Are your files automatically getting encrypted when stored on your Windows 10 computer? This post explains in detail how to remove encryption in Windows 10, 8, or 7. And you can learn how to decrypt a file and change encrypted files to normal files, like unencrypt PDF and Excel. Besides, you can use a professional virus attack data recovery tool to recover ransomware encrypted files.
Quick Navigation for Solutions to Remove File Encryption:
|Workable Solutions||Step-by-step Troubleshooting|
|Remove Encrypt Contents||Right-click encrypted file/folder > "Properties" > "Advanced” > "Encrypt Contents to Secure Data"...Full steps|
|Remove Encryption from PDF||Open encrypted PDF in Adobe Acrobat > "Advanced" > "Security" > "Remove Security"...Full steps|
|Remove Encryption from Excel||Open encrypted Excel > "Review" > "Unprotected Sheet" > Enter password...Full steps|
|Restore Ransomware Encrypted File||Launch EaseUS file recovery software > Scan device > Restore lost files deleted by ransomware...Full steps|
How to Decrypt a File
"My files located on the desktop are automatically getting encrypted after moving to any other locations, and the color of the file name changes to green. By clicking the file Property, in the Advanced Settings, the option Encrypt contents to secure data is automatically checked without asking my permission. How to remove encryption in Windows and how to decrypt a file?"
Overview of File Encryption
Windows Encrypting File System (EFS) is one of the basic file/folder encryption technology that enables files to be transparently encrypted to protect confidential data from attackers with physical access to the computer. When files are encrypted in this way, the file name will show green color instead of the normal black text. Except for EFS, Windows comes with another encryption feature, named BitLocker, also can guard important data by encoding logical drives.
Once you enable encryption function for your drives, new or existing files, and folders will be automatically encrypted on the drive with a certificate and private key. If you copy unencrypted files to a folder with encrypted property, they will also be automatically encrypted. This makes it impossible for unauthorized users to access and edit the data.
How to Remove Encrypt Contents to Secure Data
You can remove file system encryption by unchecking the "Encrypt Contents to Secure Data" feature. Yes, this only works for the file system, not for a specific file. If you want to decrypt files, the certificate or password is indispensable. To recover encrypted files without password, check the topic article.
1. Find the file or folder you wish to encrypt.
2. Right-click the file/folder and click "Properties." Then, click the "Advanced..." button on the General screen.
3. Check the box "Encrypt Contents to Secure Data" under the Compress or Encrypt attributes section, then click the "OK" button.
4. Continuing clicking the "OK" button. An encryption warning box will pop up.
5. Check the "Encrypt the File Only" box to encrypt the individual file, then click "OK" to finish.
How to Decrypt a File in Windows 10/8/7
Read this part and see how to decrypt PDF and Excel files. If your encrypted files are lost, you can recover deleted data first, and use the ways below to decode.
How to Remove Encryption from a PDF File
PDF is one of the most reliable file formats used by the users to present and exchange documents. Nowadays, security is the main concern for all the users, so many users choose to encrypt there PDF documents applying passwords to them. However, when others need to read the PDF, you need to remove the encryption. Follow the following steps to decrypt a PDF file in Adobe Acrobat. And the premise is you must know the password.
1. Open Adobe Acrobat on your computer.
2. Open the protected PDF file and type the password when prompted.
3. Click "Advanced" at the top of the Acrobat window. Select "Security" and then click "Remove Security."
4. Click "OK" to confirm the action and remove the encryption. Then, press "Ctrl+S" to save the unencrypted PDF file.
How to Remove Encryption from Excel
Remove the encryption from Excel worksheet and Excel document is different. Check the way respectively.
Decrypt an Excel Worksheet
1. Click the "Review" tab on the too bar. Then, choose "Unprotect Sheet". You will be prompted for a password.
2. Enter the password and click "OK". Now, you have removed the password from an Excel worksheet, and you can start editing.
Unencrypt an Excel Document
1. Open the Excel document you want to remove encryption.
2. Click "File" > "Info" > "Protect Workbook." In the drop-down menu, click "Encrypt with Password". The password entry box arises.
3. Delete the password in the box, leaving the box empty. Click "OK" to remove the password from the document. Then, click "Save" before exiting the document.
How to Remove Encryption from Ransomware Infected Files
In addition to actively encrypting your files, your files can also be encrypted permissively by a ransomware virus. In this case, we suggest that you don't pay the ransom and use a data recovery software to recover the deleted original files by ransomware. In this way, you can remove the encryption.
You need to understand that most of the computer virus encrypts files in three steps, like the screenshot below. First, make an entire copy of all the files; second, delete all original files; third, encrypt the copy. That's why you see encrypted files as soon as your computer were virus-infected.
To recover ransomware encrypted files, you can use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. This powerful file recovery software allows you to recover data from virus attack, accidental deletion, hard drive formatting, partition loss, recycle bin emptying, and more.
Step 1. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Select the disk partition or storage device where you lost files and click the "Scan" button.
Step 2. This program will quickly start a scanning process to find lost files. When the process accomplishes, you can double-click files to have a preview before selection.
Step 3. Choose the files you want. Then click the "Recover" button to get them back. You should save the data to another safe spot in your PC/storage device, not where they lost.
After data recovery, continue taking time to remove the virus with antivirus software to make sure your computer is clean. We highly suggest that you back up your important files regularly to avoid unexpected data loss. You can do it manually or automatically by using a Windows schedule backup software.
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Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?
"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..." —PCMag
"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get." —techradar
"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive." —Macworld
- 2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?
It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.
Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.
- 3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?
A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.
If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.
- 4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?
The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.
- 5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?
The Free version helps you save 2GB files, so verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.
- 6. How long does it take to scan the drive?
It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.