I currently have elementary OS 0.3.2 Freya (64-bit) on a Dell Latitude E6530 laptop (Intel i7-3520M/2.90GHz, 8 GB RAM, 500 GB HDD). I chose to encrypt the disk when I installed.

As I am the only user on this machine, I realized afterward that full disk encryption was probably not the way to go and I would like to remove the encryption.

Is this even possible?

If it isn't, do I have to back up everything and reinstall to get rid of it? If that's the case, I know what apps and documents I need to back up, but what about tweaks/customization? Are there common config files in certain locations that can be saved to put in place after a reinstall?

Sorry; this isn't just one question, so please excuse my ignorance. I can split up the questions, if need be.


  • If you're reinstalling, backing up your home folder should save practically all of your changes, except those stored in gsettings.
    – Lewis Goddard
    Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 14:26

2 Answers 2


It took me awhile to get around to resolving this, but in the end, I just backed up my documents and made a list of apps I had installed, then wiped the drive and installed Freya, choosing not to encrypt the drive when given the option.

Thanks for the input, all!


Usually when you do a reinstall and have your home folder on a separate partition, all the settings (at least so far as I can tell) are kept, so that wouldn't be the problem.

But I'm pretty sure that even with a clean reinstall, you'll be stuck with an encrypted home folder. If I remember correctly, during the installation routine the encryption option will be greyed out, at least if you have just an encrypted home folder. I also tried to change the encryption password once, but it didn't work. But you might have to try it out since I'm not entirely sure


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