By AOMEI / Last Updated September 10, 2020

Overview of "Encrypt contents to secure data" option greyed out

Windows 10 comes with Encrypted File System (EFS) which allows users to encrypt their data in a particular folder or drive. This is especially useful when you want to keep your data private only such that it is accessible from your Windows account only. However, you may meet Encryption contents to secure data greyed out in Windows 10/8/7 issue sometimes.

That is to say you cannot encrypt data in this case. This is a usual case and may occur to anyone, as it arises due to misconfigured of registry values.

Encrypt Contents to Secure Data Greyed out Windows 10

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

If “Encrypt Contents To Secure Data" option is grayed out, as above mentioned, you should reset registry values. Generally speaking, there are two methods may be helpful in making it work again to encrypt your private data.

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.

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

Registry Editor

Now move into following entry in the Registry Editor window.

File System

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

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. Encrypt contents to secure data is also available in Windows 7.

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.

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.

If the command runs successfully, it will ask you to reboot your system to apply the changes.

Command Line

After rebooting, the encryption option will be available for you in Properties of any folder.

The solutions are simple and easy to use. And Encrypt File System is a helpful tool, with it, no one else will be able to open the encrypted files or folders. However, Encrypt File System does not available for Windows 10 Home edition.

A better way to keep data safe

To protect data security, file and folder encryption is only the small part. If you delete your file or folder by mistake or meet a hard failure, simply encrypt files or folders is not enough. There is also a good and common used way, that is to make a backup of your important data.

What if there is a software can combine backup and encryption, that would provide double security for your data.

AOMEI Backupper is exactly the software that you are looking for, it allows you to set encryption during backup. Also, it does not have edition limit like EFS, it available to all editions of Windows 10 even Windows 8/8.1/7/XP/Visa.

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

Step 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 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. Set the source by clicking “Add File" or "Add Folder” and select the destination partition respectively.

Add File Or Folder

Step 3. At the bottle down, click "Options" to set encryption. Tick the "Enable encryption for backups" option. Type the password and confirm the password. And then click "OK" to go back to File Backup interface and then click "Start Backup".

Backup Settings


To save disk space, you can set compression level at backup settings.

You can even set automatically schedule backup by clicking Schedule. If you only want to backup changed files and folders, you can click Advanced to set incremental and differential backups, which will save you much disk space. To save backup space, you can also click Scheme to automatically delete old backup and always keep the latest one(s).

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 to this drive. However, AOMEI Backupper can make it.


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.