When an NTFS partition is encrypted, it can only be accessed via encryption certificates. These files are stored in the Windows 10 PC. So if you want to access them after the re-installation of Windows, the only way to do is to backup your encryption certificates before going for a fresh installation. Many people make this blunder mistake, and they are not able to access those files. In this post, we will show how you can access the encrypted files in NTFS partition after reinstalling Windows 10 using the certificates.
Access encrypted files in NTFS partition after reinstalling Windows 10
If you are here after you have reinstalled without taking a backup, there is not much you can do. So this post is going to show how you can backup your encryption certificates
- In the Run Dialog Box [Win key + R] type MMC and click ok.
- It will open the Microsoft Management Console.
- Select File > Add/Remove Snap in.
- Now click on Add and select Certificates and click Add
- Now go to Certificate – Current User > Personal > Certificates
- Right-click on the certificate, point to All Tasks and click export.
- Now you need to follow the instructions in the Certificate Export Wizard and associated private key to .pfx format.
- Also, make sure you de-select the option of Delete the private key if the export is successful.
- Save this file to another partition or a USB drive so that you can use it again after re-installation.
- After re-installation double click the exported key and follow the wizard. You will be able to get back access to encrypted folders
During export, you will be able to password-protect them. Make sure to remember the password as you will need them during the import.
Use Command Prompt to Export Certificates
- Open the Command Prompt as administrator.
- To export the EFS certificate stored in the Certificates Manager, type the following command, and press the Enter key, followed by a confirmation.
cipher /x d:\NTFSCertificates
- Next, type the password when prompted to protect the certificate.
- Check for the PFX file in the folder.
It is the only official way to access encrypted files in NTFS partition after reinstalling. Some third-party tools can do it for you, but you will have to pay for it. So unless it is essential, you can choose to skip it.