How to Recover Encrypted Files Without Password

Jean updated on Oct 29, 2019 to File Recovery | How-to Articles

Summary

Encrypting files with EFS (Encrypting File System), Bitlocker, or other encryption methods can greatly improves the data security. But how to decrypt encrypted files without a password, or certificate? Follow the encrypted file recovery tips here to troubleshoot. For ransomware encrypted file recovery, you can use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to help you recover the deleted original files with ease.

Questions About How to Decrypt Files

Q1: "I 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 was lost due to formatting. Can I decrypt the file without the certificate?"

Q2: "Unknown viruses encrypted all files and folders on my USB pen drive. I was threatened to pay Bitcoin to recover encrypted files, which I don't want to. I need a way to decrypt encrypted files without a password."

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. 

encrypted file recovery

 

How to Encrypt a File in Windows 10/8/7

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.

Note: If you copy unencrypted files to a folder with encrypted property, they will be automatically encrypted.

how to recover encrypted files

EFS encryption is transparent. If you encrypt some data, you can access this data without any restriction. And you can decrypt the files system by unchecking the "Encrypt Contents to Secure Data" feature. Yes, this only works for the file system, not your specific file. If you want to decrypt files, the certificate or password is indispensable.

How to Decrypt Encrypted Files Without Password/Key

If you haven't exported and backed up the file encryption certificate before or if you have forgotten the password, you cannot decrypt encrypted files in the following situations.

  • Reinstalling Windows OS
  • Moving encrypted files to another computer
  • Recovering data from an encrypted disk

Suppose that you really need to decrypt files, you can search and try some online decryption tools. But you need to be aware that these tools are not 100% safe. You may be at risk of data theft or source data corruption. So think twice before trying these programs.

In addition to this case, where users actively use tools to encrypt, there is another unexpected way of files being encrypted, which is by viruses or ransomware. For example, ransomware encrypts and deletes files. In the next part, we will show you how to use a reliable ransomware encrypted file recovery tool to get back data without paying the ransom. 

How to Recover Files Encrypted by Ransomware

Since most ransomware encrypts your files and folders by three steps: make an exact copy of files and folders > encrypt the copy > delete the source files. How this works gives you a great opportunity to recover the encrypted files through professional data recovery software.

Here, we highly recommend you try EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. This virus attack data recovery program enables you to recover files infected by shortcut virus, restore files deleted and encrypted by ransomware like Locky, CryptoLocker, CryptoWall, and TorrentLocker, without paying.

Now, download this capable data recovery tool and start to recover ransomware encrypted files within three steps. Note that this is just for file recovery of shortcut virus or ransomware, not including those by encryption tools.

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Select the disk partition or storage device where you lost files and click the "Scan" button.

select a location and click scan

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.

scan deleted files

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.

Restore lost data from drive which was infected by virus
Do You Need Specialized Data Recovery Services?
You may need further help for tough data loss situations like reformatting drive, RAW disk, partition loss, repartition failures and system boot error. Consult with EaseUS Data Recovery Experts for cost-efficient one-on-one manual recovery service. They could offer the following services after FREE diagnosis:
1. Unformat the drive
2. Repair the RAID, RAW disk or operating system
3. Recover lost partition (the one that cannot be recovered by software)

Sum Up

You can use EFS or Bitlocker to encrypt your files and data. But to avoid losing the password, key, or certificate and not being able to decrypt files, we suggest you back up your encryption certificates and keys to a safe location, and remember your EFS backup password.

For solving the encryption problem caused by ransomware, the most important thing is preventing virus infection. Install and enable the anti-virus software on your computer. Moreover, back up important data and files on your computer regularly. 

 
 

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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 to better 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.

About Data Recovery Wizard

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