Solved EFS UI popup telling me to back up my encryption key

Richj44

Member
Local time
7:35 AM
Posts
15
OS
Windows 11
But I don't have anything encrypted...at least not intentionally. This just started today, and I have been on Windows 11 for several weeks now. It is the Pro version, but I have not enabled Bit Locker. I haven't been able to find anyone else having this exact issue searching via Google so I thought I'd ask here if anyone knows why I would be getting the poput.

Currently I'm on Windows 11 Pro v 21H2 build 22000.258. Thanks in advance for any help or advice.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Homemade
    CPU
    Intel I5-11400
    Motherboard
    MSI Z590-A Pro
    Memory
    32Gb Corsair Vengeance (8Gb x 4)
    Graphics Card(s)
    MSI GTX 1660 TI
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Viotek 32"
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 EVO
    PSU
    Seasonic Focus Gold 750
    Case
    Phantek Enthu Pro
    Cooling
    Deepcool Castle 360
    Keyboard
    Saitek
    Mouse
    Logitech
    Internet Speed
    1Gb
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    MCAfee

ashleyg

Member
VIP
Local time
1:35 AM
Posts
49
Location
New Zealand
OS
Windows 11 Pro

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP EliteBook 840 G4
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-7300U
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    SSD
    Other Info
    TPM 2.0 enabled
    "Your PC does not meet the minimum hardware requirements recommended for windows 11, and there may be issues and bugs that impact your experience."
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP EliteBook 840 G4
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-7600U
    Graphics card(s)
    Integrated
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    SSD

Richj44

Member
Thread Starter
Local time
7:35 AM
Posts
15
OS
Windows 11
There is quite a bit of discussion/confusion on 'enforced' encryption with Win 11 - Check out this discussion:

Windows 11 encrypted my drive automatically

ashleyg
Ashley, thank you for the link, which I'm looking over now. The first thing I noticed though, is unlike some of the posters Bit Locker is not turned on on my machine. That was the first thing I checked when I got the popup. As far as I can tell it's warning me to back up a key which doesn't exist, but if something else is encrypting my disk or files I really would like to know what and why so I can turn it off. Regardless of Microsoft's opinion on the matter, I do not agree that I need encryption.

Off to read. Thanks again!
 

Attachments

  • Bitlocker .png
    Bitlocker .png
    10.4 KB · Views: 3

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Homemade
    CPU
    Intel I5-11400
    Motherboard
    MSI Z590-A Pro
    Memory
    32Gb Corsair Vengeance (8Gb x 4)
    Graphics Card(s)
    MSI GTX 1660 TI
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Viotek 32"
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 EVO
    PSU
    Seasonic Focus Gold 750
    Case
    Phantek Enthu Pro
    Cooling
    Deepcool Castle 360
    Keyboard
    Saitek
    Mouse
    Logitech
    Internet Speed
    1Gb
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    MCAfee

Richj44

Member
Thread Starter
Local time
7:35 AM
Posts
15
OS
Windows 11
One more thing. I don't seem to have the "Device Encryption" option under Privacy & Security Settings. Any idea why? SMH...
 

Attachments

  • Privacy.png
    Privacy.png
    17.5 KB · Views: 1

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Homemade
    CPU
    Intel I5-11400
    Motherboard
    MSI Z590-A Pro
    Memory
    32Gb Corsair Vengeance (8Gb x 4)
    Graphics Card(s)
    MSI GTX 1660 TI
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Viotek 32"
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 EVO
    PSU
    Seasonic Focus Gold 750
    Case
    Phantek Enthu Pro
    Cooling
    Deepcool Castle 360
    Keyboard
    Saitek
    Mouse
    Logitech
    Internet Speed
    1Gb
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    MCAfee

ashleyg

Member
VIP
Local time
1:35 AM
Posts
49
Location
New Zealand
OS
Windows 11 Pro
The first thing I noticed though, is unlike some of the posters Bit Locker is not turned on on my machine.

There seem to be two encryption components at play - Device Encryption and BitLocker encryption. I had Device Encryption enabled by default after my Win 11 Clean Install. BitLocker was not enabled. You can see the two separate entries under Settings>Privacy & Security>Device Encryption.

From the discussion they operate independently of each other but each seem to use BitLocker Keys.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP EliteBook 840 G4
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-7300U
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    SSD
    Other Info
    TPM 2.0 enabled
    "Your PC does not meet the minimum hardware requirements recommended for windows 11, and there may be issues and bugs that impact your experience."
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP EliteBook 840 G4
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-7600U
    Graphics card(s)
    Integrated
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    SSD

Richj44

Member
Thread Starter
Local time
7:35 AM
Posts
15
OS
Windows 11
There seem to be two encryption components at play - Device Encryption and BitLocker encryption. I had Device Encryption enabled by default after my Win 11 Clean Install. BitLocker was not enabled. You can see the two separate entries under Settings>Privacy & Security>Device Encryption.

From the discussion they operate independently of each other but each seem to use BitLocker Keys.
Yes, I had gathered that Device Encryption was a different animal, but the link showing how to enable/disable it isn't really helping since I don't seem to have that option in settings.

Can someone please explain why I am having to waste my time trying to fix a potential problem that I didn't create? Oh, right. Because I use Windows. Got it.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Homemade
    CPU
    Intel I5-11400
    Motherboard
    MSI Z590-A Pro
    Memory
    32Gb Corsair Vengeance (8Gb x 4)
    Graphics Card(s)
    MSI GTX 1660 TI
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Viotek 32"
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 EVO
    PSU
    Seasonic Focus Gold 750
    Case
    Phantek Enthu Pro
    Cooling
    Deepcool Castle 360
    Keyboard
    Saitek
    Mouse
    Logitech
    Internet Speed
    1Gb
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    MCAfee

ashleyg

Member
VIP
Local time
1:35 AM
Posts
49
Location
New Zealand
OS
Windows 11 Pro
I don't seem to have the "Device Encryption" option under Privacy & Security Settings
Sorry I can't answer that. Hopefully someone else will chip in here.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP EliteBook 840 G4
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-7300U
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    SSD
    Other Info
    TPM 2.0 enabled
    "Your PC does not meet the minimum hardware requirements recommended for windows 11, and there may be issues and bugs that impact your experience."
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP EliteBook 840 G4
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-7600U
    Graphics card(s)
    Integrated
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    SSD

Richj44

Member
Thread Starter
Local time
7:35 AM
Posts
15
OS
Windows 11
Sorry I can't answer that. Hopefully someone else will chip in here.
LOL! Sorry, it was just my way of blowing off some steam. I appreciate the help, believe me.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Homemade
    CPU
    Intel I5-11400
    Motherboard
    MSI Z590-A Pro
    Memory
    32Gb Corsair Vengeance (8Gb x 4)
    Graphics Card(s)
    MSI GTX 1660 TI
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Viotek 32"
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 EVO
    PSU
    Seasonic Focus Gold 750
    Case
    Phantek Enthu Pro
    Cooling
    Deepcool Castle 360
    Keyboard
    Saitek
    Mouse
    Logitech
    Internet Speed
    1Gb
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    MCAfee

ashleyg

Member
VIP
Local time
1:35 AM
Posts
49
Location
New Zealand
OS
Windows 11 Pro
No problem. I'm new to encryption but it's certainly wanting to make itself known with Win 11.
I've turned it off for now but will stay tuned so I can learn.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP EliteBook 840 G4
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-7300U
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    SSD
    Other Info
    TPM 2.0 enabled
    "Your PC does not meet the minimum hardware requirements recommended for windows 11, and there may be issues and bugs that impact your experience."
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP EliteBook 840 G4
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-7600U
    Graphics card(s)
    Integrated
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    SSD

FreeBooter

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Local time
3:35 PM
Posts
540
OS
Windows 11
It looks like you have encrypted a file using file Properties page open the Command Prompt and execute cipher /u /n /h command to list all encrypted files.

 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
    Motherboard
    Erica6
    Memory
    Micron Technology DDR4-3200 16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC671
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung SyncMaster U28E590
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    SAMSUNG MZVLQ1T0HALB-000H1

Richj44

Member
Thread Starter
Local time
7:35 AM
Posts
15
OS
Windows 11
It looks like you have encrypted a file using file Properties page open the Command Prompt and execute cipher /u /n /h command to list all encrypted files.

Thanks for the tip. While I personally haven't encrypted anything, running cipher /u /n /h does indeed show a long list of files. Is that telling me that they are all encrypted? If so, how would I un-encrypt them? Most of them are related to the Intel Graphics driver that I installed yesterday, which is the same day I started seeing the popup.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Homemade
    CPU
    Intel I5-11400
    Motherboard
    MSI Z590-A Pro
    Memory
    32Gb Corsair Vengeance (8Gb x 4)
    Graphics Card(s)
    MSI GTX 1660 TI
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Viotek 32"
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 EVO
    PSU
    Seasonic Focus Gold 750
    Case
    Phantek Enthu Pro
    Cooling
    Deepcool Castle 360
    Keyboard
    Saitek
    Mouse
    Logitech
    Internet Speed
    1Gb
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    MCAfee

FreeBooter

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Local time
3:35 PM
Posts
540
OS
Windows 11
To undo the operation and decrypt the file simply use /d, which stands for decrypt.

Code:
Cipher /d File.txt

To check whether or not your file was indeed encrypted/decrypted use the cipher command without any parameters followed by the name of your file or folder:

Code:
Cipher File.txt


The encryption status of your file or folder should appear at once.
  • If the result is U it means that the file is unencrypted.
  • If the result is E it means that the file is encrypted.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
    Motherboard
    Erica6
    Memory
    Micron Technology DDR4-3200 16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC671
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung SyncMaster U28E590
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    SAMSUNG MZVLQ1T0HALB-000H1

Richj44

Member
Thread Starter
Local time
7:35 AM
Posts
15
OS
Windows 11
Thanks for all the help, FreeBooter. There are way too many files to deal with on an individual basis. But the good news is my friendly little popup warning seems to have gone away for now. I wish I could take credit for that, but it just seems to come and go as it pleases. At least if it shows up again I'll have some idea what's going on thanks to all the help I got here.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Homemade
    CPU
    Intel I5-11400
    Motherboard
    MSI Z590-A Pro
    Memory
    32Gb Corsair Vengeance (8Gb x 4)
    Graphics Card(s)
    MSI GTX 1660 TI
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Viotek 32"
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 EVO
    PSU
    Seasonic Focus Gold 750
    Case
    Phantek Enthu Pro
    Cooling
    Deepcool Castle 360
    Keyboard
    Saitek
    Mouse
    Logitech
    Internet Speed
    1Gb
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    MCAfee
Local time
7:35 AM
Posts
7
OS
Windows 10 Pro
But I don't have anything encrypted...at least not intentionally. This just started today, and I have been on Windows 11 for several weeks now. It is the Pro version, but I have not enabled Bit Locker. I haven't been able to find anyone else having this exact issue searching via Google so I thought I'd ask here if anyone knows why I would be getting the poput.

Currently I'm on Windows 11 Pro v 21H2 build 22000.258. Thanks in advance for any help or advice.
I started getting this prompt on one of my Win10 installations the other day, my 2nd PC which is not even Win11 compatible! I wonder what's going on? I don't have Bitlocker enabled on it, nor have I ever used EFS.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    built myself
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 10700K
    Motherboard
    MSI Z490-A Pro
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel UHD Graphics 630
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender
    Other Info
    TPM 2.0
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    built myself
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 6800K
    Motherboard
    Asus X99-E
    Graphics card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender
    Other Info
    no TPM

johnlgalt

Antidisestablishmentarianistentarianist
Power User
VIP
Local time
7:35 AM
Posts
1,942
Location
3rd Rock
OS
Windows 10 Pro X64
Have you always used a Microsoft account to log into Windows?
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro X64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HomeBrew
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
    Motherboard
    MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE
    Memory
    4 * Corsair Vengeance 32 GB 3600 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    eVGA GeForce GTX 970 SSC ACX 2.0 (04G-P4-3979-KB)
    Sound Card
    Realtek® ALC1220 Codec
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 * Lenovo LT2323pwA Widescreeen
    Screen Resolution
    2* 1920*1080
    Hard Drives
    3x Sabrent Rocket PCIe Gen4 NVMe M.2 1 TB SSD (SB-ROCKET-NVMe4-1TB)
    SanDisk Ultra SDSSDHII-960G-G25 960 GB SATA III SSD
    Crucial MX100 CT256MX100SSD1 256GB SATA III SSD
    2 * Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM --> RAID1
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling’s Silencer Series 1050 Watt, 80 Plus Platinum
    Case
    Fractal Design Define 7 XL Dark ATX Full Tower Case
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 x64 Pro build 21H1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Latitude E5470
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-6300U CPU @ 2.40GHz, 2501 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
    Motherboard
    Dell
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel(R) HD Graphics 520
    Sound Card
    Intel(R) HD Graphics 520 + RealTek Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell laptop display 15"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 * 1080
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba 128GB M.2 22300 drive
    INTEL Cherryvill 520 Series SSDSC2CW180A 180 GB SATA III SSD
    PSU
    Dell
    Case
    Dell
    Cooling
    Dell
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master (shared) | Dell TouchPad
    Keyboard
    Dell
    Internet Speed
    AT&T LightSpeed Gigabit Duplex
    Browser
    Edge Chromium | Chrome | Firefox Nightly | Brave
    Antivirus
    Defender + MB4

FreeBooter

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Local time
3:35 PM
Posts
540
OS
Windows 11
You are very welcome!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
    Motherboard
    Erica6
    Memory
    Micron Technology DDR4-3200 16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC671
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung SyncMaster U28E590
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    SAMSUNG MZVLQ1T0HALB-000H1

Richj44

Member
Thread Starter
Local time
7:35 AM
Posts
15
OS
Windows 11
Have you always used a Microsoft account to log into Windows?
Chiming back in to answer this, in my case I always log in with a Microsoft account.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Homemade
    CPU
    Intel I5-11400
    Motherboard
    MSI Z590-A Pro
    Memory
    32Gb Corsair Vengeance (8Gb x 4)
    Graphics Card(s)
    MSI GTX 1660 TI
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Viotek 32"
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 EVO
    PSU
    Seasonic Focus Gold 750
    Case
    Phantek Enthu Pro
    Cooling
    Deepcool Castle 360
    Keyboard
    Saitek
    Mouse
    Logitech
    Internet Speed
    1Gb
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    MCAfee
Local time
7:35 AM
Posts
7
OS
Windows 10 Pro
Have you always used a Microsoft account to log into Windows?

In my case, I've always used a local account. The only thing that changed around the time it started was the October Patch Tuesday stuff. Explorer is set to show encrypted files in blue, and I can't find a single one on the system.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    built myself
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 10700K
    Motherboard
    MSI Z490-A Pro
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel UHD Graphics 630
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender
    Other Info
    TPM 2.0
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    built myself
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 6800K
    Motherboard
    Asus X99-E
    Graphics card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender
    Other Info
    no TPM

Mystere

Member
Member
VIP
Local time
6:35 AM
Posts
64
OS
Windows 11
EFS is Encrypted File System, and it allows you to encrypt specific folders on your drive without encrypting the whole drive.

EFS uses a different certificate and key system, there's instructions on backing it up here:


EFS is different from BitLocker (which is whole drive encryption) vs Device Encryption which is something else which you can read about the difference here..

 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
Top Bottom