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I want to encrypt files on my USB stick with a linux box such that I can decrypt it with my password on any Windows machine (version > 7) without having any admin permissions on the Windows machine.

What software would do this task?

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Not very convenient, but 7Zip can encrypt files while it compresses them into archives.

Meets your requirements:

  • It works on Linux (portable wasn't an issue here - I don't know if it's portable on Linux)
  • There is a portable version for Windows which you can place on the USB stick itself.
  • It uses AES-256 as the encryption algorithm, so that should be ok.
  • It is free (wasn't actually a requirement)

Disadvantages:

  • it is not an in-place encryption/decryption. You'll need additional space on the USB stick
  • due to a) someone who finds the USB stick might recover data from deleted files that were not encrypted. You can workaround this problem by wiping the USB stick, which is not very healthy for the stick.
  • if you have several files with the same name but different extension (e.g. File1.doc and File1.xls) this might cause a conflict for the compressed file name (which is File1.7z in both cases). You can workaround this problem using distinct file names

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