[Solved] Windows 11 Encrypt Folder Greyed out

This article will figure out what causes Windows 11 encrypt folder greyed out issue, and show you how to fix it easily. Meanwhile, you can gain a secure way to protect your data.


By Clytze Updated on October 25, 2022

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Overview on Windows 11 encrypt folder greyed out issue

Sometimes we need to encrypt data on our computers using a feature that comes with Windows – the Encrypted File System (EFS) to protect you from snooping and unauthorized access that wants to access or steal your data. Recently, however, many users have reported that the ability to encrypt contents to protect data is greyed out in Windows 11.

Windows 11 Encrypt Folder Greyed Out

According to this, Microsoft has published a knowledge base article admitting that there is a problem with the encryption acceleration in the latest version of Windows, and that the Windows encryption bug can lead to data corruption or loss.

Windows 11 encryption bug can cause data damage under certain specialized conditions, including writing data to encrypted drives using BitLocker. This bug affects two rarely known features: either the AES XEX-based tweaked-codebook mode with ciphertext stealing (AES-XTS) or the AES with Galois/Counter Mode (GCM) (AES-GCM). The processors impacted include Intel’s 10th-gen “Ice Lake” and 11th-gen “Rocket Lake” processors plus AMD’s upcoming Zen 4 chips, otherwise known as the Ryzen 7000.

To fix the bug, Microsoft released updated versions on August 9 to prevent further damage. Although there is no suggested solution for people who have already lost data due to the bug.

If you are also suffering from the Windows 11 encrypt folder greyed out error while using your computer, then you definitely want to find out “why can’t I encrypt a folder” and how to enable this feature. Read on to get more detailed information.

Why is encrypt folder greyed out?

Before we explore how to enable the EFS feature to protect your data, let’s find out what causes encrypt folder greyed out.

Windows 11 update vulnerability

One of the reasons for this problem is the Windows 11 update vulnerability. In particular, the initial version of Windows 11 is most likely to be affected.

You are using the version that does not support EFS

You should note that the (EFS) Encrypted File System is not available in the Windows Home edition. To be able to encrypt the files, you have to upgrade the Windows to Education, Enterprise, or Pro edition to be able to use EFS.

Using FAT32 drive instead of NTFS

Check if your system drive is in NTFS mode. If you find that your computer is using FAT32, make sure to convert it to NTFS to be able to use the EFS feature.

If you have eliminated the above possible faults, next, we will solve the Windows 11 encrypt folder greyed out problem together.

How to fix “Encrypt contents to secure data” greyed out in Windows 11

In this part, I’ve presented 3 valid methods to fix encrypt folder grey out problem. Try them if you are in urgent need.

#1. Update to Windows latest fix version

On August 9, Microsoft released the latest patched version KB5016629 (Windows 11 Build 22000.856) for the problem of encryption greyed out in Windows 11. You can visit the official website to download the fixed versions according to your needs.

#2. Enable EFS through Windows Registry

1. Press Windows + R to open Run dialog box, typing regedit and click OK.

2. Once the Registry editor window opens, switch to the following location:


3. From the right side menu, locate NtfsDisableEncryption and double click on it.

4. Under the Edit DWORD (32-BIT) Value window, set the value to 1 and press Enter. Once done, hit OK button.

Registry Editor

#3. Enable EFS through Command Line

1. Open the Search box, type Command Prompt and hit Enter, then select Run as administrator.

2. When the Command Prompt window appears, enter: fsutil behavior set disableencryption 0.

Enable EFS Through Command Line

3. In order for these changes to take effect, you need to restart your computer. Now check whether the problem encrypt folder greyed out has been solved.

Secure way to safeguard your data

Now, you have mastered solving the problem of Windows 11 encrypt folder greyed out. However, even if there is a way to fix the encryption bug, data loss due to the bug is permanent. Therefore, to double protect your important data, it is recommended that you use file encryption software in Windows 11 so as to be free from the risk of data loss.

As the best free backup software in Windows 11, AOMEI Backupper Standard can ensure you create a full backup of your important files and folders, so that you can quickly recover your files in case of accidental deletion or they are lost and damaged. Some of its professional functions can be listed below:

♫ It allows you to perform Files/Folders Backup, System/Partition/ Disk Backup.
♫ Backup only changed files with Incremental Backup, and Differential Backup (available in Professional edition).
♫ You can backup to various storage devices, such as USB flash drives, external hard drives, cloud drives, etc.
♫ It has great compatibility in the operating system (Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, 11, XP, Vista, etc.)

Firstly, download AOMEI Backupper Standard to have a try:

Download FreewareWin11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Open this tool and select Backup in the left tab, then click File Backup.

File Backup

Step 2. Click Add File or Add Folder to select files/folders that you want to back up. Also, you can rename it for Task Name box to help you distinguish it from other backups.

Add Folders Files

Step 3. Select the location as the destination path to store the image file. You can backup to internal/external hard drives, USB flash drives, network share, NAS devices, cloud drives, etc.

Select Destination

Notes: If you want to encrypt your files, click Options and click Enable encryption for backups. Now you can type password and confirm it to encrypt your data. (Upgrade to advanced edition).

Backup Settings General

Step 4. Confirm your settings, click the Start Backup button and wait for the process to complete.


Facing the issue of Windows 11 encrypt folder greyed out, you can refer to this article to grab the 3 fixes to enable EFS feature to encrypt your important data from loss. However, to avoid data loss or corruption due to problems like the Windows 11 encryption bug, you’d better backup your files using AOMEI Backupper to increase the defense effect.

As the global benchmark for data protection, AOMEI Backupper not only provides you with backup feature, but also allows you to easily clone, sync, and restore your system, files, pictures, applications, etc. with it, you can perform Windows 11 sync folders, or clone your Windows 11 to another hard drive. With all-in-one features, AOMEI Backupper is worth a try!

Clytze · Editor
Clytze, an editor at AOMEI Technology, is passionate about safeguarding your digital world. She dedicates her expertise to empower users like you in data security and recovery. She firmly believes that everyone should have the tools and knowledge to protect their digital assets through computer backup, seamless disk cloning, and efficient file synchronization. Clytze is your trusted guide on the journey to data safety.