Share encrypted files

You can share encrypted files with another person, or between two computers.

To share encrypted files with another person (for example, by giving the files to another person on a USB flash drive), you'll need to put the other person's encryption certificate on your computer. This is a two-step process: the person you want to share the file with needs to first export their certificate and give it to you (for example, by sending it to you in e-mail), and then you need to import the certificate to your computer. After you have imported the certificate, you need to add it to the file you want to share.

If you have two computers and you want to be able to work with files that you have encrypted on both computers, you must first export your encryption certificate and encryption key from one computer, and then import it to the other computer.

Share encrypted files with another person

Follow the steps below to share files that you have encrypted with another person.

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To export the Encrypting File System (EFS) certificate

The person with whom you want to share files needs to export their EFS certificate and give it to you.

  1. Open Certificate Manager by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, typing certmgr.msc into the Search box, and then pressing ENTER.

  2. Click the arrow next to the Personal folder to expand it, and then click the EFS certificate that you want to export.

  3. Click the Action menu, point to All Tasks, and then click Export.

  4. In the Certificate Export Wizard, click Next.

  5. Click No, do not export the private key, and then click Next.

  6. On the Export File Format page, click Next to accept the default format.

  7. The export process creates a file to store the certificate in. Type a name for the file and the location (include the whole path), or click Browse, navigate to the location, and then type the file name.

  8. Click Finish.

To import the EFS certificate

After you get the EFS certificate from the person you want to share the file with, you need to import the certificate.

  1. Open Certificate Manager by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, typing certmgr.msc into the Search box, and then pressing ENTER.

  2. Select the Personal folder.

  3. Click the Action menu, point to All Tasks, and click Import.

  4. In the Certificate Import wizard, click Next.

  5. Type the location of the file that contains the certificate, or click Browse, navigate to the file's location, and then click Next.

  6. Click Place all certificates in the following store, click Browse, click Trusted People, and then click Next.

  7. Click Finish.

To add the EFS certificate to the shared file

  1. Right-click the file you want to share, and then click Properties.

  2. Click the General tab, and then click Advanced.

  3. In the Advanced Attributes dialog box, click Details.

  4. In the dialog box that appears, click Add.

  5. In the Select User dialog box, click the certificate, and then click OK.

Share encrypted files between two computers

Follow the steps below if you want to use your encrypted files on two computers. You need to first export the EFS certificate and related key on the computer that contains your encrypted files, and then import them on the computer to which you want to add the files.

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To export the EFS certificate and key

  1. Open Certificate Manager by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, typing certmgr.msc into the Search box, and then pressing ENTER.

  2. Click the arrow next to the Personal folder to expand it, and then click the EFS certificate that you want to export.

  3. Click the Action menu, point to All Tasks, and then click Export.

  4. In the Certificate Export Wizard, click Next.

  5. Click Yes, export the private key, and then click Next.

  6. Click Personal Information Exchange, and then click Next.

  7. Type the password you want to use, confirm it, and then click Next.

  8. The export process creates a file to store the certificate in. Type a name for the file and the location (include the whole path), or click Browse, navigate to the location, and then type the file name.

  9. Click Finish.

To import the EFS certificate and key

  1. Open Certificate Manager by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, typing certmgr.msc into the Search box, and then pressing ENTER.

  2. Click the Personal folder.

  3. Click the Action menu, point to All Tasks, and click Import.

  4. In the Certificate Import Wizard, click Next.

  5. Type the location of the file that contains the certificate, or click Browse, navigate to the file's location, and then click Next.

    If you navigate to the right location, but don't see the certificate you are importing, then, in the list next to the File name box, click Personal Information Exchange.

  6. Type the password, select the Mark this key as exportable check box, and then click Next.

    Note

    • Do not select the Enable strong private key protection check box.

  7. Click Place all certificates in the following store, choose Personal, and then click Next.

  8. Click Finish.