Disable File Encryption in Windows 7 Using Group Policy

Windows allows you to encrypt files or folders by just setting the encryption bit in their file properties. You can read the article on how to encrypt files and folders in Windows 7. But sometimes as an administrator you may want to disable encryption of files for all the users. Disabling the file encryption system in Windows would prohibit all users from encrypting files or folder. Here is how you can disable file encryption in Windows 7 using group policy :

  1. Press the keyboard shortcut Windows Logo Key + R to open the Run dialog.
  2. Type gpedit.msc in the Run dialog and press Enter.

    Run Group Policy Editor

  3. Select Computer Configuration → Windows Settings → Security Settings → Public Key Policies → Encrypting File System in the Group Policy Editor.

    Disable File Encrypting File System

  4. Right-click on Encrypting File System and select Properties.
  5. Select Don’t Allow under the category File Encryption using File Encryption System. Then click OK to save the settings.

    Disable File Encrypting File System

That’s it – encryption is disabled. If now you try to encrypt a file or folder using in-built Windows’ encrypting file system, it will throw an error saying that it is disabled in the system.

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