I have a Server 2008 file server, and and while here an employee encrypted several files, and has now since left to seek greener pastures.

I want to decrypt the files, so others can access them. Can I simply change the account password, then login as the user, and uncheck the encryption? Or will doing so destroy the encryption keys, rendering the files forever lost?

If logging in with a new password isn't going to work, how can I go about decrypting the files? The employees user account was a domain account, and I have domain administrator access.

I am not sure what method of encryption is being utilized, beyond the File Properties > Advanced > Encrypt contents to secure data checkbox, and the filenames are green.


  • Call the person and tell them to provide their password. Setup group policies to prevent encryption, so things cannot be encrypted in the future. Or plan, and setup a Recovery Agent. – Zoredache Feb 6 '13 at 1:28
  • Somewhat useful information can be found here. security.stackexchange.com/questions/7990/… – Zoredache Feb 6 '13 at 1:29

Use the recovery agent account, usually local admin or domain admin account.

Check out this answer over on StackOverflow

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