Friday, March 21, 2014

How to Access an Encrypted File or Folder in Windows 7 and Windows 8


Under what situations that you may lose access to your own encrypted file or folder in Windows 7 or Windows 8? If you try to get access to your encrypted file or folder and got an error message saying that Access is denied. It is either because you have no permissions to access or need encryption key. Under such situations, you can find out the reason first and then attempt to access to the encrypted file or folder accordingly.

Reason: Have No Permission
Check the permissions of the file or folder:
Right click on the file or folder and choose Properties option.
Select the Security tab.
Click a user name or group under Group or user names. And the permissions for the selected user or group are shown in the lower portion of the properties dialog box.

Solution: If it shows you have no permission to access to the file or folder, then you have to contact the one have permission, generally may be system administrator.

Reason: Need Encryption Key
If it is not because of permission but because the file or folder is encrypted and you lost your access to your encrypted file or folder because the encrypted file is from another hard disk, or have installed a new operating system or upgraded your current operating system, or your current one fails, then you have to export or import the certificates and private keys to gain access.

Solution: Export Certificates and Private Keys
Export Certificates and Private Keys: for the encrypted file or folder from external hard disk or another computer, so you have to export the encryption key from the computer where you encrypted the file first and then transfer it to current computer.

1. Enter Control Panel and search for Certificate Manager and open it.
2. On the left pane, expand Personal folder and click Certificates, and then click the EFS certificate that you want to export.
3. Click the Action menu, point to All Tasks and then select Export item to bring up the Certificate Export Wizard window, click Next button to continue.
4. For Certificate Export Wizard, you click Yes button, export the private key and then click Next button.
5. Click Personal Information Exchange and then click Next.
6. Type the password you want to use, confirm it and then click Next.
7. Navigate a location (a removable media, such as a floppy disk or USB flash drive is recommended) to store the certificate, type a file name and then click Save.
8. Click Next and then later click Finish.

Import Certificates and Private Keys: If you have backed up your certificates and private keys before or receive a certificate from other computer.

1. Enter Control Panel and search for Certificate Manager and open it.
2. On the left pane, expand Personal folder and click Certificates, and then click the EFS certificate that you want to import.
3. Click the Action menu, point to All Tasks and then select Import item to bring up the Certificate Import Wizard window, click Next button to continue.
4. Navigate to the file that contains the certificate and then click Next.
5. Type the password, select Mark this key as exportable check box (never Strong private key protection) and then click Next button.
6. Click Place all certificates in the following store, choose Personal store and click Next button.
7. Soon later, click Finish button.