How to decrypt a CZX archive

The decryption of a CZX archive is an action that an user has to know well, even though it’s really easy to perform.

First of all, you must know the righ passphrase to decrypt a CZX archive.

You can open a CZX archive in two ways:

  • run CZIP X and click on “Decrypt a CZX archive” or…
  • click on a CZX archive and wait for CZIP X’s “Decryption assistant” to appear.

The “Decryption assistant” window will show some information about the open archive:

  • how many files are in the archive and the archive size;
  • the timestamp related to the time when archive has been generated;
  • if available, author’s name and e-mail address.

Also, if the CZX archive is self-locking or self-erasing, you will see an orange box warning you about how many chances to enter the right passphrase you have and what could happen if you reach zero chances.

You can choose how to decrypt the archive, then:

  • by writing a passphrase or…
  • by acquiring a valid QR-code for CZIP X.

Using the QR-code replaces the needing to write a passphrase, specially when the archive’s author is using really complex passphrases that are hard to remember or to share with others. Depending by CZIP X version, the QR-code can be either loaded from a .PNG file or scanned through a device’s camera. Some CZIP X versions have both methods available: in this case, the application will ask to user how to proceed. When CZIP X recognizes a valid QR-code, the decryption will begin automatically; on the contrary, if you enter a passphrase, you will have to click the “Decrypt!” button to begin.

If decryption fails, this may be have several reasons:

  • the passphrase is simply wrong (or the QR-code is not the one required by that archive);
  • the passphrase is right but the archive is set to either allow only one decryption (and that already happened), or the archive is “non shareable” and you can’t decrypt it outside the original device that generated it.
    In the first case, nothing can be done: after the only decryption allowed, CZIP X has managed to permanently destroy the contents of the archive and what you see is just a empty archive. It’s useless, so you can delete it.
    In the second case, CZIP X will offer the chance to load a file named “HwInfo.czkey” which holds the hardware data of the device where CZIP X has generated the archive. If you got this file, CZIP X will let you import it and you could try to decrypt the archive again; if you don’t own that file or you don’t want to use it, CZIP X will consider this as a wrong passphrase (see below).

If the archive is either a self-locking or a self-erasing one, CZIP X will reduce the count of available chances to enter a passphrase. When the count will reach zero, CZIP X, respectively, will lock the archive or will permanently destroy its content. In the first case, CZIP X won’t allow any further access to the archive, while, in the second case, the encrypted data will be safely delete the contents by replacing any file with a random sequence of data before effectively deleting it – nobody could recover them, not even The ZipGenius Team.

“Decrypt but don’t extract files”

CZX files contains a ZIP archive that has been encrypted by the application. If you enable this option, CZIP X will decrypt the content of the CZX archive but it will not unzip files from the resulting ZIP file. The ZIP file you get is totally compatible with every utility that can manage this file format, like ZipGenius.