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Win 10 pro EFS Encrypting File System Problem (Dell) RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello

    I have a strange problem with EFS, which I have never used before, but it doesn't seem to be working correctly. New Dell computer bought with 7 pro and upgraded to 10 pro last weekend. I didn't think to try EFS before the upgrade as I only used the machine for 2 days before switching.

    No matter what I do, I can't get the folders to encrypt even though they turn green. The files will encrypt OK but they are visible to anyone clicking on the green folder and they will even open the correct application but with no usable data. Like a HTML file will open a browser, pictures open a viewer, audio opens a player, etc....ect.

    I was thinking it could be a bug but I'm not finding any other information on the net about this issue. I'm testing this by switching accounts on the same machine. I will take an encrypted folder into work tomorrow and see how it acts on different machines. I even tried making multiple layers of empty folders but the files are still visible and can be clicked on.

    Thanks in advance... 

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    I originally posted the above at the Microsoft Community Forum but was directed here if the problem wasn't resolved. I was asked to open Services and set EFS to Automatic but it was already set there and the application was running.

    Sunday, August 30, 2015 9:46 PM

Answers

  • Hang on.... encryption does actually "hide" the folder (or the files in that folder, for that matter).  They are still visible, but it makes the files unusable to anyone other than the owner.

    So yes, the system will attempt to open the encrypted files with whatever program is associated with that file extension, but they will fail.

    So far, what you're talking about is normal behavior...  so tell us more if I'm incorrect.

    • Marked as answer by FaltaCZ Monday, August 31, 2015 2:03 PM
    Sunday, August 30, 2015 10:02 PM

All replies

  • Hang on.... encryption does actually "hide" the folder (or the files in that folder, for that matter).  They are still visible, but it makes the files unusable to anyone other than the owner.

    So yes, the system will attempt to open the encrypted files with whatever program is associated with that file extension, but they will fail.

    So far, what you're talking about is normal behavior...  so tell us more if I'm incorrect.

    • Marked as answer by FaltaCZ Monday, August 31, 2015 2:03 PM
    Sunday, August 30, 2015 10:02 PM
  • Well, being a first time EFS user I didn't know how it was supposed to work so I watched an older Windows 10 YouTube video yesterday. His video showed a "no access" notice when clicking on the folder which never opened.

    He then typed his Admin password into a box which did open the folder but the file was unusable.


    • Edited by FaltaCZ Sunday, August 30, 2015 10:47 PM
    Sunday, August 30, 2015 10:19 PM
  • I'm sorry, I found the video and watched it again. He did something different and I will try to replicate it on my machine to see the results. He encrypted a file only which was in an existing folder in his C: root. Switched users and couldn't open the non-encrypted folder. Used Admin to open the folder but couldn't use the file.

    It still indicates that the folder shouldn't open but let me try it that way on my machine.

    Sunday, August 30, 2015 10:45 PM
  • I'm sorry, I found the video and watched it again. He did something different and I will try to replicate it on my machine to see the results. He encrypted a file only which was in an existing folder in his C: root. Switched users and couldn't open the non-encrypted folder. Used Admin to open the folder but couldn't use the file.

    It still indicates that the folder shouldn't open but let me try it that way on my machine.

    I did exactly as the YouTube guy did and I didn't get the same results. My different account can still open the folder just as before.

    It kind of makes sense because Windows gives you an option of encrypting just the file or the folder and files. If a folder couldn't be encrypted then why give the option?




    • Edited by FaltaCZ Sunday, August 30, 2015 11:34 PM
    Sunday, August 30, 2015 11:04 PM
  • Hang on.... encryption does actually "hide" the folder (or the files in that folder, for that matter).  They are still visible, but it makes the files unusable to anyone other than the owner.

    So yes, the system will attempt to open the encrypted files with whatever program is associated with that file extension, but they will fail.

    So far, what you're talking about is normal behavior...  so tell us more if I'm incorrect.

    I believe that you are spot on. After thinking about it some more I'm seeing some quirky things in that video. Why would one need Admin privileges to open an unencrypted folder? And if the folder was truly encrypted even Admin wouldn't open it. I have a feeling that both machines at work, XP and 7, are going to act the same way.



    • Edited by FaltaCZ Monday, August 31, 2015 1:16 AM
    Monday, August 31, 2015 12:41 AM
  • On Mon, 31 Aug 2015 00:41:41 +0000, FaltaCZ wrote:

    I believe that you are spot on. After thinking about it some more I'm seeing some quirky things in that video. Why would one need Admin privileges to open an unencrypted folder? And if the folder was truly encrypted even Admin wouldn't open it. I have a feeling that both machines at work, XP and 7, are going to act the same way.

    Why don't you post the URL of the video so that we can take a look
    ourselves?


    Paul Adare - FIM CM MVP

    Monday, August 31, 2015 5:03 AM
  • The forum won't let me until my account is verified. Let me try this.

    Title: Windows 10 How to encrypt files and folders

    Channel: Faiz RoXx Published on January 14, 2015

    Standard YouTube address in front of this

    /watch?v=OmCswtVQ2lg


    • Edited by FaltaCZ Monday, August 31, 2015 9:29 AM
    Monday, August 31, 2015 9:26 AM
  • Could he have added permissions to the folder that he used? If it's true that you can look inside of EFS folders this could be an easy workaround.
    Monday, August 31, 2015 10:46 AM
  • On Sun, 30 Aug 2015 22:19:38 +0000, FaltaCZ wrote:

    Well, being a first time EFS user I didn't know how it was supposed to work so I watched an older Windows 10 YouTube video yesterday. His video showed a big "Access denied" notice when clicking on the folder which never opened.

    No, you need to watch the video again. The folder opens, clicking on the
    file opens Notepad and that is when the Access Denied appears.


    Paul Adare - FIM CM MVP

    Monday, August 31, 2015 12:29 PM
  • On Sun, 30 Aug 2015 22:45:26 +0000, FaltaCZ wrote:

    Switched users and couldn't open the non-encrypted folder. Used Admin to open the folder but couldn't use the file.

    It still indicates that the folder shouldn't open but let me try it that way on my machine.

    No, and this is a horrible video, the guy clearly doesn't know what he is
    doing. His inability to open the folder has nothing at all to do with
    encryption, the account he was using simply did not have the required
    permissions to open the folder.


    Paul Adare - FIM CM MVP

    Monday, August 31, 2015 12:30 PM
  • On Sun, 30 Aug 2015 23:04:53 +0000, FaltaCZ wrote:

    It kind of makes sense because Windows gives you an option of encrypting just the folder or the folder and files. If a folder couldn't be encrypted than why give the option?

    You're really not understanding how this works. A folder is never
    encrypted, only files. The default option simply encrypts all files in the
    current folder (and in any subfolders) and marks the folder such that any
    new files or in any subfolders will also be encrypted.


    Paul Adare - FIM CM MVP

    Monday, August 31, 2015 12:32 PM
  • On Mon, 31 Aug 2015 10:46:18 +0000, FaltaCZ wrote:

    Could he have added permissions to the folder that he used? If it's true that you can look inside of EFS folders this could be an easy workaround.

    As above, you have a basic lack of understanding as to how EFS works. There
    is a lot of documentation about EFS on Technet.


    Paul Adare - FIM CM MVP

    Monday, August 31, 2015 12:33 PM
  • XP and 7 at work operate just like mine regarding EFS so my error. The video accidentally gave me a good idea about assigning permissions to folders which will work out well for me.

    Thanks to all for guiding me in the right direction.

    Paul Adare, I tried to guote you but for some reason I got the same "no images or links allowed" message like when I was trying to post the YouTube URL. Maybe it was your quote rather than the URL causing the problem because I was trying to quote you on that post as well.
    Monday, August 31, 2015 2:03 PM
  • On Mon, 31 Aug 2015 14:03:06 +0000, FaltaCZ wrote:

    Paul Adare, I tried to guote you but for some reason I got the same "no images or links allowed" message like when I was trying to post the YouTube URL. Maybe it was your quote rather than the URL causing the problem because I was trying to quote you on that post as well.

    https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/c105eee6-ffee-434c-a2e6-48545d2b8c60/verify-your-account-30?forum=reportabug


    Paul Adare - FIM CM MVP

    Monday, August 31, 2015 2:09 PM
  • Are you asking me to report a bug or verify my account? The link you provided says both but it seems to be a verification thread. I can quote member graye but not you.
    Monday, August 31, 2015 3:11 PM
  • Are you asking me to report a bug or verify my account? The link you provided says both but it seems to be a verification thread. I can quote member graye but not you.

    The URL I provided to you is for account verification.
    Monday, August 31, 2015 3:14 PM
  • Hi FaltaCZ,

    How did you do the encryption?
    Right click the file, "Properties", "Advanced", " Encrypt contents to secure data".

    The EFS is based on the "Certificate". When we click "apply", "OK", we will be given the chance to save the certificates and a certificate is created automatically to the certificate store(certmgr.msc,"Personal").
    The encrypted files can only be opened by the person who have the certificates.

    I have made a test on my Windows 10 Enterprise machine and it would work well.

    Please check the other accounts` certificate store whether this certificate has been imported.

    Best regards


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help, and unmark the answers if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.


    Tuesday, September 1, 2015 9:57 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi FaltaCZ,

    How did you do the encryption?
    Right click the file, "Properties", "Advanced", " Encrypt contents to secure data".

     
    No offense here but this question has already been answered and your post does not in any way address the original question.
    Tuesday, September 1, 2015 12:58 PM