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"Access is Denied" Error Message When Encrypting or Decrypting Files or Folders

This article was previously published under Q264064
This article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy.
When you attempt to encrypt or decrypt a file or folder, you may receive an error message similar to the following example:
Error Applying Attribute

An Error occurred applying attributes to the file:


Access is denied.
If you click Ignore, the files that generated the error message are not encrypted.
This behavior occurs if the permissions on the System Volume Information folder are modified so that System cannot write files. Encrypting File System (EFS) uses the System Volume Information folder on each volume to store its log file that is generated during the encryption and decryption process. By default, the System security principal has Full Control of that folder.
To resolve this behavior, give the System security principal Full Control over the System Volume Information folder.

NOTE: The System Volume Information folder is a hidden operating system folder. To expose the folder in Windows Explorer, use the following steps:
  1. On the Tools menu, click Folder Options.
  2. On the View tab, click to clear the Hide protected operating system files check box.
If you need to modify the permissions of the System Volume Information folder, you can grant the local Administrators group Full Control over the folder. The System account is a member of the local Administrators group by design.

Article ID: 264064 - Last Review: 03/01/2007 18:34:04 - Revision: 3.4

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • kbenv kberrmsg kbprb KB264064