How to Stop EFS from Encrypting All New Files on Windows 10 Desktop

December 4, 2018 updated by Admin Leave a reply »

Any new files made on the desktop were being automatically encrypted? Unable to disable EFS for the desktop folder? Recently I also ran into this issue and every time I create a new file and save it to my desktop, a gold padlock icon appears on it. When I tried to turn off EFS, and it gave the error message “The specified file could not be decrypted“. Eventually I found 2 methods to stop EFS from encrypting all new files on the desktop in Windows 10.

Method 1: Using the File Ownership Context Menu

Open File Explorer and browse to your user profile folder C:\Users\user_name. You should see gold padlock icon over the desktop item. Just right-click it and select File ownership -> Personal.

That will turn off EFS encryption for your desktop immediately. Now, any new files dropped or created in the desktop should not encrypt automatically.

Method 2: Disable EFS Using Another Admin Account

Another solution is to log in to Windows with another administrative account. Right-click on the Desktop folder and select Properties. Go to the General tab and click Advanced. Untick that option “Encrypt contents to secure data” and click OK.

That’s it!