I have files that I used to copy from my SD card to my PC using the USB Mass Storage option under the "USB connection" pop-up. I checked the flag under Settings->Location & Security->Data encryption->Storage encryption and now I can't read new files of these types (e.g., .jpg and .txt files). I tried unchecking the box -- a message appeared saying that future files will be decrypted, but existing files will remain encrypted.

How do I access the files that are currently encrypted and/or decrypt them?

  • may be relavant: Decrypt folder, that was encrypted using EncFS, on Android. I am not sure what device you have, so i dont know if your device is using encfs (but it probably is) Mar 5, 2012 at 17:40
  • Thank you for your comment. I looked at Decrypt folder, that was encrypted using EncFS, on Android, and it doesn't seem to apply.
    – Gdalya
    Mar 5, 2012 at 19:06
  • what is the encryption that is being used then on your device? what device do you have? Mar 5, 2012 at 19:07
  • I have a Droid Bionic. I'm not sure what encryption is being used. I assume that it's part of the Android Operating System. I'm using version 2.3.4.
    – Gdalya
    Mar 5, 2012 at 20:42
  • i have read that other motorola devices use encfs for the encryption, to that link may have applications that can help you. I dont recall that the encryption is part of the OS, well, the "vanilla os", I believe this is something that motorola added. Mar 5, 2012 at 21:51

3 Answers 3


I sent this question into Verizon Wireless as well. Here is their reply:

Thank you for contacting Verizon Wireless through our website...I understand that you've been having an issue trying to decrypt files on your handset. At this time Motorola hasn't provided an update for your phone to be able to do this. Without that, we're unable to assist you because this is a phone issue and not a network issue.

So it looks like Ryan was correct in his comment that this is an issue with a Motorola OS add-on, not vanilla Android.

Since originally asking my question, I experimented some more with my phone. My phone has 2 check-boxes for setting encryption: one to encrypt the SD card (that I mentioned in my original question) and one to encrypt the main phone memory. When I unchecked both boxes, my phone decrypted all files, both on the phone and on the SD card. So, that is my solution for now.

Thank you Ryan for your comments -- they helped lead me to this answer.


I'm using Samsung Galaxy Note, ICS 4.0.3. There's a Decrypt option. Go to Settings → Security → Encryption, there's a "Decrypt Device" and "Decrypt SD Card" option.

After you select "Decrypt SD Card", just uncheck all the boxes on the next screen (see screenshot below).

(Click image to enlarge)

IMG: Decrypt SD Card

  • Got a downvote for sharing my knowledge :( Anyway, I just decrpyted my Galaxy Note's SD Card a few minutes ago, because I can not access or edit my files stored on the SD Card (by attaching the USB cable and access as Mass Storage Device). After decrypting for around 25mins, I now have full access to my files. No files were damaged, back to normal.
    – JonC PH
    Jun 13, 2012 at 4:47

Summary: With a Motorola Droid series phone using encryption, you have to click to use the phone as a "Media Device", not as Mass Storage, in order to decrypt files for transfer or viewing on a USB connected PC.

OP has stated he is using a Droid Bionic with encryption enabled.

To view or transfer the encrypted files to his PC -- but in a decrypted state -- while the phone is plugged into his PC by USB connection, he should:

  1. Plug in Droid phone via USB to PC. Make sure phone is unlocked by entering passcode, etc.

  2. When symbol appears in notification bar at the top showing a USB connection of phone to PC, he should drag down from the top of the screen, and click on "Connected as a mass storage: touch for other USB options".

  3. He should then click on "Connect as: Media device (MTP) -- Lets you transfer media files on Windows, or using Android File Transfer on Mac". (He may be prompted to install Motorola connection software, which he should allow.)

  4. In Windows, he should then access My Computer, and, under Portable Devices, click on Droid Bionic. Within there, he will have access to "Interal storage" and "SD Card" (if any), and he can begin viewing or transferring the files in a decrypted state. (Note: the decryption process can take a noticeable amount of time, say, 1-2 seconds on each folder viewed.)

Source: I have a Droid phone with encryption enabled, and did this procedure to transfer files in a decrypted state.

(Click image to enlarge)

IMG: Screenshot of Droid set for Connect as Media Device (MTP) instead of Connect as a Mass Storage

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