Remove File Ownership EFS Context Menu in Windows 10

In our articles, we reviewed how to encrypt and decrypt a file or folder in Windows 10 using EFS. Today, we will see how to remove the EFS context menu, that adds the 'File Ownership' submenu to File Explorer.

Encrypting File System (EFS)

For many versions, Windows has included an advanced security feature called Encrypting File System (EFS). It allows the user to store files and folders encrypted, so they will be protected from unwanted access. Other user accounts cannot access your encrypted files, neither can anyone from the network or by booting into another OS and accessing that folder. This is the strongest protection which is available in Windows to protect individual files and folders without encrypting the whole drive.

When a folder or file is encrypted using Encrypting File System (EFS), the File Explorer app shows a pad lock overlay icon for such a file or folder.

When you encrypt a folder, new files saved into that folder will automatically be encrypted.

Note: Encryption will be disabled for a folder, if you compress it, move it to a ZIP archive, or copy to a location that doesn't support NTFS encryption with EFS.

When you encrypt a file or folder, you might be prompted to backup your your file encryption key to help avoid permanently losing access to your encrypted data.

Encrypt Offline Files Cache Backup Key

When you encrypt a file or folder with EFS, a new entry, 'File ownership', appears in the context menu of the file or folder to make it easier to decrypt.

Windows 10 Decrypt A File Context Menu

You can hide this entry if you have a reason for that.

To Remove File Ownership EFS Context Menu in Windows 10,

Before proceeding, ensure that your user account has administrative privileges. Now, follow the instructions below.

  1. Download the following ZIP archive: Download ZIP archive.
  2. Extract its contents to any folder. You can place the files directly to the Desktop.
  3. Unblock the files.
  4. Double click on the Remove File Ownership From Context Menu.reg file to merge it.
  5. To restore the entry in the context menu later, use the provided file Add File Ownership To Context Menu.reg.

You are done!

How it works

The registry files above add a special ProgrammaticAccessOnly string value under the following keys:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell\UpdateEncryptionSettingsWork
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\UpdateEncryptionSettings

Tip: See how to go to a Registry key with one click.

ProgrammaticAccessOnly is a special value that hides a context menu command. Installed apps can access it if required. By adding this value to the Registry, you hide the context menu entry in Windows 10.

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1 thought on “Remove File Ownership EFS Context Menu in Windows 10

  1. Sameatick

    hello
    I deleted my old user account and created new one, but I can’t access files that are encrypted. any solutions?

    Reply

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