New Computer - Recover Encrypted Files?

BigHairyGobbler

New Member
Hello. I needed to reinstall Windows so I made two backups of my computer and did a clean install. When I restored my files I realized a lot of them had been encrypted by me in the past using the folder/file properties dialog box and selecting the encrypt checkbox and apply to all sub-items. Since Windows is installed with a different computer name I'm wondering if I can unencrypt them somehow. I saw some encryption keys tied to my Microsoft account that look promising but how do I add them to my computer or somehow unencrypt my files. Thanks.
 

Neemobeer

Windows Forum Team
Staff member
Then it's EFS, this is tied to a user certificate on the computer. You would need to export the certificate before re-installing Windows. Otherwise there isn't a way to decrypt those files.
 

Neemobeer

Windows Forum Team
Staff member
I've never bother with EFS, but I'm pretty sure all you need to do is import the certificate and the files should open normally. There are tons of guides for recovering EFS files.
 

BigHairyGobbler

New Member
While rummaging through my attic I found an external HDD which conveniently contained a clone of the old computer so I was able to recover my old encryption key. Whew. After installing the key I quickly unencrypted everything and made another backup.
 
Top