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Windows: Identifying the Key a File is Encrypted With

Concept: When you’re working with encrypted files and need to share the information with others inside and outside our organization, you need to be aware of the key used to encrypt the file, to ensure those you share it with can open and access the information.


  1. Locate the encrypted file you desire to view the encryption key for.
  2. Click on the encrypted file icon to ‘drag and drop’ it on the PK Endpoint Agent application icon located on your Desktop.
  3. The PK Endpoint Agent application will open and display the file name.
  4. Right-click on the desired file and select ‘properties’ from the menu.
  5. From the properties dialog box, select the ‘Encryption’ tab.
    1. The name of the key used to encrypt the file will be shown in the main field.
    2. If the key information shows: ‘Smartkey: <Smartkey Name>, the file was encrypted using a Smartkey. In this example, the name of the Smartkey is ‘Personal Smartkey’.
    3. If the key information shows: ‘Smartkey: Policy Key’, the file was encrypted with a passphrase.

You can now determine if the key used to encrypt the file is applicable for your recipients, and if not; you can re-encrypt or change the method of encryption accordingly, before you share the file.

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