I use a Mac with an encrypted hard drive. I've a lot of videos in a directory "videos", which I backed up using encfs to Google Drive.

Since I don't want to encrypt the "videos" directory on my hard drive itself again, I decided to use reverse encryption. This uploaded the encrypted files to Google Drive.

encfs --reverse videos/ ~/Google\ Drive/drive/

If I'd sync the contents from Google Drive now to the hard drive of a second computer, would I be able to decrypt it, since the .encfs6.xml file was created in the "videos" directory and this file doesn't get synced to Google Drive.

3 Answers 3


As stated in the manpage, you need the .encfs6.xml file to decrypt your files.

You must also keep a copy of the file /home/me/.encfs5 which contains the filesystem
information.  Together, the two can be used to reproduce the unencrypted data:

 ENCFS5_CONFIG=/home/me/.encfs5 encfs /tmp/crypt-view /tmp/plain-view

So, no, you could not decrypt the files.


I had the same issue, but the answer above did not help. Instead, I needed to specify the encfs6 config file like so (see also "man encfs"):

ENCFS6_CONFIG=~/.encrypted/_encfs6.xml encfs  ~/.encrypted ~/decrypted

Yes, you can do the idea you propose. Just be sure the xml file is available where it should be on the second computer.

Full explanation is more extensive than fits here. See http://increa.com/computers/encfs-clouding

Feedback or questions welcome, and I will improve the writeup.

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