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I encrypted some files with Windows's built-in EFS encryption, which involved creating a new EFS certificate and saving a backup of it somewhere. I recently swapped motherboards/re-imaged my PC and now cannot access the encrypted files, which is expected.

I re-imported my saved certificate using the correct password which worked successfully, but I still cannot access these files - getting various errors about permissions or decryption that aren't very specific.

Here is my current certificate store, I have created a new EFS cert and imported my old one:

certmgr

Here is the details of the cert matching the thumbprint of the cert that is allowed to access the file.

thumbprint

If I try and remove the checkbox for encrypting these files I get this error:

Error

Are there any steps I missed?

  • Why did you create a new certificate? – Ramhound Mar 12 '18 at 2:06
  • I had other things to encrypt, basically. I can try decrypting the files that was used for and then remove it - it doesn't seem likely to be the issue though. – user19702 Mar 12 '18 at 18:17
  • removing the new certificate did not solve the issue. Windows does still seem to be using it even though it has been removed from my personal certificate store. – user19702 Mar 16 '18 at 22:26

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