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EFS File Encryption - Will changing my Windows 7 Logon Password 'break' the relationship to EFS-encrypted folders?

OK, so I've turned-on EFS Encryption on certain folders on my NTFS drive(s), and I am the Administrator logon under Windows 7 Professional.  No problem so far: The EFS folders' names appear in green text; indicating that they're encrypted.  But - if I (keep my same User Account logon NAME) - but change my Windows 7 Logon PASSWORD only, will this 'break' the relationship that currently allows me to access the EFS-entrypted files / folders?  I know changing my user name or doing a password reset from another Administrator account will hose things up, but wasn't sure if I am now forever unable to change just my Windows Logon password due to the EFS encrypted stuff on my drive(s).  Any definitive answer out there?  Thanks!

Hi Dougham Delta_Tech-Guy,


You can safely change Windows logon password even though you have files or folders encrypted as both are EFS (Encrypting File System) happens at file-system level. As long as you possess the key, you should be able to access the file or folder. If a user attempts to open a file and possesses the key to do so, the file opens without additional effort on the user's part. If the user doesn't possess the key, they receive an "Access denied" error message.


As such you should always take back up of your encryption certificate and encryption key and store them in a safe place.


If your encryption certificate and key are lost or damaged, you won't be able to use the files that you have encrypted. For more information, see Back up Encrypting File System (EFS) certificate.



Additional resources:


Encrypt or decrypt a folder or file


When should I encrypt files and folders?


Shinmila H - Microsoft Support

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Question Info

Last updated April 19, 2020 Views 3,260 Applies to: