New OS Install --> Restore ODrive?



Hello, I had to redo my computer and lost pretty much everything. All my data tho was sync with my Amazon Drive (AD) and no problem with backup. But how do I restore my ODrive which is pretty simple but what I’m having a problem how to get back is my encrypted folder which has it content on AD which is already encrypted and all the data is there? How to I set everything back up so that it don’t erase the content of the folder I want it to go in and restore my access to the content. Of course, I do know the password I used and all.


Hi @ZakRhyno,
Once you install odrive on the computer and login, you just need to go open the odrive\Encryptor folder. Inside there will be all of the Encryptor folders you’ve previously setup. Just double-click on one to open it, enter the passphrase for decryption, and you should be able to download all of the content that you want local.


Thanks for the help.


Correct me if I am wrong, but an Encryptor folder cannot be recovered from a new OS Install? The key is tied to the specific OS installation instance?

Plus, a forgotten passphrase for an Encryptor folder is locked forever.


Hi @christianorpinell,
You can download encrypted content on any system. There is nothing system-specific about the keys. The only thing system-specific is the encryption used to encrypt the stored key (so users do not have to type in the key every time they start odrive).

Yes. Since this is zero-knowledge encryption, if you forget your passphrase there is no recovering it.


“You can download encrypted content on any system.”

I’m trying to think, so we cannot move the files inside the Encryptor folder from your local system to another local system, but we can sync files inside the Encryptor folder from a local system to another local system?

I think I may understand. So files that are in the Encryptor folder that are in a placeholder (.CLOUD) state on a system cannot be moved over to a different computer with odrive into that Encryptor folder and be used (re-downloaded?) If a file is locally synced and existed within the Encryptor folder it can still obviously be moved over locally but the encryption process would have to start all over on every file?

However, if I have files in an Encryptor folder and my PC explodes due to lack of oxygen, I should be able to re-download all of my encrypted data again on a different PC with the same passphrase?

If this is correct, I would wonder what limitations are currently stopping odrive from letting us move the files inside the Encryptor folder from a local system to another local system (in the future)? I’m not technical in this area, but programming-wise it should be possible somehow?

I think in the future customers are going to lose lots of data for not understanding this. Some are going to think, “Oh it’s synced to odrive, it’s fine. I got my passphrase and that’s all I need for dealing with my encrypted data”.


Hi @christianorpinell,

Your customers shouldn’t lose any data. The file encryption is self-contained and can be decrypted on any system. You can even decrypt it without odrive in the equation, at all (

The limitation here is that you cannot move local files in an Encryptor folder from one system to another and not have them re-upload. Since the encryption applied is unique, every time, the binary makeup of the file and its name will change on the new system (even though the actual unencrypted data will remain the same).

There is no reason to move over .cloud files since they are just representations of what is in the cloud. When you install odrive on a new system, it will list those files for download once you drill into the Encryptor folder and enter the correct passphrase.


Okay, I think I am understanding this better. 3 more thing.

  1. So if I had all of my files in the Encryptor folder. I had the passphrase stored safely. I then had my PC “stolen”, or the HDD crashed. Could I re-download all my encrypted data and use the passphrase I saved?

  2. Encrypted data functions the same as un-encrypted data except for the encrypted data having to be re-uploaded when a system is changed?

  3. Are there any hidden limitations that I may encounter if I have all of my data in that folder? Terabyte(s) of data?

Thanks for responding to my replies. I know I can be repetitive.


Hi @christianorpinell,


Yes. The reason data is re-uploaded if you copy it over into an Encryptor folder on another system is because it is re-encrypted, changing the makeup and creating a difference between the local and remote.

The considerations are the same, regardless of if the data is managed from the Encryptor paths or the “standard” paths. The more data you have that odrive needs to monitor, the more overhead it can create. Encryption creates more overhead during download and upload, since it has to decrypt and encrypt, but other than that it is the same.

General best practices are to unsync folders that you do not need to be immediately accessible or visible on the machine, to reduce the amount of work odrive needs to regularly perform.

No worries. These are good questions and there will be others that can benefit from them. That is one of the reasons I like the forum medium so much :slight_smile: