Create a recovery certificate in Windows 7

When you encrypt files in Windows 7, it requires an encrypting file system (EFS) certificate which is issued to you by Windows 7. A recovery certificate is a special EFS certificate you can use to recover encrypted files if your encryption key is lost or damaged. You can create a recovery certificate very easily. Here is how :

Note : You should store the recovery certificate on a removable device like a USB stick instead of a local hard disk.

  1. Press the key combination Windows logo key + R to open the Run dialog.
  2. In the Run dialog, type cmd and press Enter to open the command prompt window.

    Run dialog to start command prompt in Windows 7

  3. In the command prompt window, type the following and press Enter after each line :
    cipher /R:Recovery
  4. Creating a recovery certificate in Windows 7

    Here we have assumed the drive you want to store the recovery certificate on is H:. You should change the first command accordingly.

  5. You will be asked the password to protect the PFX file twice. Supply yhe password and you will see the files Recovery.PFX and Recovery.CER created on your removable USB drive.