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At first login a wizard will open which guides through the creation of a key pair for encrypting and decrypting files. This pair comes with a private (secret) key and a public (not secret) key.


While the public key will be saved in the server's database ("anybody may encrypt files for me"), the private key must be kept secret ("only I may decrypt files").


Depending on the server administrator's configuration you will see the default wizard or the Simple Share wizard.

User Setup (default wizard)

After the welcome screen you choose the key storage, where your keys will be saved.



User can have multiple private keys assigned to their accounts i.e. for multiple devices. Files uploaded into one of their encrypted folders will automatically be encrypted for ALL of their private keys.

User Setup (Simple Share)

When the server administrator had set up Simple Share, then a password protected private key was already generated, so you can open your shares shortly after login. You have received your key password by email. When the wizard below appears, please enter or paste the provided password:

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A new key pair will be generated where the private key is only stored in your device's browser and never sent to or retreived from the internet. The setup process is finished when you reach the following page:

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Be sure to save the private key and store it at a secure location (e.g. in a safe). Make a backup of this key. Without the private key you cannot open any files, e.g. when the web browser was reinstalled.

The private key is never sent to the server. The private key cannot be restored.

In case this key is lost, you have to create a new one. However, you only can access files encrypted for your old key when

  • You re-upload the files
  • Another user who shared an encrypted folder with you re-encrypts it for your new key.

From then on you can manage your keys in your Personal Settings, details are found in the section below.

Key Management

The key management is found in your Personal Settings. You may reach this space by clicking on your user name in the upper right corner of your ownCloud. This opens a dropdown menu, choose Settings. The settings for end-to-end encryption are found in the section Security.