to Open an AXX File

You can double-click the file to open it with AxCrypt. If you're signed in to your AxCrypt account, opening the file will open the true file and not actually decrypt the AXX file.

On that download page, you can choose the standalone option if you want to use the portable version, which doesn't install to your computer and can easily be opened on a flash drive.

Use the program's File > Open Secured menu to open the file, but not actually decrypt it. Decrypting requires that you either right-click it and choose AxCrypt > Decrypt, or use the File > Stop Securing option.

AXX file selected through AxCrypt

If you find that an application on your PC tries to open the file but it's the wrong application or you'd rather have another installed program open AXX files, learn How to Change File Associations in Windows to make that change.

How to Convert an AXX File

This file format is used exclusively with AxCrypt, so the file can't be converted to a different format. If you do manage to "convert" an AXX file to some other format, the contents will remain encrypted and unusable.

To convert a file that AxCrypt has already encrypted and stored as an AXX file requires that you first decrypt it using that same program, after which you might be able to convert the file inside it with a free file converter.

For example, if you decrypt it to find an MP4 inside, you can use a converter like Freemake Video Converter on the video file, but you can't use it to save the AXX file directly to some other format.

More Information on AXX Files

AXX files are easy to make on a computer that has AxCrypt installed. Either use the File > Secure menu or right-click what should be encrypted and then choose AxCrypt > Encrypt.

The free version can't make an AXX file from a folder unless you first make the folder an archive file, like a ZIP file. Then, you can encrypt the ZIP file to turn it into an AXX file. If you do decide to encrypt a folder, it will encrypt all the files inside, individually.

Still Can't Open It?

This file extension is awfully similar in spelling to the Audible format for Audible Enhanced Audiobook files that end in AAX. If you're here for those files instead, you can open one with iTunes.

This file extension also looks like the suffix appended to files of other formats, but that doesn't mean they can open with the same software. Some examples include AZZ (AZZ Cardfile Database), AX (DirectShow Filter), AXE (Annotated XML Example), AXD (ASP.NET Web Handler), AXT (Adobe Photoshop Extract), and AXA (Annodex Audio) files.

If your file doesn't open with AxCrypt, check the file extension to see what it ends with. If it's not AXX, research the real file extension to learn more about the format and find which program is capable of opening it.

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