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How to protect your files in case of stolen/lost Surface?


New Member
Hi guys, I was hoping some of you can help me with this issue.

Here are my thoughts: I want to have my pictures available, anytime, on my surface drive. But I am very concerned these sensitive files can get public if someone steals my Surface.

I do have automatic online backups through oneDrive.
I thought of encryption, however there are some issues: encrypted files are hard to access on the go and because onedrive backup is automatic the pictures will be encrypted on the cloud also; I will have my precious pictures dependent on some 3rd party encryption software forever, even the ones on the cloud. Don't like that.

Can I just rely on windows 10 login password? I've heard that would be easy to cheat and get access to the files.

Can you think of any better options?

Thank you


Staff member
Using a complex password will mitigate some of this, the SP3 is encrypted out of the box already....


Super Moderator
Staff member
May I suggest a homebrew server in your basement... no wait... ;)

I started to write some stuff... but upon looking for references decided to punt.



How to Use 7-Zip to Encrypt Files and Folders

Unless you need industrial strength security you are will to pay for or must withstand NSA & Russian hackers.


Active Member
Well first of all register the Surface with Microsoft. The serial number will be tracked if repairs are needed. That's the first thing to do.


New Member
If you encrypt your Surface drives, your One Drive files will be stored in the cloud without encryption, and will be readily available to any device you want, provided you know your Microsoft account password. Well, that is if you are encrypting your device drives (which is the most usual way to protect your device in case it is stolen, and should be enough), if you are talking about using some specific encryption software once you are already logged in Windows, then I don´t know.

I use my surface with sensitive files from my job, so, both my HDD drive and my SD card are encrypted. Some of these files (not the most particularly sensitive anyway, since I think my Microsoft account could be hacked more easily than my physical device) are also backed up in One Drive. Well, these files are perfectly accesible in my laptop (which is also encrypted, and with a different key, obviously), my desktop PC (which is not encrypted), and my Android phone (which is also encrypted).

The only "protection" to those files in your One Drive cloud service is your Microsoft account password, so make sure it is a complex one and changed regularly.

Hope this helps.


New Member
Almost exactly my set up. I don't use any "cloud" service for my confidential files, anything you put on a cloud service is out of your control, I rather use 2 external HD encrypted for backup, using Synctoy, one at my office, another travels with me. Cloud service is used for PDFs, non critical documents, etc...