Fix: Encrypt contents to secure data greyed out Windows 11

by Abdul Moiz
Abdul Moiz
Abdul Moiz
Abdul Moiz loves technology, fashion, photography, and business. His first love is technology and he loves talking about it. How does he chill? You are most likely to... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • By encrypting files or folders, we can protect our confidential information from being accessed by unauthorized users.
  • Unfortunately, Windows 11 can unexpectedly fail to let you encrypt your files and folders due to a registry error.
  • The good news is that it is easy to fix, and a few simple methods will help very much.
Disabling encryption greyed out error using services

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Encrypting your files protects you from prying eyes and unauthorized access by individuals who are looking to access or steal your data. But recently, many Windows users are reporting that the ability to encrypt contents to secure data is grayed out in Windows 11.

No more worries! We’ve got you covered and will help you resolve this issue by providing fixes that will allow you to encrypt your files and folders again.

Why is encrypting contents to secure data grayed out on Windows 11?

So why is the option grayed out? It is due to an error in the registry value. 

But what caused the error in the registry value when you didn’t modify it yourself? How come it modifies itself automatically?

The answer to this is that any improperly uninstalled applications, viruses, trojans, or spyware can mess up your registry entries.

The other reason could also be a large number of unnecessary files that consume system resources without providing any additional value.

Fix encrypt contents to secure data that is grayed out in Windows 11

1. Using Windows Registry to enable the EFS

  1. Press Win + R to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Open the registry editor by typing Regedit.Opening registry editor in run window
  3. Click yes in the User Account Control popup.
  4. In the registry editor window, go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem
  5. Find the NtfsDisableEncryption key on the right-side windows pane.Editing NtfsDisableEncryption
  6. Double-click it to open it, then set the value to 1 and press enter.Changing the value to 1 from 0
  7. Restart your computer.

Check to see if the problem has been solved.

2. Using the command prompt to enable EFS

You can alternatively use the command prompt to enable EFS; to do that, follow the below steps:

  1. Open the Run dialog box by pressing the Win + R key.
  2. Write cmd and press enter.Using Run to access command prompt
  3. Enter command fsutil behavior set disableencryption 0Executing a command in the command prompt windows screen
  4. Press Enter, Once the command has been executed, restart your computer.

Check to see if the option encrypts contents to secure data works properly now.

3. Check if the Encryption File System (EFS) service is running

  1. Press Win + R to open the Run dialog box.
  2. In the Run box, type services.msc and hit Enter
  3. Locate the service named Encryption File System in the service window.Opening EFS in services window
  4. After locating it, double-click on the Encryption File System service.
  5. Click on the Startup type and select Automatic.Changing the startup type to Automatic
  6. After that, click OK and then Apply.

If this doesn’t work, try the next solution listed below.

4. Confirm if you are using an NTFS drive

If you’re using FAT32 as your file system, change it to NTFS. As encryption can only be done on the NTFS file system.

To change the drives to NTFS, follow the below steps:

  1. Open the command prompt as an administrator from the start menu.Opening command prompt as an administrator
  2. Click on Yes in the User Access Control Prompt.
  3. Enter the command convert :/ fs:ntfsConverting a local disk to NTFS
  4. Press the Enter key to execute the command
Tip icon
Tip
If you want to convert the E drive, for example, the command should be converted to E:/ fs:ntfs

Hopefully, this helps. If not, we have one more fix that should help you!

5. Run a DISM and SFC scan

  1. Open command prompt as an administrator.
  2. In the User Access Control Prompt, click on Yes.
  3. Type the command sfc /scannowRunning SFC scan using command prompt
  4. Press Enter.

Now restart your system and check if the issue has been fixed. If not, try DISM scans.

  1. Run command prompt as an administrator.
  2. Type the command DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /scanhealthRunning DISM scan using command prompt
  3. Restart the system.

By doing this, all the corrupted files will be repaired, and you will be able to encrypt all your files and folders again.

Microsoft introduced the Encryption File System (EFS) with the launch of Windows 10, allowing you to encrypt your files and folders from being accessed by others. Folder lock is also a great third-party tool that you can alternatively use to encrypt your files and folders.

However, users started facing encrypting contents to secure data greyed out in Windows 11. This is because of misconfigured registry keys, group policies, etc. We hope this article helped you resolve the issue. 

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