Changing your Username and Password

At regular intervals and if ever you feel your account has been compromised you should change your password and/or username.

  1. Select Account > Account Information.
  2. Select Change Username and Password.
  3. Enter your current username and password on the Validate User screen.
  4. Enter your new username and password on the next screen. You can change either or both fields. See Account Creation and Creating a Strong Password for guidelines on username and password creation. Hit OK to accept, or Cancel to keep old username and password.
  5. 1. Repeat the new username and password entry on the Confirm Password screen
  6. You will then be prompted to back up your key with the new username and password.

Martus won’t accept my password.

I want to use Martus on a co-worker’s computer, but it won’t accept my username/password.

Backing up your key

A Martus account is secured with username, password and key. Your key is a .dat file saved on your computer in your Martus directory when you create an account. In order to access your account on another computer you will need a copy of your key. This is especially important if your laptop is stolen, confiscated or damaged. Benetech cannot recover your account so making sure you can access your data is up to the user.

To ensure that you’ll always have access to your data, it is extremely important to keep a backup of your key. Martus offers two methods for backing up your key, either of which may be used, but we strongly recommend using both backup methods. The first method creates a single, password encrypted key backup file onto removable media (e.g. CD, USB storage) or a network drive; the second method backs up the key in three separate pieces (not encrypted with your password) onto multiple removable media.

Create a single-file backup

  1. Insert a blank disk into your removable media drive.
  2. Choose Account > Key Backup.
  3. Select Export Password Protected Key.
  4. In the Backup Key File dialog box, navigate to your removable media device (e.g., USB or CD), or your network drive.
  5. Give the backup key file a unique name, especially if more than one account is used on the computer. By default, Martus names the file MartusKeyPair.dat. You may choose to add a number or code word to the file name, such as MartusKeyPair222.dat.
  6. Select Save. Martus copies the backup key file to the location you specified.
  7. Select OK to exit.

Important Note: Store your backup disk or other removable media in a secure place where it is unlikely to be damaged by weather, insects, or other factors. Do not write your password on the disk or store it on the disk electronically. No one can use the key you back up to a single file without your username and password. You MUST back-up your key each time you change your password since they are all associated.... or remember your old password.

Create a multi-file backup

To back up your key file to three removable media (two of which will be required to restore the key file):

  1. Insert a blank disk into your removable media drive.
  2. Choose Account > Key Backup.
  3. Select Export Multi-Part Key. Read the informational screen and click Continue.
  4. Click Yes to create an additional set of backup files on three separate removable disks.
  5. Read the informational screen and click Continue.
  6. Name the file and click OK.
  7. Tip: Give the file a unique name that you will remember later, and that can be distinguished from other accounts’ backup files. Each of the three files will have the same name, with a sequence number appended. For example, if you name the file kpbackup, the files will be saved as kpbackup-1.dat, kpbackup-2.dat, and so on.

  8. Navigate to your removable media drive in the Saving Backup Disk dialog box, and click Save. You must use a removable media drive (e.g. CD, USB storage) instead of your hard drive, because the program will not save two of your backup files to the same place.
  9. Notes for Mac users: For best results, ensure that all external media share the same name when mounted (e.g. all three USB sticks appear as LEXARMEDIA when you insert them). Additionally, on Apple computers, mounted external media can be found by navigating to Macintosh HD > Volumes.

  10. Insert removable media as prompted, clicking OK each time to proceed to the next disk.
  11. To ensure that the data has been written properly, click Yes in the Verify Disks dialog box.
  12. If Martus was able to verify the data on all the disks, click OK in the Verification Succeeded dialog box. If there were problems with one or more disks, repeat the backup process with different disks.
  13. Read the information in the Backup Complete dialog box, and click OK.

When I back up or restore my key using USB drives, Martus doesn’t recognize them as different disks. What’s going on?

I want to use Martus on a co-worker’s computer, but it won’t accept my username/password.

Delete Martus, Your Records, and Account Information

Delete Your Account and Locally Stored Records

  1. Close all other applications on your computer.

    Note: You can delete records and Martus folders while other applications are open, but Martus may not be able to remove all Martus folders if other applications are open during the process.

  2. Select Account > Delete Account
  3. Martus will prompt you to confirm deletion. Select OK to confirm that you want to delete all your records and your account information, including your key file, from your computer. If you do not wish to continue, select Cancel.
  4. Martus automatically closes.

What will be deleted?

  • Records that have not been sent to the server or otherwise backed up.
  • Your account key file. If you delete your key without backing it up, you will lose access to all private data you’ve sent to the server; such data would be available only to Contact accounts authorized to view your data that were created before the records were saved and sent to a server.
  • Server settings, Contact accounts, default details values, custom fields, user-created folders in Martus, and interface preferences (e.g., date format, column widths).

What will not be deleted?

  • The Martus application.
  • Any records or account files that were copied or moved to folders outside the Martus folder, such as the desktop.
  • Records or account information on any other computers where you set up your account.
  • Records on a Martus server.

Remove/Uninstall the Martus Application

  • Select Start > Programs > Martus > Uninstall Martus; or
  • Select the uninst.exe file in the Martus\bin directory; or
  • Use the Add/Remove Programs control panel:

    1. Select Start > Settings > Control Panel.

    2. Choose the Add/Remove Programs icon.

    3. Select Martus from the list of applications.

    4. Select Add/Remove, and follow the on-screen instructions.

Mac OS

Delete the file from the location where it was installed.

Note: If you copied the Martus application ( to your Applications folder or your Desktop (or elsewhere on your computer), it will not be removed when you uninstall Martus, which may be a security concern.


To uninstall Martus in Linux (or if you installed using an ISO file in Mac OS) without deleting your Martus records or account data, delete the martus.jar and the ThirdParty directory.

I deleted a record from the Trash, but it still appears in another folder.

Restoring an Account

If you have lost your computer, had a hard drive failure, or lost your key for some other reason, restore your key using your backup copy. If you know your username and password and have a single file key backup, we recommend you use that file as it is more secure. However if you have forgotten your password, you will need to restore your key from multiple disks.

Restore Your Account Key from a Password Protected Key File:

  1. Start Martus.
  2. Select the Restore Account tab in the Martus Signin dialog box.
  3. Select Restore account from backup key file.
  4. Read the informational dialog box, and click OK.
  5. Find the file on your hard-disk/network-drive or insert the removable media that contains the file and navigate to it, and click OK.
  6. Log into Martus using the username and password that were associated with the key at the time you created the backup file.
  7. You will then be asked to create a password encrypted backup file of your key with this username and password.

Restore Your Account from a Multi-part Key Backup:

  1. Start Martus.
  2. Select the Restore Account tab in the Martus Signin dialog box.
  3. Select Restore account from multiple disks.
  4. Read the informational dialog box, and click OK.
  5. Insert the first disk and navigate to the file it contains; click OK; and then insert the second disk and click OK.
  6. Note for Mac users: If you are having trouble finding the USB in the file navigation window, remember that on Apple computers, mounted external media can be found by navigating to Macintosh HD > Volumes.

  7. Either use your old username and password or create a new username and password for your account.
  8. You will then be asked to create a password encrypted backup file of your key with this username and password. See "8a. Back up your key" for more details.
  9. After the restoration is complete, be sure to re-distribute the key backup disks. Any time two of those disks are in the same place, anyone could use them to access your account, even without knowing your username or password.

When I back up or restore my key using USB drives, I get an error.

I want to use Martus on a co-worker’s computer, but it won’t accept my username/password.

Backing Up Your Data to the Server

Martus automatically saves backup copies of saved, versioned and shared records to the Martus server as long as your configured server is set to On in the Martus main taskbar. This is one of the most important security features of Martus. Since your data is backed up to cloud servers you can recover your valuable data should your device (E.g. computer/laptop) be lost.

All saved, shared and versioned records will be listed under the Saved label. When a record has been successfully sent to the server, a check mark appears in the On Server column though there may be a delay before the column is populated.

If you do not have an Internet connection, or if your computer cannot connect to your designated server, the record remains unsent, and the On Server column will display an X. If you have not yet configured a server, the Sent column will be blank. As soon as you connect to the Internet, and a valid Martus server is configured, Martus sends all waiting records to the server. Martus will alert you to any records waiting to be sent to the server when you end a session.

Remember that backup can also happen without internet on external drives, by importing and exporting encrypted records as .mba files. We recommend backup be done regularly and off-site. (Contacts still must be configured in order for others to read it). Refer to the section on Using Martus without internet/limited access.

I’m having problems connecting to the server. What should I do?

I am concerned that my internet activity, and/or my connection and sending records to the Martus servers, is being monitored or blocked. What can I do?

Is there any limit to the size of records or attachments I can send to the server, or to the number of records I can store there?

I’ve saved a record, but the check mark hasn't appeared in the On Server column.

The records in my account on a co-worker’s computer do not match those on my computer.

Can I backup my Martus data onto an external hard drive or other removable media?

Sync Manager

The Martus Sync Manager allows you to upload and download records to/from the server, view where your records are located as well as which records are authored by you or your contacts.

To upload, download or eliminate records from the server, select the Sync Manager icon from the Martus sidebar. The Sync Manager may not appear immediately, depending on the speed of your Internet connection.

Sync desktop

You can filter the records in the Sync Manager screen by selecting the following options:

All - All your records regardless of location or creator.

Local Only - Records only located on your hard drive.

Server Only - Records only located on the server.

Both - Records located on both the server and your hard drive.

My Records - Records created by you.

Shared With Me - Records created by another Martus User.

Download Records

  1. Select the Sync Manager icon
  2. Select the desired record.
  3. Select the records you would like to download.
  4. Select Download.

    Note: If a record has already been downloaded to your local device, the Download button will not be available.

Upload Records

  1. Select the Sync Manager icon from the Martus sidebar.
  2. Select the desired record.
  3. Select the records you would like to upload.
  4. Select Upload

    Note: If a record has already been uploaded to your configured server, the Upload button will not be available.

Delete Records from the Server

Once you delete a record from the server, you cannot retrieve it unless you have a local or exported copy.

  1. Select the Sync Manager icon from the Martus sidebar.
  2. Select the desired record.
  3. Select Delete from Server.
  4. Note: If the Delete from Server option is not available for the record you have selected, the record has either not been uploaded to the server or is a record shared with you by another Martus account. Shared records cannot be deleted from the server by anyone but their original author.

How do I change the Martus server settings?

How do I delete records on my computer?

Why does Martus seem slow when I’m doing some tasks?

Sharing and Managing Contacts

Your colleagues — or anyone else you want to share your records, contacts or forms with (e.g. an editor who wants to review the work of a journalist, or even a colleague in your same office) — can create a Martus account and be added as one of your account’s Contacts, which will permit them to view your records only if you give them permission. They will not be able to create records using your account.

Configuring Contacts

a. To add a contact to your address book, navigate to Account > Manage Contacts

b. To add a contact you need their account token. This is a 7 digit number that works like an email address. It identifies your contact and allows you to send to them. There are two ways to add a contact:

i. Add a Contact by pulling its Martus Public Account ID from the Martus server: Input the Contact’s Martus Account Access Token in the Access Token field and select Add Contact…; or

ii. Add a Contact from a Martus Public Information (.mpi) file: Select Import Contact from File… and choose the (.mpi) file given to you by your Contact.

c. Verify the Contact by reviewing the Public Code associated with the Contact’s Access Token and select Verify Now. If you select Verify Later, you can verify the Contact at another time by selecting Verify Now from the Verified column in the Manage Contacts window.

Verification is important! For example, you receive an email from a colleague saying they have lost their account and need you to send all your sensitive data to a new account. If you verify their public code by phone or messenger your colleague might say no, that’s not me, I didn’t lose my account – don’t send anything! If it is them, they can confirm the number.

d. Enter a Contact Name for the Contact. Use a label that is meaningful to you, as you may not always remember the account's public code. The Contact label might be the name of the person or organization, or the name of a city or region, for example. You can change the label later if you want to. Only you will see the label you assign; others who view the record will not see the label, for security reasons.

e. Select Save and Close.

Share your account information with another Martus account

To share your Access Token and Public Code (used to add and verify you as a Contact):

1. Select Account > Account Information.

2. Give the Access Token to the Martus user who will add you as a Contact.

3. Communicate your Public Code through a secure communications channel in order to be verified once added as a Contact.

4. Note: Be sure to securely communicate access tokens and public codes using a method such as encrypted email, Off-the-record (OTR) chat, face to face, or another communication channel where nobody can intercept your information.

To share your Martus Public Information (.mpi) file (used to add a Contact):

1. Select Account > Account Information.

2. Select Export My Public Account ID, and name the file. Martus saves the file with a .mpi extension in your account directory in the Martus folder on your hard drive by default (though you can also save it elsewhere on your computer if desired), and confirms that it has been saved.

3. Give the .mpi file to the Martus account holder who wants to add you as a Contact. If you can’t find your .mpi file on a Mac, see Frequently Asked Questions.

Share records with your Contacts

To share a record individually with a Contact:

1. Choose to Create or Edit a record and input any data.

2. Select the Add Contacts icon .

3. Select the box(es) next to the Contact(s) with whom you would like to share the record

4. Select OK.

5. Select Share to save the record.

To share all new records with a Contact by default:

1. Select Account > Manage Contacts.

2. Select the Manage Contacts button.

3. Check the Send to by Default box for the desired Contact. Note: You can still deny access to individual records as you create them.

4. Select Save and Close.

Sync desktop

Deny a Contact access to your records

Contacts will continue to have access to any records or record versions you saved while permission was given to their accounts. However, they will not have permission to view any future records or new record versions you save once you deny them access.

To deny access to individual records:

1. Select the record that you would like to update and select Edit.

2. Select Add Contact.

3. Uncheck any Contacts that you would no longer like to share the record with.

4. Save, Version or Share the record.

To remove a Contact (prevents access to all new records or new record versions):

1. Select Account > Manage Contacts.

2. Select the Manage Contacts button.

3. Select the X in the Remove column for the Contact you wish to remove.

4. Select Yes to confirm removal in the Remove Contact dialog box.

5. Select Save and Close.

As soon as a record has been shared with a Contact, the information in that record will be available to that Contact. Removing that Contact later will not prevent that Contact from viewing the data that was saved when they were configured as your Contact, but it will prevent them from viewing any the data in any records (or new versions of records) you create after they were removed.