Enable or Disable NTFS File Encryption in Windows  

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    Enable or Disable NTFS File Encryption in Windows

    Enable or Disable NTFS File Encryption in Windows

    How to Enable or Disable NTFS File Encryption in Windows
    Published by Category: Security System
    06 Aug 2020
    Designer Media Ltd



    How to Enable or Disable NTFS File Encryption in Windows


    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.

    This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable NTFS file encryption for all users in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

    You must be signed in as an administrator to enable or disable NTFS file encryption.

    If you disable NTFS file encryption, any currently encrypted files will still remain encrypted.



    Contents

    • Option One: Enable or Disable NTFS File Encryption in Local Group Policy Editor
    • Option Two: Enable or Disable NTFS File Encryption using a REG file



    EXAMPLE: NTFS file encryption disabled
    Enable or Disable NTFS File Encryption in Windows-ntfs_encryption_disabled.png






    OPTION ONE

    Enable or Disable NTFS File Encryption in Local Group Policy Editor


    The Local Group Policy Editor is only available in the Windows 7/8/10 Pro, Windows 7/8/10 Enterprise, and Windows 10 Education editions.

    All editions can use Option Two below.


    1 Open the Local Group Policy Editor.

    2 Navigate to the location below In the left pane of the Local Group Policy Editor. (see screenshot below)

    Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Filesystem\NTFS

    Enable or Disable NTFS File Encryption in Windows-ntfs_encryption_gpedit-1.jpg

    3 In the right pane of NTFS in the Local Group Policy Editor, double click/tap on the Do not allow encryption on all NTFS volumes policy to edit it. (see screenshot above)

    4 Do step 5 (enable) or step 6 (disable) below for what you would like to do.


    5 To Enable NTFS File Encryption

    A) Select (dot) Not Configured or Disabled, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)

    Not Configured is the default setting.



    6 To Disable NTFS File Encryption

    A) Select (dot) Enabled, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)

    Enable or Disable NTFS File Encryption in Windows-ntfs_encryption_gpedit-2.png


    7 When finished, close the Local Group Policy Editor.

    8 Restart the computer to apply.






    OPTION TWO

    Enable or Disable NTFS File Encryption using a REG file


    The downloadable .reg files below will add and modify the DWORD value in the registry key below.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Policies

    NtfsDisableEncryption DWORD

    (delete) = Enable
    1 = Disable


    1 Do step 2 (enable) or step 3 (disable) below for what you would like to do.


    2 To Enable NTFS File Encryption

    This is the default setting.

    A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.

    Enable_NTFS_file_encryption.reg

    Download


    3 To Disable NTFS File Encryption

    A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.

    Disable_NTFS_file_encryption.reg

    Download


    4 Save the .reg file to your desktop.

    5 Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

    6 When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

    7 Restart the computer to apply.

    8 You can now delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.


    That's it,
    Shawn






  1. Posts : 2
    windows 10
       #1

    Thank you so much, very useful feature. was looking for this long time. Every time i used to download something got encrypted, and could not play on my other PC/Laptop without decryption beforehead.
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 64,574
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter
       #2

    I'm glad it could help. :)
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 275
    Windows 10 Home
       #3

    Hi . I have Windows 10 Home and these solutions do not work for me.

    That option to encrypt a file or folder is grayed out .

    How do I encrypt a sensitive text file with all my passwords on it ?

    Thank you.
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 64,574
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Hello John,

    I'm afraid that Encrypting File System (EFS) is only availble in the Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions.

    Encrypt Files and Folders with EFS in Windows 10 | Windows 10 Tutorials

    Luckily, there are plenty of free 3rd party file encryption programs out there to choose from.
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 275
    Windows 10 Home
       #5

    Brink said:
    Luckily, there are plenty of free 3rd party file encryption programs out there to choose from.

    Which is the best free 3rd-party option ?
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 64,574
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter
       #6

    If you would like something simple, the free program "7-Zip" includes a password protected folder encryption option. You could keep your .txt file in this encrypted folder.

    https://www.7-zip.org/

    Enable or Disable NTFS File Encryption in Windows-create-encrypted-zip-file.png
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 127
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 22H2 Build 19045.2728
       #7

    Hi BRINK, I've been getting this popup on my W10 Pro system over the last couple of days but have no encryption in operation as far as I know, other than KeePass and such that I've used for ages. Clicking on the popup just makes it disappear. I now see that there is a new item in the System Tray with three courses of actionbut I'm none the wiser!

    Enable or Disable NTFS File Encryption in Windows-file-encryption-key.png

    I'm nervous that any action I take may present problems. Could you please advise me on the right course of action? Thanks as always for your advice.


    Iain
    Last edited by Pacman23; 06 Aug 2020 at 03:32. Reason: Additional Info
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 11,247
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #8

    Hi there.

    Encryption on Home computers IMO is just an unnecessary and pointless exercise. Any sensitive documents would be stored on a secure server if it was commercially sensitive or if you work for an organisation such as CIA, Mossad etc.

    I can see 100% no reason whatsoever for encrypting anything at all on a home computer --perhaps other Forum members reading this thread can enlighten me as to why.

    If your workplace allows you to store sensitive documents / information locally on a PC or external device then I'd suggest they need to have a look at their own I.T practices -- this stuff should always be on secure servers whether you are working from home, use a work laptop or your own computer.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 127
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 22H2 Build 19045.2728
       #9

    Yes, I think I understand that - I've no intention of encrypting anything on my pc (apart from passwords). My question was just how I should handle the message, as I don't, to my knowledge, have an encryption key that needs backing up but MS appears to think I do!

    Iain
      My Computer


 

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