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How to encrypt selected text in Evernote desktop

Keep your sensitive data secure in Evernote by encrypting it.


Evernote is a very popular productivity app that can be used on multiple platforms and devices. You can access your notes from nearly anywhere, which makes it an ideal app for storing information you need handy, like passwords, credit card numbers, and other private data. Evernote can secure that data by encrypting it from the Windows or Mac desktop client, using 64-bit encryption (RC2). Here's how:

Encrypting selected text
From your Windows or Mac Evernote client, select the text you want to encrypt, then right-click on the text in Windows or command-click in OS X. When the shortcut menu appears, select Encrypt Selected Text. You can also use the shortcut, Ctrl+Shift+X in Windows, or Shift-Command-X in OS X.

The first time you encrypt text in Evernote, you'll be prompted to type in your passphrase twice and a password hint (optional). Note: Make sure to pick a passphrase you'll remember. Should you forget it, it will not be recoverable.

Enter passphrase in Evernote
Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

Your encrypted text will then appear as a graphic in the note.

Encrypted graphic in Evernote
Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

The next time you encrypt text, you'll only be prompted to enter your passphrase once. If you want to use unique passphrases for each piece of encrypted data, just enter a new passphrase and you'll be prompted to create a new one.

Decrypting text
To decrypt text in Windows, double-click on the graphic, then enter your passphrase. You can also right-click on it and choose to decrypt the text permanently. In OS X, clicking on the graphic will allow you to choose between decrypting the text for your current session, or decrypting it permanently. You can also decrypt the text from the Web version of Evernote, as well as the mobile apps.

Decrypt text in Evernote for Android
Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

That's it. Keep in mind that you can only encrypt selected text from notes. Entire notebooks, images, or other files cannot be encrypted.