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Many people willing to pay for file encryption programs but did you know Windows XP, Vista, and Seven have built in file encryption capabilities? File encryption is more and more important as our data is the coming more mobile by the day. If you were to lose your laptop, a password may protect your information but if the person who finds your laptop takes out your hard drive and put it into a now the computer all install is a different operating system on your hard drive, they may still have access to your files. In this guide, you will learn how to encrypt your files in Windows 7 / Vista. See this guide for XP.

Note: Windows file encryption is available in Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise. Learn how to upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 7 Professional

Encrypt Your Files

To encrypt your files, do the following:

1. Right-click the file folder you wish to encrypt and click Properties.

7 encrypt files01 Encrypt Your Files in Windows [How To]

2. In the Properties dialog, click Advanced…

7 encrypt files02 Encrypt Your Files in Windows [How To]

3. Check Encrypt contents to secure data and click OK

7 encrypt files03 Encrypt Your Files in Windows [How To]

4. If you are encrypting a folder, you will be asked if you want to apply the encryption to subfolders. This is useful if you want to protect the whole tree under the folder you are encrypting.

7 encrypt files04 Encrypt Your Files in Windows [How To]

Your files will now be encrypted.

7 encrypt files05 Encrypt Your Files in Windows [How To]

Notice the file or folder names are now green–this provides an easy way to show the data is encrypted.

7 encrypt files06 Encrypt Your Files in Windows [How To]

Decrypt Your Files

If you want to decrypt your files or folders so they can be accessed on a different computer, simply follow the steps above and uncheck Encrypt contents to secure data.

Back Up Your Private Encryption Key

If you move your files to a new computer, operating system, or user account, you will need the private key to access your files. To backup the key after encrypting your files, do the following:

1. After encrypting your files for the first time, and icon should appear in the system tray. Double click on it.

encrypt files01 Encrypt Your Files in Windows [How To]

2. Click Back up now (recommended).

encrypt files02 Encrypt Your Files in Windows [How To]

3. On the Certificate Export Wizard, click Next

encrypt files03 Encrypt Your Files in Windows [How To]

4. Choose Personal Information Exchange and click Next.

encrypt files04 Encrypt Your Files in Windows [How To]

5. Type a password and click Next.

encrypt files05 Encrypt Your Files in Windows [How To]

6. Save your encryption key.

encrypt files07 Encrypt Your Files in Windows [How To]

7. Click Finish.

encrypt files08 Encrypt Your Files in Windows [How To]

You will be notified that the certificate export is successful.

encrypt files09 Encrypt Your Files in Windows [How To]

8. Back up the certificate for later use.

encrypt files10 Encrypt Your Files in Windows [How To]

Your files and certificate are now protected.



 Encrypt Your Files in Windows [How To]

About Rich

Rich is the owner and creator of Windows Guides; he spends his time breaking things on his PC so he can write how-to guides to fix the problems he creates.

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Comments

  • Fellknight

    Well but if ecrypting is so easy and free what’s the purpose of Windos 7′s Bitlocker Drive Encryption/Bit Locker to go?

  • Fellknight

    Well but if ecrypting is so easy and free what’s the purpose of Windos 7′s Bitlocker Drive Encryption/Bit Locker to go?

  • Fellknight

    Well but if ecrypting is so easy and free what’s the purpose of Windos 7′s Bitlocker Drive Encryption/Bit Locker to go?

  • Fellknight

    Well but if ecrypting is so easy and free what’s the purpose of Windos 7′s Bitlocker Drive Encryption/Bit Locker to go?

  • Encrypt Files on Your Hard Dri

    [...] from:  Encrypt Files upon Your Hard Drive in Windows Vista/Seven [How To #8230 Share and [...]

  • Encrypt Files on Your Hard Dri

    [...] from:  Encrypt Files upon Your Hard Drive in Windows Vista/Seven [How To #8230 Share and [...]

  • Encrypt Files on Your Hard Dri

    [...] from:  Encrypt Files upon Your Hard Drive in Windows Vista/Seven [How To #8230 Share and [...]

  • Pingback: Encrypt Files on Your Hard Drive in Windows Vista/Seven [How To … | www.windows7vista.com

  • Encrypt Files on Your Hard Dri

    [...] See original here: Encrypt Files on Your Hard Drive in Windows Vista/Seven [How To #8230 [...]

  • Encrypt Files on Your Hard Dri

    [...] See original here: Encrypt Files on Your Hard Drive in Windows Vista/Seven [How To #8230 [...]

  • Encrypt Files on Your Hard Dri

    [...] See original here: Encrypt Files on Your Hard Drive in Windows Vista/Seven [How To #8230 [...]

  • Pingback: Encrypt Files on Your Hard Drive in Windows Vista/Seven [How To … | Windows (7) Affinity

  • Decrypt Your Encrypted Files i

    [...] previous guides, I showed you how to encrypt your files in Windows (XP) (Vista/7) In this guide, I#8217ll show you how to decrypt these files. You may need to decrypt your files [...]

  • Decrypt Your Encrypted Files i

    [...] previous guides, I showed you how to encrypt your files in Windows (XP) (Vista/7) In this guide, I#8217ll show you how to decrypt these files. You may need to decrypt your files [...]

  • Decrypt Your Encrypted Files i

    [...] previous guides, I showed you how to encrypt your files in Windows (XP) (Vista/7) In this guide, I#8217ll show you how to decrypt these files. You may need to decrypt your files [...]

  • Darryl Caldwell

    Why can’t they just put a big button next to a file that says “Encrypt This File”. Why so complicated? For me, it’s worth spending money on encryption software because it’s a lot easier to use than the multiple clicks required above. Who needs the hassle? The software I use is called SensiGuard and it encrypts files with a single click of a big button. Also, it shreds files that Windows never really deletes. Works on flash drives, too, and you can move files from one computer to another without needing the software installed on the others. Spend the 40 bucks – it’s worth it.

  • Darryl Caldwell

    Why can’t they just put a big button next to a file that says “Encrypt This File”. Why so complicated? For me, it’s worth spending money on encryption software because it’s a lot easier to use than the multiple clicks required above. Who needs the hassle? The software I use is called SensiGuard and it encrypts files with a single click of a big button. Also, it shreds files that Windows never really deletes. Works on flash drives, too, and you can move files from one computer to another without needing the software installed on the others. Spend the 40 bucks – it’s worth it.

  • Darryl Caldwell

    Why can’t they just put a big button next to a file that says “Encrypt This File”. Why so complicated? For me, it’s worth spending money on encryption software because it’s a lot easier to use than the multiple clicks required above. Who needs the hassle? The software I use is called SensiGuard and it encrypts files with a single click of a big button. Also, it shreds files that Windows never really deletes. Works on flash drives, too, and you can move files from one computer to another without needing the software installed on the others. Spend the 40 bucks – it’s worth it.

  • Darryl Caldwell

    Why can’t they just put a big button next to a file that says “Encrypt This File”. Why so complicated? For me, it’s worth spending money on encryption software because it’s a lot easier to use than the multiple clicks required above. Who needs the hassle? The software I use is called SensiGuard and it encrypts files with a single click of a big button. Also, it shreds files that Windows never really deletes. Works on flash drives, too, and you can move files from one computer to another without needing the software installed on the others. Spend the 40 bucks – it’s worth it.

  • Darryl Caldwell

    Why can’t they just put a big button next to a file that says “Encrypt This File”. Why so complicated? For me, it’s worth spending money on encryption software because it’s a lot easier to use than the multiple clicks required above. Who needs the hassle? The software I use is called SensiGuard and it encrypts files with a single click of a big button. Also, it shreds files that Windows never really deletes. Works on flash drives, too, and you can move files from one computer to another without needing the software installed on the others. Spend the 40 bucks – it’s worth it.

  • snooperz

    Thanks, It’s nice to use the software in windows for some things. I have so many 3rd party apps, it’s good to see windows is good for something.

  • snooperz

    Thanks, It’s nice to use the software in windows for some things. I have so many 3rd party apps, it’s good to see windows is good for something.

  • snooperz

    Thanks, It’s nice to use the software in windows for some things. I have so many 3rd party apps, it’s good to see windows is good for something.

  • snooperz

    Thanks, It’s nice to use the software in windows for some things. I have so many 3rd party apps, it’s good to see windows is good for something.

  • snooperz

    Thanks, It’s nice to use the software in windows for some things. I have so many 3rd party apps, it’s good to see windows is good for something.

  • Me

    The option to encrypt is greyed out. Figures.

  • http://richr.org/ Rich

    Is your disk file system NTFS?

  • guest

    Mine is also greyed out and file system is NTFS

  • http://richr.org/ Rich

    Which version of Windows are you using?

  • Excutivemaxmd

    How do you encrypt and decrypt in vista and window 7. How do you get a wallpaper on your desktop on window 7

  • Confused

    I’m confused. After jumping through the hoops, saving my encryption key, I created a new user called “Glub” and logged in as him. I could still access the files and run the videos I had supposedly protected. So could all my family. Curious, I now removed the disk drive and placed it in my daughter’s machine. All files still visible and no need for any encryption key. Am I missing something here? (Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate)

  • Allthingsspice

    After encrypting, and they have all turned green. I created the key and made a password. But after clicking finish, how do I find it again to back it up (the certificate). And what happens when I now want to encrypt something else, is it all automatically entered into the same certificate? Because I dont have any more entries in my system tray? Thank you

  • Aleksandr Lawati

    do we need export the backup file each time we do encrypt something ?

  • Casey

    I am unable to click the ‘encrypt contents to secure data’ option

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QTNZ5YD4E357T6KGS6KSRQPNHU 78Delta

    Windows 7 only has encryption capabilities in the Ultimate and Enterprise versions


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