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EFS-encrypted file maintains encryption when copied to non-encrypted folder

Posted on 2012-12-21
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Last Modified: 2012-12-21
Running Windows 7 Professional SP-1, I have some folders which are encrypted with EFS, such that subfolders and files are also encrypted.   When I copy a file from one of these folders to an unencrypted folder, I am accustomed to Windows asking me to confirm that I want to copy the file without its encryption.  Recently I had to replace a corrupted administrator account with a new account, and since then, there is no such dialog box, regarding the loss of encryption.  The encrypted file is copied to an unencrypted folder and it remains encrypted.  This is unwanted behavior, and I wonder how to remedy it?
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Question by:ddantes
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Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 38714680
Are your credentials were what encrypted the file?
You should get properties and remove the encrypt attribute provided your credentials are what encrypted it.
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 38714693
Thank you for your comment.  I can remove the encrypt attribute.  But previously, that attribute was removed automatically, because the file was being copied to an unencrypted location.  I would prefer not to have to un-encrypt these files, manually, every time I copy them to a location outside of the encrypted folder.   I would like the system to resume its previous behavior, of automatically unencrypting the file when it is copied to an unencrypted folder.  How can that be accomplished?
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arnold earned 500 total points
ID: 38714773
If I am not mistaken, the only time the file's decrypted version is stored when copied is when the filesystem is not capable to support  efs, fat32.
Copying to an NTFS partition will preserve the state of the file(efs)
This might be what you are comparing. I.e. you had a jump drive formatted with fat32 that you copied an EFS file to. Now because of the external USB being large, they all come with NTFS and your copy to the external maintains the encryption.

You can and should export the certificate used for efs such that you can import it on your other system and access the EFS files.
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 38714806
Thank you.  I had a misunderstanding that encrypted files do not retain their encryption if they are moved to an unencrypted folder.   For some reason, previously, if I copied an encrypted file to an unencrypted folder on an NTFS-formatted disc, there was a warning that the file was about to be copied without encryption.  Now that is no longer happening.  It appears that the behavior to which I was accustomed was not typical.
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