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Encryption - Disable or Enable

  1. #1
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    Encryption - Disable or Enable
    How to Disable or Enable EFS Encryption in Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8
    Published by Brink is offline
    29 Oct 2007
    Encryption - Disable or Enable

    How to Disable or Enabled EFS Encryption in Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8

    information   Information
    Encrypting folders and files is a way to protect them from unwanted access. Encrypting File System (EFS) is a feature of Windows that allows you to store information on your hard disk in an encrypted format. Encryption is enabled by default in Vista. If you disable encryption, no user account will be able to encrypt a file or folder.
    Note   Note
    The EFS Encrypt feature is only available in the Vista Business, Ultimate, Enterprise, Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate, Enterprise, and Windows 8 Pro and Enterprise editions.

    This option will remain grayed out in the Vista Home Basic and Home Premium and Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic and Home Premium editions.
    warning   Warning
    Be sure to decrypt all files and folders before you disable encryption. Once encryption is disabled, all user accounts will lose access to encrypted files and folders until it is enabled again.

    EXAMPLE: Encrypt Option grayed out after disabled
    NOTE: If you have the Compress contents to save disk space option checked, then the Encrypt contents to secure data option will also be grayed out since you can only use one or the other and not both.
    Encryption - Disable or Enable-disabled.jpg



    METHOD ONE

    Using a REG File Download
    1. To Disable Encryption
    A) Click on the download button below to download the
    Disable_Encryption.reg file.

    B) Go to step 3.

    download
    2. To Enable Encryption
    A) Click on the download button below to download the
    Enable_Encryption.reg file.

    download
    3. Click on Save, and save the .reg file to the Desktop.

    4. Right click on the downloaded .reg file and click on Merge.

    5. Click on Run, Continue (UAC-Vista) or Yes (UAC-Windows 7), Yes, and then OK when prompted.

    6. Restart the computer to apply the changes.

    7. You can delete the downloaded .reg file when done if you like.



    METHOD TWO

    Manually in Registry Editor
    1. Open the Start Menu.

    2. In the white line (Start Search) area, type regedit and press Enter.

    3. If prompted by UAC, then click on Continue (Vista) or Yes (Windows 7).

    4. In regedit, go to: (See screenshot below step 5)
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem
    5. In the right pane, right click on NtfsDisableEncryption and click on Modify.
    Encryption - Disable or Enable-filesystem_key.jpg
    6. To Disable Encryption
    A) Type 1 and click on OK. (See screenshot below step 7)

    B) Go to step 8.
    7. To Enable Encryption
    A) Type 0 (number zero) and click on OK.
    Encryption - Disable or Enable-modify.jpg
    8. Close regedit.

    9. Restart the computer to apply the changes.
    That's it,
    Shawn




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    Brink's Avatar
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    Join Date: Apr 2007
    Location: Texas, USA
    Posts: 31,169
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    Tutorial Tools


    Applies to

    Business,Enterprise,Ultimate,Windows 7,Windows 8
    64 Bit & 32 Bit


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  3. #1



    Newbie
    Join Date : Jun 2008
    Posts : 2
    Vista Home Premium 32bit
    Local Time: 02:15 AM

    Re: Encryption - Disable or Enable

    My encryption box is still greyed out.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4.   


  5. #2


    Join Date : Aug 2007
    Posts : 4
    Vista Ultimate x64
    Local Time: 09:15 AM
    uk uk scotland

     

    Re: Encryption - Disable or Enable

    Quote Originally Posted by dmaj View Post
    My encryption box is still greyed out.
    You have Home Premium if thats correct then you cant use Encrypting File System as it is only available in the Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate version of Vista.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #3



    Newbie
    Join Date : Jun 2008
    Posts : 2
    Vista Home Premium 32bit
    Local Time: 02:15 AM


     

    Re: Encryption - Disable or Enable

    thank you

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #4



    Newbie
    Join Date : Sep 2008
    Posts : 1
    Vista Home Premium 32bit
    Local Time: 01:15 AM


     

    Re: Encryption - Disable or Enable

    I encrypted several hundred pictures when I had Windows XP. I upgraded to Vista Home Premium and I found out that I can't decrypt them. Any ideas? I was thinking about taking the HDD to a friends house that has XP on it and trying to decrypt from his OS, since I don't want to downgrade to XP...

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #5
    Brink's Avatar

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      Thread Starter

    Re: Encryption - Disable or Enable

    Hello Tetsujin210,

    Unless you have the EFS certificate from your old XP to add to your friends XP so that you can decrypt them, you will not be able to access them. I'm not sure if this is the exact same method for XP, but this shows you how to add (restore) a EFS cetificate in Vista if you have a copy of it.

    Encrypted File System (EFS) Certificate Restore

    Hope this helps,
    Shawn

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #6



    Newbie
    Join Date : Jun 2009
    Posts : 2
    Vista Ultimate x64
    Local Time: 01:15 AM


     

    Encryption File System needs your Smart Card

    Please help: I read in PC Magazine that Vista Ultimate has a nice feature to prevent reading\theft of personal files (i.e. encryption tool) in case a notebook gets stolen.

    So, I followed the PC Magazine recommendations and encrypted my personal documents, music, and pictures by right clinking each folder, Advanced, Properties, and Clicking Encrypt. The process took about 2 hrs. I thought all was well but then when I started my computer the next day, and when the desktop loads, there is a message indicating, "Encryption File System needs your Smart Card". When I click this message, a window pops up stating:


    Encryption File System
    You are encrypting a file or trying to access an encrypted file using a smart card
    Enter your Smart Card PIN
    Insert Smart Card or
    Swipe Finger to Log On

    Now, I cannot access my files that I encrypted

    My guess is that once I encrypted the files, Vista needs to export the encryption certificate to a Smart Card. Without this, I cannot decrypt my files again. I went to Best Buy, Radio Shack etc and no one sells these cards or card readers. Found a few websites to purchase a Smart Card Reader and Smart Card.

    My questions are:

    1) Can I decrypt without a Smart Card/Smart Card Reader. I tried going to each folder, right clicking, properties, advanced, and checking decrypt but the above window pops ups.

    2) If I do purchase a Smart Card Reader/Smart Card will the certificate be exported and can I then decrypt to make my files as they were prior to the encryption?

    3) Is there anything else I can do?

    Thank you for your assistance!

    Steven

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #7
    Brink's Avatar

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      Thread Starter

    Re: Encryption - Disable or Enable

    Hello Steven, and welcome to Vista Forums.

    Could you post back the link for that article? That does not sound like it was the EFS feature in Vista.

    In the mean time, you might be able to use the 30-day trial of the program Advanced EFS Data Recovery to decrypt the files.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  11. #8



    Newbie
    Join Date : Jun 2012
    Posts : 3
    Vista ultimate 64
    Local Time: 04:15 AM


     

    Re: Encryption - Disable or Enable

    It's so funny Steven, history repeats....
    I have exact same problem in 2012 in Vista.....
    I do not know how did you resolve that problem.. Unfortunately I used that option for important files on my laptop and I am stuck...

    Brink what do you suggest?
    Thank you
    Hemant

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  12. #9
    Brink's Avatar

    Administrator


    Join Date : Apr 2007
    Texas, USA
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    64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise (RTM)
    Local Time: 03:15 AM
    usa us texas

      Thread Starter

    Re: Encryption - Disable or Enable

    Hello Hemant, and welcome to Vista Forums.

    Could you give some more details about your specific problem?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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