What is an EFS?
EFS, in full, stands for Encrypting File System. It is a Windows feature used to keep data on your drive in a format that is not readable to everyone but you (or a few users who are authorized to view it). There is hardly a stronger file protection mechanism on the Windows platform that will keep your information safe. File encryption is an important aspect of the everyday computing environment; so you need to learn how to encrypt a file. The same way you have some very important and confidential physical documents is the same way you also have protected digital data. You do so through a resident encrypting file system.
EFS are the best way to encrypt files. EFS encrypted files have some special features. However, learning how to encrypt files is very simple. It involves very few steps and you’re done. The best thing about file encryption is that you can control the people who can read the items. EFS encrypted files remain encrypted once closed; but they become ready whenever you open them to edit. Encrypting file systems is a reversible process.
Encrypted file systems are fully supported on Windows 10. You no longer need to mess around with cipher.exe files for unsupported Windows versions.
As simple as it is, there still is a specific approach with regards to how to encrypt files. If you own a computer there are great chances that you will at one point or another store sensitive documents. They will need to be protected against unauthorized access and edition.
Here is how to encrypt files in Windows 10:
1. Navigate to the file or folder that needs encryption.
2. Right click on it.
3. Click on “Properties”.
4. Select the General tab.
5. Click on “Advanced”.
6. On the resulting checkboxes, check the option “Encrypt contents to secure data”.
7. Press OK two times.
8. Now you have two options. To “encrypt this folder only” or to “folder, sub folders, and files”. Select your choice and Click Ok once more.
9. Your file or folder is now encrypted.
In the event that you need to decrypt a file or folder, there is a mechanism through which the process is reversed. You simply redo the above steps up to the point prompting you to “Encrypt contents to secure data box”. Uncheck this box and click OK.
IMPORTANT NOTE: When a folder is or file is encrypted for the first time, a certificate is automatically generated by the encrypting file system. It is good practice to back up this encryption certificate because if lost you will not be able to use the EFS encrypted files.
This is how to encrypt files.