Fixed: Encrypt Contents to Secure Data Greyed Out Windows 10

If you find "Encrypt contents to secure data" option greyed out and therefore can't secure folders via EFS technology in Windows 10/8/7, try following solutions to fix it.


by Lily Updated on December 18, 2023

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What is "Encrypt contents to secure data" option?

Windows 10 comes with Encrypting File System (EFS) feature which enables you to encrypt a specific folder or drive. This is especially useful when you want to keep some data private and only accessible from your Windows account.

👉 How to encrypt a folder in Windows 10

  • Right-click a file or folder and select Properties.
  • Select the Advanced button in the Attributes section and select the Encrypt contents to secure data check box.
  • Select OK to close the Advanced Attributes window, select Apply, and then select OK.

👉 Why is "Encrypt contents to secure data" greyed out?

You may encounter “Encrypt contents to secure data” is disabled in Windows 10/8/7 sometimes so that you cannot proceed to encrypt the data.

This problem usually arises due to misconfigured registry values and may occur to anyone. But don't worry, try the following solutions to fix it!

Encrypt Contents to Secure Data Greyed out Windows 10

How to fix "Encrypt contents to secure data" greyed out

When the “Encrypt Contents To Secure Data" option grayed out in Windows 7/8/10, as above mentioned, you can reset registry values. Generally speaking, there are two methods that may be helpful to make it work again:

👉 Method 1: Enable EFS Using Windows Registry
👉 Method 2: Enable EFS using Command line
👉 Further reading: a better way to keep data safe🔥

Method 1: Enable EFS Using Windows Registry

The encryption option may be grayed out because some registry values are not set properly. To resolve this, follow the steps below.

1. Press Windows + R to open Run dialog and type “regedit" in it to open Registry Editor window.

Registry Editor

2. Now move into following entry in the Registry Editor window.


File System

3. Expand File System key to right-hand window, and look for the key named NtfsDisableEncryption. Double click on it, and set its value to 0.

File System Value

4. Click OK to save the settings. Go back to the folder which you want to encrypt and click “Properties\Advanced\Advance Attribute" option. The option of encryption will no longer be grayed out.

Method 2: Enable EFS using Command line

You can also use Windows Command line to make the encryption option available to you for any of folders on your machine. You just have to run a simple and easy command. And your problem will resolve quickly. To do this, go with few below steps.

1. Open Command Prompt window as an administrator. Press the following command in it and hit Enter key.

fsutil behavior set disableencryption 0

*This command means to set NtfsDisableEncryption value to 0.

Command Line

2. If the command runs successfully, it will ask you to reboot your system to apply the changes. After rebooting, the encryption option will be available for you in Properties of any folder.

With these simple solutions, you may use Encrypting File System again to encrypt specific files or folders. However, Encrypting File System is not available for Windows 10 Home edition, and it's not the most secure way to protect really important or sensitive data.

Further reading: a better way to keep data safe

To protect data security, file and folder encryption is only a small part. If you delete your file or folder by mistake or encounter a critical failure, simple files & folders encryption may not be enough. There is also a good and commonly used way, that is to make a backup of your important data.

It would be great to have a solution that combines backup and encryption - this will provide you with double protection. AOMEI Backupper Professional is exactly the software that you are looking for.

  • It allows you to back up files, partitions, operating system, and disk to various locations, such as external hard drives, network share, or cloud drives.
  • It enables you to encrypt backups to secure your data. Also, it does not have limits like EFS.
  • It applies to all editions of Windows (Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP/Visa).
  • There are many other useful features, like scheduled automatic backup, file filter, backup compression, old backups auto deletion, etc.

Let’s take a look at how to encrypt files in Windows 10 while creating a backup.

1. Download AOMEI Backupper and open the software. Select a backup type under the Backup tab. Set File Backup as an example.

Download Free Trial Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

File Backup

2. Set the source by clicking Add File or Add Folder and select the destination path respectively.

Add File Or Folder

3. Click Options at the bottom and toggle on the Enable encryption for backups option in General tab. Then type the password and confirm the password.

To save disk space, you can set the compression level in the Advanced tab of Backup Settings.

Backup Settings

4. After confirmation, click Start Backup to execute the task.

Start Backup

Schedule Backup: Set up auto backup on basis of Daily/Weekly/Monthly/Event triggers/USB plug in.
Backup Scheme: Create a backup scheme to automatically delete old backups and always keep the latest one(s). You can also choose to perform incremental or differential backups to save only changed files.


  • If you already have encrypted files or folders and you want to make a backup of this file/folder, you may fail because you cannot access this drive. However, AOMEI Backupper can make it.
  • If you want to backup files to cloud drives, but with a few GB of free space, you could consider using AOMEI Cloud. It's a cloud drive released by AOMEI Tech and offers you 1TB free storage from the time you sign up until 15 days.
  • AOMEI Backupper is still the best C drive clone software. You can use it to clone C drive to a larger SSD or HDD.


AOMEI Backupper is designed for your data security. Encrypt contents to secure data greyed out in Windows 10/8/8.1/7 is no longer an issue with the help of AOMEI Backupper. By setting encryption during a backup, you can rest assured that your data is double protected by it. AOMEI Backupper is embedded with VSS technology which allows you to perform VSS backup without interrupting. It is also a professional USB duplication software. You can clone your USB drive to another drive.

If you want to protect unlimited computers within your company, you can pick AOMEI Backupper Technician. With the inbuilt AOMEI Image Deploy tool, you are also allowed to deploy/restore system image file on server-side computer to multiple client-side computers over network.

Lily · Editor
Lily Green joined AOMEI in 2018 and has since become a professional in the areas of data protection and data transfer. She is committed to helping users protect their precious computer data and troubleshoot Windows system errors. She consistently stays vigilant about the latest trends in technology, guaranteeing that the given information aligned with the ongoing advancements in the field.