Fix Encrypt Contents to Secure Data Greyed out in Windows 11

Follow a comprehensive guide to solve this error in 5 different ways

by Abdul Moiz
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Abdul Moiz
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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 there are different ways that you can use the registry to fix this.
regedit-windows 11 encrypt contents to secure data greyed out windows 11

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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 greyed 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 the encryption option greyed out in Windows 11?

An error inside the registry value is the main cause of this issue. The error inside the registry value can be caused by the following:

  • Improperly uninstalled applications – Sometimes, uninstalling an application manually will leave some traces behind that interfere with your OS’s functionality.
  • Viruses, trojans, spyware – Viruses are known to cause a plethora of issues, and this is no exception. That’s why we strongly recommend choosing one of the best virus removal tools.
  • A large number of unnecessary files – Junk files not only slow down the PC, but they also cause bugs and errors.

For those who are reporting that the Encrypt contents to secure data is greyed out in Windows 11 Home, you should be aware that the Encrypted File System (EFS) is not included in the Windows Home edition of the operating system, so it’s normal for it to be greyed out.

To be able to utilize EFS, you will first need to update your Windows to either the Education, Enterprise or Pro edition. Only then will you be able to encrypt your files.

What can I do if Encrypt contents to secure data option is greyed out?

1. Use Windows Registry to enable the EFS

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open the Registry and enter regedit then click OK.regedit-ok how to clean registry windows 10
  2. Enter the following address inside the search bar at the top, then double-click the NtfsDisableEncryption key and set its Value data to 0 and click OK: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystemregistr-ntsf-0 encrypt contents to secure data greyed out windows 11
  3. Restart your computer to apply the changes made.

2. Use the command prompt to enable EFS

  1. Press Windows type cmd and click Run as administrator under the result on the right.cmd-admin hp printer won't scan
  2. Enter the following command and press Enter: fsutil behavior set disableencryption 0Executing a command in the command prompt windows screen
  3. Once the command has been executed, restart your computer. The Encrypt contents to secure data greyed out in Windows 11 issue will be solved.

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

  1. Press the Windows and R keys at the same time to launch Run then input services.msc and hit Enter or click OK.services can't remove bluetooth device windows 10
  2. Locate the service named Encryption File System in the service window and double-click it.Opening EFS in services window
  3. Click on the Startup type and select Automatic. After that, click Apply and then OK.automatic-startup encrypt contents to secure data greyed out windows 11
  4. Reboot your computer once you’ve done this.

4. Confirm if you are using an NTFS drive

  1. Press Windows enter cmd and open the top result as an administrator.cmd-admin hp printer won't scan
  2. Enter the following command and press Enter. Note that you should change the drive letter in case you want to convert another one: convert C:/ fs:ntfsconvert-command encrypt contents to secure data greyed out windows 11

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

5. Run DISM and SFC scans

  1. Press Windows enter cmd and click Run as administrator under the result.cmd-admin hp printer won't scan
  2. Type the following command and press Enter: sfc /scannowscannow 0x80070002 windows update
  3. Once the scan is done, type the following command and press Enter again: DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /scanhealthdism-scanhealth encrypt contents to secure data greyed out windows 11
  4. Reboot your computer afterward.

Expert tip:

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

A great third-party repair tool like Restoro can do the job for you effortlessly. It can run a thorough scan of your operating system to detect any faulty element.

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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.

But, since it isn’t available in the Home edition, you may opt for a third-party tool to encrypt your files and folders such as Folder lock.

Don’t forget to leave a comment in the section below and tell us whether you have thought of any more solutions for the Encrypt contents to secure data greyed out in Windows 11 issue. Thanks for reading!

Still having issues? Fix them with this tool:

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If the advices above haven't solved your issue, your PC may experience deeper Windows problems. We recommend downloading this PC Repair tool (rated Great on TrustPilot.com) to easily address them. After installation, simply click the Start Scan button and then press on Repair All.

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