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Disable Windows Encryption

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Filed under: PC Speed 

Windows XP as well as Windows Vista support encryption of data to prevent unauthorized access. The result of the encryption is that only a validated user can access the encrypted data. If you have used the feature “Make this folder private” in the Sharing properties of a folder, you will know how the encryption ensures the selected data is only available to you and not to other computer users. Especially convenient id you happen to share your PC with other users. Take note that the encryption requires the use of the NTFS file system.

In some cases disabling the encryption feature can help improve your computer performance. So if you do not need encryption, maybe you are the only one using the computer then consider disabling the encryption feature. An easy registry tweak will do it:

  1. Start the Registry Editor.From the Windows Start menu, select Run. In the Run box, type regedit and click OK.
  2. In the Registry Editor, locate the following key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\
    FileSystem
  3. With the key selected, open the Edit menu, click New and then select DWORD Value.
  4. In the name field for the new value, type NtfsDisableEncryption.
  5. Now right-click this new entry and select Modify in the popup menu.
  6. Enter the value 1 and click OK.
  7. Close the Registry Editor. Select Exit from the File menu.

Make sure you do not have any encrypted data on the disk before you disable the feature, otherwise the data might become inaccessible. Simply decrypt all encrypted locations on your hard drive before disabling the encryption function in Windows XP or Vista altogether.

Data encryption takes processing time, so disabling the Windows encryption will actually speed up your PC. At a home PC, where others have no access to the computer anyway, you can certainly consider disabling the encryption functionality to maximize your PC performance and stability.

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