How to Recover Encrypted Files Without Certificate or Password

Jean updated on Sep 17, 2019 to File Recovery | How-to Articles


Follow the encrypted file recovery tips and learn how to recover encrypted files when you lose critical certificate, key or password. For virus encrypted file recovery, the last part of a recommended third-party data recovery tool might help, because it can recover the original files before encryption. Don't miss.

How to decrypt a file...

"Recently encrypted some of my files in Windows 10 and kept my encryption key in my Documents folder in C drive. I reinstalled Windows OS the other day and the encryption key has lost due to formatting. Can I decrypt the file in other ways?"

"All files and folders on my USB pen drive were encrypted by unknown viruses. I was threatened to pay Bitcoin to recover encrypted files which I don't want to. I need a way to decrypt encrypted files from the virus."

Overview of encrypted file recovery

Sometimes we tend to protect privacy by using some file encryption tools, such as EFS (Encrypting File System), which provides the core file encryption technology used to store encrypted files on NTFS file system volumes, so only with a certificate can people access the EFS locked files. What's more, there is even another unwanted seen way of files being encrypted, which is by computer viruses or ransomware. For example, shortcut virus encrypted files and turned files into shortcuts.

encrypted file recovery

Lost certificate but want to recover files

Do you forget the EFS certificate and lose access to files? Or, do you try to decrypt encrypted files by a virus? Welcome to this page, where you'll find alternative solutions to recover encrypted files without requiring necessary grants.

Method One - clear encryption attribute

1. Open Windows Explorer
2. Right-click the encrypted file or folder, and then click Properties.
3. On the General tab, click Advanced.
4. Clear the Encrypt contents to secure data check box.

Method Two - ask help from the recovery agent (file encryption software provider)

1. Make a copy of the file in case of loss or damage.
2. Send the original encrypted file to the designated recovery agent, namely the file encryption software provider.
3. Have the recovery agent use their recovery certificate and private key to decrypt the file.
4. Have the recovery agent send the decrypted file back to you, using any file transfer method that is desired.

Infected virus but want to recover files

Note that this is only for encrypted file recovery from a virus, not including those by encryption tools. In addition, it's the most powerful third-party data recovery software that you should primarily try, since many viruses encrypted your files and folders by 3 steps: make an exact copy of files and folders > encrypt the copy > delete the original.

That's why we recommend EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to help recover original files deleted by the virus, by which achieving the goal of virus file recovery.


Step 1: Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

Select the disk partition or storage location where you lost files and click "Scan".

Run file recovery software.

Step 2: EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard will start a scanning process to find lost files.

The scanning process will automatically start to find all of the files.

Scan and find lost files.

Step 3: Preview and restore lost files.

You can filter scan results by file type, select found files and click "Recover" to get them back. You should save the files to another safe spot in your PC/storage device, not where they were lost from.

Restore virus deleted files.
Do You Need Specialized Data Recovery Services?
You may need further help for tough data loss situations like format errors, RAW disk, partition loss, repartition failures and system boot error. Consult with EaseUS Data Recovery Experts to retrieve lost data in time.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files to better verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

5. 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.

About Data Recovery Wizard

It's super easy to recover 250+ types of files after deletion, disk formatting and virus infection. Click the links and compare the difference of each version.