Hook & Boxcryptor

Hook has been very good about following moving targets when I move a file or folder somewhere else on my computer.

But I am wondering if I moved a file or especially a folder with many items (many of which may have their own hooks) TO A BOXCRYPTOR folder, can Hook maintain those links as well??!!

I often work on a project on my computer which I track via Hook Markup links in Noteplan (or Noteplan 3) but when finished want to securely store it on Boxcryptor. If this destroys all the existing Hook links I’ve accumulated in Noteplan then I guess I would have to re-link everything manually. (Uggghhhh).

Note: FYI, any hook that is created from something THAT IS ALREADY IN BOXCRYPTOR does actually work like everywhere else, so long as the Boxcryptor Disc has been mounted on my computer’s desktop and is therefore “open” and fully functional in general.


I’m not familiar with BOXCRYPTOR. Does it expose the files on Finder? If not, then no. Are the filenames and pathnames similar?

BOXCRYPTOR is an encryption tool. When the app is running and you’ve logged into your Boxcryptor account you mount a Boxcryptor Drive on your desktop. Anything dragged into that (files or folders with sub folders and files) is automatically encrypted and becomes transparent to the system as long as the Boxcryptor drive is mounted. When it’s NOT mounted than the finder shows them as gobbledegook.

After some more experimentation it appears that Hook:

  1. WILL create original Hook links on anything in Boxcryptor.
  2. BUT if you move anything from elsewhere on the computer only COPYING occurs. (I don’t believe you can MOVE anything into Boxcryptor.) Those copies no longer have Hook links.

As I think I mentioned previously I use NotePlan with Hook’s Markdown links function to track projects which really is great for me.

However, when I am done with a project and want to archive it securely into Boxcryptor and erase the original unencrypted folders and files on the computer, this makes all the NotePlan Project’s Hook Markup Links dead.

Therefore it seems I would have to save items with folders/files in Boxcryptor WHEN THEY ARE CREATED rather than archive them after the fact (i.e. copy to Boxcryptor, then delete originals on computer).

C’est La Vie, I guess.

P.S. I noticed if I move a Hook Linked folder into the Trash and then move it back out to where it originated, the links INSIDE that folder are good but the link I’d created for the folder itself (definitely functional BEFORE moving the folder in and out of the Trash) is then dead. And a new Hook link for the restored folder has to be created. Interesting…

I guess the question is that once you are done with the project, and you move the project into Boxcryptor and remove the original copy, you still want the links to work. I noticed that Boxcryptor recently added support to Spotlight, please turn on Spotlight in Boxcryptor’s Settings. Hook relies on Spotlight to fix broken links.

Brian Shi

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Boxcryptor encrypts files so that they are encrypted when synced with Dropbox or another cloud service. If you are signed into Boxcryptor, its files always appear in Finder, as noted above provided that you navigate to them through the Boxcryptor drive.

Spotlight has worked with Boxcryptor in the past, but does not work on Big Sur. Boxcryptor says they are working on this. DEVONthink may provide a workaround, but I’m not a power user of it and continue to rely on Finder. Hook works but seems to have a long, spinning beachball, startup on first invoke. I work on a Mac mini 2018 3GHz intel i5 16GB RAM.

I’m curious why others are regularly moving files in and out of Boxcryptor. My workflow is to store ~all document-type files in Boxcryptor so that they are encrypted and at rest on Dropbox. I welcome expert opinions on whether this provides a false sense of security. It seems like a step up from trusting Dropbox alone, and if used along with File Vault means that, if you trust Apple, your documents are encrypted at rest on your drive, in transit, and in the cloud.

Examples of how Hook adds capability include the ability to link a contact, OmniFocus, or other app-specific object to a text, PDF, or other file in Boxcryptor/Dropbox. So far, Hook seems to have a 100% success rate in retrieving such relationships, which is a great improvement over Apple’s frequently breaking aliases and tags.

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Welcome to the Hook Productivity Forum , @diolo .

Thanks for all this helpful information. I haven’t personally had a chance to try Boxcryptor yet.

When you use Hook’s Copy Link on a file in Boxcryptor , are you getting a link with a hook://file// URL? If so, re the beachball, could you please try this in Script Editor and let us know if it has the same issue:

tell application "Finder"
            set theItems to selection
            set n to count of theItems
            if n = 1  then
                set ext to name extension of item 1 of theItems
                if ext = "hook" or ext = "HOOK" then
                    set filepath to item 1 of theItems as alias
                    return read POSIX path of filepath
                end if
            end try
            get URL of item 1 of theItems
            set thePath to (POSIX path of (target of the front window as string))
            set filepath to "file://" & thePath
            end if
            end tell

In my personal opinion, this sounds like it can often be very helpful. Privacy of Dropbox information is often quite important (and some experts have claimed that this is an area of concern). It would be helpful for Hook to work well with Boxcryptor.

Sync.com is an alternative to Dropbox. It is a Canadian company, and hence subject to strict Canadian laws (privacy and other).


The reason I move things into Boxcryptor later (really to archive and also not to absentmindedly leave things on the computer where someone might somehow gain access to my unlocked system) rather than just create everything to begin with in Boxcryptor (as you appear to be doing) is my own personal paranoia about deleting something from Boxcryptor when I’m working on a project willynilly, since there is no versioning in Boxcryptor and I might kill something complex and crucial permanently.

I feel better when all is done, simply cleaning up any sloppy folder hierarchies within the completed Project, moving that into Boxcryptor and then deleting the finished, formerly WIP Project via the regular Finder interface.

I was not yet aware that Big Sur Spotlight of Boxcryptor was currently broken. Good to know.

Yes, exactly.

But see Diolo’s comment later about Big Sur Spotlight not yet working in Boxcryptor!

Also, when I was experimenting with Hooks on existing Dropbox files, I did not get a delay with spinning beach ball and so far have not had to resort to trying LucB’s script.

@LucB : Thanks for your reply. Please note that I get the spinning beach ball only once on the first use of Hook after login. After that, yes, I get a link with hook://file//url. And then subsequently Hook seems to work without a problem. I will test the script and provide an update.

I might switch to ProtonDrive if they are able to provide a simpler zero-knowledge solution than using Dropbox and Boxcryptor. So far they cannot match this functionality: Proton prioritizes encryption over convenience to a degree that might not work for some people. One wants to be able to use Hook to link highly proprietary files: compatibility with encryption is valuable.

Note that some American researchers are prohibited from using Dropbox, as I understand it, because it syncs with datacenters outside of the USA. Personally, I would be glad to consider a zero-knowledge Canadian solution: I am a fan, for example, of 1Password (which received a $200M investment from Accel). ProtonMail (and ProtonDrive) are based in Switzerland.

Back to the subject of Hook, I can Hook to New and create a .txt file directly in a Boxcryptor directory that syncs via Dropbox. As far as I can tell, this allows me to use Hook without ever syncing to or leaving an encrypted system. Thank you for your work on this. Its cross-app capability creates outstanding flexibility and is why I purchased Hook Pro.

@mascotca I have a healthy respect for paranoia. Indeed I create and work on all projects directly in Boxcryptor, which continuously syncs with Dropbox and thus implies various degrees of worst-case backup depending on your Dropbox settings.

You may be able to improve your workflow by going to Boxcryptor–Preferences–>Advanced and enabling the Enable Trash option. In cases where I fear a problem that might result from version deletion, even with the buffer of Trash, I create a subfolder called “x” and move old versions there, never to be deleted.

It is annoying that Spotlight does not work, but as Boxcryptor says they will fix that. If your work relies heavily on automated searches it seems like DEVONthink offers more than Spotlight. The question is whether searching all the time is a good way of working.

I think @LucB might argue that search is a machine, rather than human, process. It seems a lot harder to teach the machine the relationship between “surfing.jpg” and “Denise.pdf,” so that it retrieves those in searches, than it is to just Hook those together once and then invoke Hook and see them every time thereafter. Nor does your mind, when it remembers surfing with Denise, need to flip through every Denise you’ve ever heard of, the films of Bruce Brown, and the Beach Boys.

I find that creating my own associations with Hook often produces better signal-to-noise than brute-force searches, which generate a lot of meaningless results. In this way I find Hook to be a better tool, for many kinds of work with ones proprietary stuff, than search.

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I agree with your “LucB” argument for using Hook and making your own human associations. I have Devonthink but I’ve never gotten anywhere with it.

Thanks to you and LucB for your very insightful and relevant comments. Really helpful!

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