How to fix 0x80071771 “The specified file could not be decrypted” error?

by Lucia Danes - -
12

Question

Issue: How to fix 0x80071771 “The specified file could not be decrypted” error?

Hello. My hard drive has crashed, but I managed to transfer my files to a new computer. The problem is that a part of the data got encrypted. Each time I attempt to open them or transfer to another location, I get an error 0x80071771 saying “The specified file could not be decrypted.” Is there something I could do?

Solved Answer

The Error Code 0x80071771 that is reporting a problem that “The specified file could not be decrypted” points out to the Encrypting File System (EFS).[1] EFS is a built-in encryption tool in Windows 8, 10 and other versions, which has been developed for the sake of security of people's files.

EFS function renders standard cryptographic algorithms, which locks files that recognized by the system as unprotected. Encrypted data are subsequently protected from physical possession of the computer, as well as people who have unauthorized access to PC and files.[2] However, EFS protection may become a severe problem if the owner of the encrypted data does not possess the appropriate cryptographic key.

This type of file encryption is not the safes one if applied intentionally by the user to protect files from unauthorized access. In other words, the encryption is transparent,[3] and the key is stored in the operating system (OS), meaning that it can be extracted.

Fix 0x80071771 error

There's a couple of decryption methods that you can try, but before that, you'll have to take full permission to access system files. Thus, follow the instructions carefully:

Step 1. Take full permission to access system files

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  • Right-click on your hard drive and select Properties.

Take ownership

  • Open Security tab and click Edit.

Take ownership2

  • Now select Add and type Everyone in the Enter the object names to select section.

Take ownership of the folders

  • Click OK to save the changes.

Allow access permission to everyone

  • Then click Everyone and mark Allow check box next to Full Control under Permissions for Everyone section.
  • Click Apply and OK to save the changes.
  • Now reopen the Security tab and open Advanced section.
  • Click Change Permissions at the bottom of the window. 
  • Type Everyone and click OK.
  • Mark the Replace owner on sub-containers and objects option and click Apply.
  • Then open Auditing tab and click Add.

Access auditing section

  • Click on Select a principal option and type Everyone.
  • Click OK to save the changes.
  • Then find Basic permissions section and mark a checkbox next to Full Control.
  • Click OK, Apply and OK to approve the changes.
  • Finally, restart your PC.

Step 2. Fix 0x80071771 error “The specified file could not be decrypted” by applying decryption steps

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  • Right-click on the file or folder that displays the 0x80071771 error.
  • Click File ownership and select Personal.

If that did not help, please try alternative data decryption method:

  • Right-click on the encrypted file or folder and select Properties.
  • Heed to the General tab and select Advanced.
  • Unmark the Encrypt contents to secure data option and click OK.

Decrypt data

  • Then click the button next to Apply changes to this folder only or Apply changes to this folder, subfolders, and files depending on your preferences,
  • Click OK to save the changes.

The last decryption method that we suggest trying is a Command Prompt script. To run it, please do the following:

  • Right-click on Windows key and select Command Prompt (Admin).
  • Alternatively, you can open Windows search and type Command Prompt.
  • Right-click on the result and select Run as Administrator.
  • Once an elevated Command Prompt opens, copy and paste the cipher /d “full path of file with the extension” command and press Enter.

NOTE: make sure to type in a full path of the encrypted file or folder between the commas.

  • Then press Enter to execute the command.

That's it. Hopefully, you have managed to fix “The specified file could not be decrypted” error with an error code 0x80071771 successfully. In case you are still struggling to open your files, let us know, and we'll try to help you.

Recover files and other system components automatically

To recover your files and other system components, you can use free guides by ugetfix.com experts. However, if you feel that you are not experienced enough to implement the whole recovery process yourself, we recommend using recovery solutions listed below. We have tested each of these programs and their effectiveness for you, so all you need to do is to let these tools do all the work.

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About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Security researcher

Lucia Danes is the news editor at UGetFix. She is always on the move because the eager for knowledge makes her travel around the globe and attend InfoSec events and conferences.

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