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How to Enable or Disable NTFS File Encryption in Windows

information   Information
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.
Note   Note
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
Name:  NTFS_encryption_disabled.png
Views: 93
Size:  13.8 KB






Enable or Disable NTFS File Encryption in Windows OPTION ONE Enable or Disable NTFS File Encryption in Windows
Enable or Disable NTFS File Encryption in Local Group Policy Editor

Note   Note
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. In the left pane of Local Group Policy Editor, navigate to the location below. (see screenshot below)

Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Filesystem\NTFS

Name:  NTFS_encryption_gpedit-1.jpg
Views: 93
Size:  56.4 KB

3. In the right pane of NTFS in 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)

NOTE: 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)

Name:  NTFS_encryption_gpedit-2.png
Views: 98
Size:  30.5 KB

7. When finished, close the Local Group Policy Editor.

8. Restart the computer to apply.






Enable or Disable NTFS File Encryption in Windows OPTION TWO Enable or Disable NTFS File Encryption in Windows
Enable or Disable NTFS File Encryption using a REG file

Note   Note
The .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

NOTE: 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