Let's suppose I've used EFS (Encrypt contents to secure data) to encrypt a folder containing several files on my Windows 7 / 10 PC.

I then copy the encrypted folder to an external hard drive. The copied folders and files remain encrypted.

The external hard drive is then plugged on to a second Windows 7 / 10 PC. In this regard, I wish to know if I would be able to open the encrypted folder and the included files on the second Windows 7 / 10 PC?


  • 2
    Yes; Provided you export the user’s certificate from the source machine then import it on the machine in question. Might be easier to decrypt the files first, and encrypt the external drive with Bitlocker, provided both installations are applicable versions with BitLocker
    – Ramhound
    Apr 7, 2018 at 21:08
  • Worth pointing out if you can use EFS you can use BitLocker. All (supported) versions of Windows can mount a BitLocker volume, but only specific version, can encrypt them (specifically the system volume). What have you tried, edit your question, don’t reply to this comment
    – Ramhound
    Apr 7, 2018 at 21:19

1 Answer 1


You could back up your EFS certificates, and then import the certificates into other PC user account.

Here are links about back up EFS private key and import the certificates.

How to back up the recovery agent Encrypting File System (EFS) private key in Windows: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/241201/how-to-back-up-the-recovery-agent-encrypting-file-system-efs-private-k

How to Import EFS File Encryption Certificate with Key on Windows 10: (also works on Windows 7) https://www.howto-connect.com/import-efs-file-encryption-certificate-key-windows-10/

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .