Quickly Check EFS Attributes

Posted on January 8, 2009 by Daniel Petri in Security with

How can I check to see if a file is encrypted with EFS or not?

When you try to access a file on an NTFS file system volume, you may receive an "access is denied" error message. The file’s NTFS permissions indicate that you can access the file. Sometimes this means that the file is encrypted with EFS.

To determine if a file has been encrypted:

  1. Start Windows Explorer, and then click Detail on the View menu to view the details of the folder’s contents.

  2. Click Choose Columns from the View menu, and then click to select the Attributes check box to add the Attributes column to the current view, and to view the file attributes.

    You can also right-click any portion of the details header-column and click the Attributes column to be displayed.

  1. If there is an "E" in the Attributes column for that file, the file is encrypted.

You can also use the CIPHER command from a CMD window:

Run the CIPHER command without any parameters to display the encryption status of files and folders.

A U means that the file/folder is un-encrypted. An E means that it is encrypted.

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