In Windows 11/10 OS, there is a built-in feature to share local files (to read and write) and attached printers with other systems connected over a network on the same connection. The feature is quite useful and we can easily turn on the file and printer sharing feature in Windows 11/10. But 128-bit encryption is used by Windows by default for file sharing connections. On the other hand, there are some devices that use or need 40-bit or 56-bit encryption for file sharing. That’s where it is needed to change encryption for file sharing connections in a Windows 11/10 system.
So, those who want to change the encryption level for file sharing connections on their Windows 11/10 computer, can follow this tutorial that covers step-by-step instructions for it.
Change encryption for File Sharing Connections in Windows 11/10
There are three different ways using which you can change the encryption level for file sharing connections on your Windows 11/10 computer. These are:
- Advanced sharing settings
- Using the Settings app of Windows 11
- Using Registry Editor.
Let’s check these options.
1] Change encryption level for File Sharing Connections using Advanced sharing settings
This is a faster option for changing the file sharing connections encryption level in Windows 11/10. The steps are:
- Click on the Search box of your Windows 11/10 computer
- Type advanced sharing settings
- Press the Enter key
- In the Advanced sharing settings window, expand the All Networks section
- Look for File sharing connections section
- There, select the radio button for Enable file sharing for devices that use 40- or 56-bit encryption option if you want to use that encryption level. Otherwise, turn on the Use 128-bit encryption to help protect file sharing connection (recommended) option
- Hit the Save changes button.
2] Change File Sharing Connections encryption using the Settings app of Windows 11
As the option indicates, it is available in Windows 11 systems only. Also, this is a new feature that is currently present in the Beta build of Windows 11. You may get this feature in the stable release also. Here are the steps to change file sharing encryption level using the Settings app:
- Open the Settings app using the Win+X menu, Search box, Win+I hotkey, or any other preferred way
- Select the Network & internet category
- Open the Advanced network settings page
- Scroll down the page to access the More settings section
- In that section, click on the Advanced sharing settings option
- Expand the All networks section
- Open the drop-down menu available for File sharing connections
- You will find that the 128-bit encryption (Recommended) option is selected because Windows choose this option by default. Switch to the 40- or 56-bit encryption option.
3] Change File sharing Encryption Level using Registry Editor in Windows 11/10
This option requires two Registry tweaks. Therefore, we recommend that you should backup Windows Registry. Once it is done, follow the steps given below:
- Open Windows Registry
- Access the MSV1_0 Registry key
- Change value data of NtlmMinClientSec value
- Change value data of NtlmMinServerSec value
- Close the Registry Editor.
Here are the details of these steps.
In the first step, type regedit in the Search box, and hit the Enter key. This will open the Windows Registry.
Now access the MSV1_0 key. The path to that key is located below:
In the right-hand section, double-click on the NtlmMinClientSec DWORD (32-bit) Value to open its edit box. Now, if the Value data field of that box contains 20000000 (which is by default for 128-bit encryption), then replace it with 0 (for 40- or 56-bit encryption), and press the OK button to close the edit box.
In the same way, open the edit box of NtlmMinServerSec DWORD (32-bit) Value and change its Value data field from 20000000 to 0. Press the OK button.
Close the Windows Registry. This will save the changes immediately and the encryption level for file sharing connections will be changed to 40-bit or 56-bit encryption.
When you want to use the 128-bit encryption level for file sharing connections, just follow the steps added above, and add 20000000 in the Value data field of NtlmMinServerSec and NtlmMinClientSec DWORD (32-bit) Values. Save the changes and it will be done.
How do you change the encryption used for file sharing connections?
To change the encryption used for file sharing connection in a Windows 11/10 computer, you can use any of the following options:
- Settings app
- Windows Registry Editor, and
- Advanced sharing settings.
All these options are covered in this post to help you change the encryption level from 128-bit to 40-bit or 56-bit encryption and vice-versa.
Is Windows file sharing encrypted?
If you want to know whether Windows file sharing connections are encrypted for sharing files to other systems available on a network, then the answer is Yes. Windows uses 128-bit encryption for protecting file sharing connections as the default encryption level. But you can also change this encryption level to 40-bit or 56-bit encryption easily. For that, you can read the options covered in this post.