Find All Encrypted Files in Windows 10  

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    Find All Encrypted Files in Windows 10

    Find All Encrypted Files in Windows 10

    How to Find and List All Your EFS Encrypted Files in Windows 10
    Published by Category: Security System
    06 Aug 2020
    Designer Media Ltd

    How to Find and List All Your EFS Encrypted Files in Windows 10


    The Encrypting File System (EFS) is the built-in encryption tool in Windows used to encrypt files and folders on NTFS drives to protect them from unwanted access. EFS enables transparent encryption and decryption of files for your user account by using advanced, standard cryptographic algorithms. Any individual or app that doesn't possess the appropriate file encryption key cannot open any encrypted files and folders. Encryption is the strongest protection that Windows provides to help you keep your individual files and folders secure.

    When you encrypt a file or folder with EFS in Windows 10, its icon will have a lock overlay at the top right corner to indicate that it's an EFS encrypted file or folder.

    Sometimes you may lose track of all your encrypted files and need to create a list of them to find them all again.

    This tutorial will show you how to create a list of all EFS encrypted files that belong to the current user on all NTFS local drives in Windows 10.


    Contents

    • Option One: To Find All Your Encrypted Files on Local Drives and Output List in Command Prompt
    • Option Two: To Find All Your Encrypted Files on Local Drives and Output List to Text File






    OPTION ONE

    To Find All Your Encrypted Files on Local Drives and Output List in Command Prompt


    1 Open a command prompt.

    2 Copy and paste the cipher /u /n /h command into the command prompt, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

    3 Windows will now search all NTFS local drives for all encrypted files that belong to the current user, and will output a list of them in the command prompt.

    Find All Encrypted Files in Windows 10-list_all_efs_encrypted_files.jpg






    OPTION TWO

    To Find All Your Encrypted Files on Local Drives and Output List to Text File


    1 Open a command prompt.

    2 Copy and paste the command below into the command prompt, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

    cipher /u /n /h > %UserProfile%\Desktop\MyEncryptedFiles.txt

    Find All Encrypted Files in Windows 10-list_all_efs_encrypted_files_to_txt_file-1.jpg

    3 Windows will now search all NTFS local drives for all encrypted files that belong to the current user, and will output a list of them to the MyEncryptedFiles.txt file created on your desktop.

    It will be finished searching when you see the prompt again.

    Find All Encrypted Files in Windows 10-list_all_efs_encrypted_files_to_txt_file-2.jpg


    That's it,
    Shawn






  1. Posts : 57
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
       #1

    Is this method exhaustive? That is, is there any chance it might miss any files?

    I ask because I've gotten this notification on each boot for the past week:

    Find All Encrypted Files in Windows 10-2020-08-07_19-47-02.png
    Find All Encrypted Files in Windows 10-2020-08-07_19-47-17.png

    That was surprising as I've not manually encrypted any files. I ran the command both ways, and no encrypted files were found. No external hard drives plugged in, either.

    Find All Encrypted Files in Windows 10-2020-08-07_19-40-14.png

    Is there another way to determine what's using the Encrypting File System?
      My Computers


  2. Posts : 68,842
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter
       #2

    Hello @ikjadoon,

    I've seen others with the same issue and never encrypted anything with EFS. I'm thinking it may have been from some 3rd party program that may have encrypted some of its files.

    Backing up the certificate and key will stop the notification.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 57
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
       #3

    Brink said:
    Hello @ikjadoon,

    I've seen others with the same issue and never encrypted anything with EFS. I'm thinking it may have been from some 3rd party program that may have encrypted some of its files.


    Backing up the certificate and key will stop the notification.
    Hello, @Brink!

    Thank you for the excellent advice. I was just starting the back up (using option two here) and that exposed the issue! One certificate was for NVIDIA GameStream server (I have a GT 710 in this system), which looked weird.

    I'd installed GeForce Experience for some time, but never used it for anything but a quick link to download & install drivers. Not a big loss, then, to uninstall it.

    I uninstalled GeForce Experience, the certificate disappeared, and as of ~30 minutes after another reboot, I've not had the notification again.

    Find All Encrypted Files in Windows 10-2020-08-08_19-25-07.png
      My Computers


  4. Posts : 68,842
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter
       #4

    ikjadoon said:
    Hello, @Brink!

    Thank you for the excellent advice. I was just starting the back up (using option two here) and that exposed the issue! One certificate was for NVIDIA GameStream server (I have a GT 710 in this system), which looked weird.

    I'd installed GeForce Experience for some time, but never used it for anything but a quick link to download & install drivers. Not a big loss, then, to uninstall it.

    I uninstalled GeForce Experience, the certificate disappeared, and as of ~30 minutes after another reboot, I've not had the notification again.
    Great news.
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 57
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
       #5

    Brink said:
    Great news.
    Absolutely. Thank you again. �� It's still working great a week later.
      My Computers


  6. Posts : 68,842
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter
       #6

    ikjadoon said:
    Absolutely. Thank you again. �� It's still working great a week later.
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 156
    10
       #7

    My son was playing with going into a file properties and encrypting the file on some files and we got the prompt to export the certificate. I did not do the export on the prompt but did manually after reading about EFS. On next boot I got the prompt and exported again.

    If I run the command "cipher /u /n /h" in as regular command prompt does it make any changes or just lists the files? I am concerned on messing something up

    The system also has bitlocker turned on if that has any impact on this.

    thanks
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 68,842
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter
       #8

    rinconmike said:
    My son was playing with going into a file properties and encrypting the file on some files and we got the prompt to export the certificate. I did not do the export on the prompt but did manually after reading about EFS. On next boot I got the prompt and exported again.

    If I run the command "cipher /u /n /h" in as regular command prompt does it make any changes or just lists the files? I am concerned on messing something up

    The system also has bitlocker turned on if that has any impact on this.

    thanks
    Hello Mike,

    This will be unrelated to BitLocker.

    The command in the tutorial will not make any changes. It will only search for and list any EFS encrypted files found.

    More details on the cipher command below to help.

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/win...ommands/cipher
      My Computers


  9. Posts : 156
    10
       #9

    Thanks. I just ran the command and no encrypted files were found. In command prompt it was under is user file name C:/Users/username>

    So I am not sure if that searches outside of that.

    Also, on the next reboot I was not prompted to export the key. However, if there are no files using EFS will it still ask for a key? Says he deleted the file after playing with it?
      My Computer


 

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