How to encrypt files using a Windows registry hack

Not for the faint hearted, registry hacking (or tweaking as some choose to call it) does provide users with the opportunity to make Windows-based systems run faster and smarter. One of my favourites (being a security minded individual :)) has to be the ‘encrypt files’ privacy option. This option adds an Encrypt option to your right-click menu.

Here is how you set-up the Encrypt option:

  • Firstly you need to open the registry editor. From Start – type ‘regedit‘ (without the quotes) and then click YES on the UAC to open the editor and then navigate to:
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
  • Right-click the right-hand pane and choose New and create a 32-bit DWORD Value
  • Name this entry EncryptionContextMenu and then double-click it and enter a value of 1
  • Right-click a file and you will now see an Encrypt option in the context menu. Select this to encrypt just the file or its parent folder
  • Note: This only works with Windows XP, Windows Vista Ultimate and Windows 7 Professional

Once the files are encrypted, you’ll notice that the title of the file is now green, indicating that it’s been encrypted. The right-click option will also now change to Decrypt. Only one ‘Encrypt’ will appear in the context menu at a time depending on if the file or folder is currently encrypted or not.  After encryption, you will still be able to open and view your encrypted files.  Important note to my readers – encrypting a file or folder will only prevent other Windows User Accounts form being able to open it. 

I’ve never really understood why this encryption feature isn’t a standard Windows built-in option. If you want a comprehensive encryption software for your Windows or Mac then I suggest using the popular free open-source TrueCrypt.

Safe surfing folks!

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2 Responses to How to encrypt files using a Windows registry hack

  1. Pingback: How to encrypt files using a Windows registry hack | Protect your … | Encryption & Secure

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