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unencrypt folder that user encrypted

I have a user at my organization who encrypted folders in his account. Now the user is gone and I cannot unencrypt them.

How can I unencrypt them? If I take ownership of the folder, will that allow me to unencrypt?
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Brian PiercePhotographer
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Awarded 2007
Top Expert 2008

Commented:
If this is on a domain then by default the domain administrator account has the data recovery agent encryption key and if you log onto the domain with this account tou can open the encrypted file and remove the encryption.

If it is not on a domain then there is no recovery agent by default and chances of recovery are not good.
Brian PiercePhotographer
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Awarded 2007
Top Expert 2008

Commented:
BTW - taking ownership will give you NTFS permissions - but will not allow you ot unencrypt.

Author

Commented:
This is on a domain and I am the domain administrator. However, when I am on the server where the folder actually exists (the user maps to the folder), I cannot unencrypt it. I can change the permissions to view the contents, but I can't actually open the files.

What else can I do?
Photographer
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Awarded 2007
Top Expert 2008
Commented:
By default the Data Recovery Agent is mapped to the actual  "Administrator"  account   - inless you have re-mapped it you have to use that specific account - not just any administrator account - but the "Administrator" account, if you see what I mean. if a domain user has encrypted anything this account has the data recovery key - of course you will also need NTFS permissions as well, which you can grant to yourself as administrator.

If the encryptin was done with a workgroup account there is no way back.
Pete LongTechnical Consultant
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Distinguished Expert 2019
Commented:
Hello lenivan,

Need to recover encrypted filed from NTFS EFS (Encryption file system)

WARNING without the original Encryption key (somewhere) you are snookered :(

This software is available on 30 day basis (but it doesn't expire)
Advanced EFS security http://www.elcomsoft.com/aefsdr.html
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Methods for Recovering Encrypted Data Files
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/255742

Best practices for the Encrypting File System
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/223316

Regards,

PeteLong
Pete LongTechnical Consultant
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Distinguished Expert 2019

Commented:
ThanQ

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