QuickHash GUI is an open source hashing tool which is available for Windows, Linux and macOS. If you’re a security conscious person or want to verify file integrity, e.g. for backups, you must be aware of hashing.
Tip: we reviewed several programs to compute hashes in the past: you can use PowerShell to generate hashes, or use the programs Hashing, HashTab Shell extension, or Nirsoft’s Hash My Files.
For those who aren’t here is a brief description.
What is a hash value? Why is it important?
A hash value is an alpha-numerical string calculated by an algorithm which determines the integrity of a file. Every file has a hash value and the value is unique for each file.
The most common usage of hashes are to cross-verify them with the values given on the download page of digitally distributed content (software, Android ROMs, apps, etc). If the values given by the developer and the downloaded file are a perfect match, it means the file has not been tampered with during transport.
If the values are different, one of two things are probable. Either the downloaded file is corrupted, or worse, the file has been modified by someone.
Tip: You can see how this works yourself. Create a text in notepad, or doodle something in Paint and save it. Those files will have hash values of their own. Note them down, edit the files and save them. Look at the hash values again, they should be different.
The interface (or GUI, if you will) of QuickHash GUI is quite simple. It has a tab bar with several tabs, each of which displays a set of options. There is a side-bar which is persistent across all screens. It houses the algorithm panel and the System RAM panel, which shows your computer’s total RAM, and available RAM).
You can select one of the 5 algorithms: MD5, SHA-1, SHA-256, SHA-512 and xxHash32, and QuickHash will compute the corresponding value.
Tip: MD5 isn’t exactly secure. So I recommend using one of the other options, all of which are cryptographic hash functions.
This is the second tab of the program. The reason I’m beginning here is because it may help in making it easier to understand how hash comparison works. You can use the “select file” button in the tab to navigate and choose the file which you want to check, or drag and drop one to the interface, and the computed hash value of the file will be displayed just below the button.
Copy and paste the hash value from the developer’s website in the “Expected hash value” field, and if both values are the same, QuickHash will display a message saying they match. You can switch the case of the checksum from lower to UPPER using the option above the expected hash value field.
Let’s check the hash of a KeePass archiv (refer to the above image). You can get the hash value posted by the developer, and use it to compare the hash of the file which you downloaded from the website.
Tip: Spaces matter. QuickHash does not include spaces in the computed hash field, so if you paste an expected value that has spaces, they won’t match. Delete the spaces manually to get the “matches” pop-up.
Text has its own hash values. You can use the text tab to type or paste some text and see its value displayed in the field on the bottom. This tab has 2 buttons which can be used to convert the case of the text (Make UPPER and Make lower), and a clear text button. You can also configure the application to hash text, or an entire file, line-by-line.
This tab lets you compute hashes for all files in a folder. It includes sub-folders, but you can optionally disable that. You can set wildcards using the file types option, to only compute the values of the files in the defined format. It even has an option to work with hidden folders, which can be useful if you are checking the System directory.
This is a very useful option when you are transferring data. Use the left pane to select the source folder which has the files that you wish to copy. Now select the destination folder where you want the content to be copied to using the right pane.
Hit the Go! button and QuickHash will initiate the process. The program will hash the values of the source files, copy the content over, and re-hash (checks the values of the copied content). It helps in avoiding corrupted files or errors during the copying process.
You can set custom options to only list sub-folders or sub-folders + files, wildcards, ignore sub-folders. QuickHash also displays the number of files in the folder, a progress bar, the start time, end time and the total time it took for the process to be completed. Optionally, you can save the results to a CSV.
The file and the files tabs, and the Compare two files tab have a “Start at a time” option. This is a timer, which automatically executes the hash computation, using the defined options.
Compare Two Files
QuickHash GUI can be used to compare the hash values of two files. You just need to select the two files, and use the compare now button. The result will tell you if they are a match or a mis-match.
Compare Two Folders
This is similar to the above option, but used to compare two folders. A result of the comparison can be saved in a text, if you use the Log result option.
Disks and Base64
Want to check an entire disk’s hash? You can do so with the program. But, in the Windows version, you can only run the SHA-1 algorithm to check physical disks, and you also need to run the program with administrator privileges. QuickHash GUI can also be used to decode Base64 data from files.
QuickHash GUI is a portable application, and supports 32-bit and 64-bit systems.
Hashtab is a good alternative for QuickHash, though the former hasn’t been updated in 2 years.
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