Encrypting File System (EFS) Service Defaults in Windows 7

Provides the core file encryption technology used to store encrypted files on NTFS file system volumes. If this service is stopped or disabled, applications will be unable to access encrypted files.

Default Settings

Startup type: Manual
Display name:Encrypting File System (EFS)
Service name:EFS
Service type:share
Error control:normal
Registry key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\EFS
  • SeImpersonatePrivilege
  • SeTcbPrivilege
  • SeIncreaseQuotaPrivilege
  • SeAssignPrimaryTokenPrivilege
  • SeAuditPrivilege

Default Behavior

Encrypting File System (EFS) is a Win32 service. In Windows 7 it won't be started if the user doesn't start it. When the Encrypting File System (EFS) service is started, it is running as LocalSystem in a shared process of lsass.exe. Other system components, such as drivers and services, may run in the same process. If Encrypting File System (EFS) fails to start, Windows 7 attempts to write the failure details into Event Log. Then Windows 7 startup should proceed and the user should be notified that the EFS service is not running because of the error.


Encrypting File System (EFS) is unable to start, if the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service is stopped or disabled.

Restore Default Startup Configuration of Encrypting File System (EFS)

Before you begin doing this, make sure that all the services on which Encrypting File System (EFS) depends are configured by default and function properly. See the list of dependencies above.

1. Run the Command Prompt as an administrator.

2. Copy the command below, paste it into the command window and press ENTER:

sc config EFS start= demand

3. Close the command window and restart the computer.

The EFS service is using the lsass.exe file that is located in the C:\Windows\System32 directory. If the file is removed or corrupted, read this article to restore its original version from Windows 7 installation media.