I had Shared a Folder for a Colleague in my company . Recently we had to format our servers due to some reason.

New Active Directory has been Created. My colleague had some EFS encrypted files in the folder. The files are still in that folder, however I am unable to open the encrypted ones. I have disabled the inheritance and tried to add a new user account, but it shows Acess Denied

IS there any possible solution so that i can get those files decrypted? The old user account is gone forever.

  • 1
    What OS version are you using ?
    – Overmind
    Jun 9, 2017 at 9:44
  • Windows 7 joined to AD .
    – asifzharaf
    Jun 11, 2017 at 11:29
  • Take ownership of the location, then decrypt the content (assuming you know the pass), then re-encrypt it with the new user account if needed.
    – Overmind
    Jun 12, 2017 at 8:40
  • @Overmind Can you tell me how to do that.
    – asifzharaf
    Jun 12, 2017 at 8:59
  • There's a MS guide on this: technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753659(v=ws.11).aspx
    – Overmind
    Jun 12, 2017 at 9:03

1 Answer 1


Because of the domain re-build, your situation is equivalent to the user account being deleted. I would recommend all troubleshooting take place directly on the computer hosting the EFS data, and not over the network.

Since you cannot restore the original user account and password used to encrypt the file, you will need to use a recovery certificate.

Check the advanced properties (Properties -> Advanced -> Details) of the encrypted file to determine if there are any recovery certificates in place. You can also use the EFS info resource kit tool to do this. Contact your Domain Administrator for assistance with decryption if there are any recovery certificates listed. They should have a private key associated with the recovery certificate that can be used to decrypt the files.

Here are some additional EFS troubleshooting scenarios that may apply to your situation:



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