Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10  

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    Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10

    Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10

    How to Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10
    Published by Category: Security System
    10 Oct 2020
    Designer Media Ltd



    How to Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10


    You can use BitLocker Drive Encryption to help protect your files on an entire drive. BitLocker can help block hackers from accessing the system files they rely on to discover your password, or from accessing your drive by physically removing it from your PC and installing it in a different one. You can still sign in to Windows and use your files as you normally would.

    New files are automatically encrypted when you add them to a drive that uses BitLocker. However, if you copy these files to another drive or a different PC, they're automatically decrypted.

    BitLocker can encrypt the drive Windows is installed on (the operating system drive) as well as fixed data drives (such as internal hard drives). You can also use BitLocker To Go to help protect all files stored on a removable data drive (such as an external hard drive or USB flash drive).

    BitLocker To Go is BitLocker Drive Encryption on removable data drives. This includes the encryption of USB flash drives, SD cards, external hard disk drives, and other drives formatted by using the NTFS, FAT16, FAT32, or exFAT file systems.

    You can choose how you want to unlock an encrypted data drive: with a password or a smart card. For removable data drives encrypted with BitLocker To Go, you can set the drive to automatically unlock when you sign in to the PC.

    This tutorial will show you how to turn on or off BitLocker To Go to encrypt or decrypt a removable data drive in Windows 10.

    BitLocker Drive Encryption is only available in Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Enterprise, and Windows 10 Education editions.



    Contents

    • Option One: To Turn On BitLocker for a Removable Data Drive in BitLocker Manager
    • Option Two: To Turn Off BitLocker for a Removable Data Drive in BitLocker Manager
    • Option Three: To Turn Off BitLocker for a Removable Data Drive in Command Prompt
    • Option Four: To Turn Off BitLocker for a Removable Data Drive in PowerShell



    EXAMPLE: Enter password to unlock data drive encrypted by BitLocker
    Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10-bitlocker-1.png Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10-bitlocker-2.png






    OPTION ONE

    To Turn On BitLocker for a Removable Data Drive in BitLocker Manager


    1 If you like, set a default encryption method (XTS-AES or AES-CBC) and cipher strength (128 bit or 256 bit) you want used by BitLocker. BitLocker Drive Encryption uses AES-CBC 128 bit by default for removable data drives.

    2 Do step 3, step 4, or step 5 below for how you would like to manage BitLocker.

    3 Right click or press and hold on the removable data drive (ex: F: ) you want to encrypt, click/tap on Turn on BitLocker, and go to step 6 below. (see screenshot below)

    Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10-bitlocker_removable_data_drive-1.png

    4 Select the removable data drive (ex: F: ) you want to encrypt, click/tap on the "Drive Tools" Manage tab, click/tap on the BitLocker button in the ribbon, click/tap on Turn on BitLocker, and go to step 6 below. (see screenshot below)

    Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10-bitlocker_removable_data_drive-2.png

    5 Open the Control Panel (icons view), and click/tap on the BitLocker Drive Encryption icon.

    A) Expand open the removable data drive (ex: F: ) you want to encrypt under Removable data drives - BitLocker To Go, click/tap on Turn on BitLocker, and go to step 6 below. (see screenshot below)

    Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10-bitlocker_removable_data_drive-3.png

    6 Choose how (password or smart card) you want to unlock this drive, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)

    Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10-bitlocker_removable_data_drive-4.png

    7 Select how (Microsoft account, file, and/or print) you want to back up your BitLocker recovery key for this drive, and click/tap on Next when finished. (see screenshot below)

    Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10-bitlocker_removable_data_drive-5.png

    Microsoft account = This option is only available when you are signed in to Windows 10 with a Microsoft account. It will save the BitLocker recovery key to your OneDrive account online at Microsoft OneDrive - Access files anywhere. Create docs with free Office Online..

    Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10-bitlocker_removable_data_drive-5d.png

    File = This option will save the BitLocker recovery key .TXT file to a location you select.

    Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10-bitlocker_removable_data_drive-5a.png Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10-bitlocker_removable_data_drive-5b.png

    Print = This option will print the BitLocker recovery key to the selected printer.

    Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10-bitlocker_removable_data_drive-5c.png

    8 Select (dot) how much of your drive to encrypt right now, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)

    It is recommended to select Encrypt entire drive.

    Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10-bitlocker_removable_data_drive-6.png

    9 Select (dot) which encryption mode to use, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)

    If you did step 1 above to set a default encryption method and cipher strength, then you will not have this setting available since BitLocker will use what you set in step 1 instead.

    New encryption mode (XTS-AES 128-bit) = Select this mode if this is a fixed drive or if this drive will only be used on devices running at least Windows 10 (version 1511) or later.

    Compatible mode (AES-CBC 128-bit) = Select this mode if this is a removable drive that you're going to use on an older version of Windows (ex: Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8/8.1).

    Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10-bitlocker_removable_data_drive-7.png

    10 Click/tap on Start encrypting when ready. (see screenshot below)

    Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10-bitlocker_removable_data_drive-8.png

    11 The removable data drive will now start encrypting. (see screenshot below)

    This could take a long time to finish depending on the size of the drive and how much data on the drive is being encrypted.

    Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10-bitlocker_removable_data_drive-9.png

    12 When encryption has finished, click/tap on Close. (see screenshot below)

    Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10-bitlocker_removable_data_drive-10.png






    OPTION TWO

    To Turn Off BitLocker for a Removable Data Drive in BitLocker Manager


    1 If you have not already, unlock the removable data drive encrypted by BitLocker.

    2 Do step 3, step 4, or step 5 below for how you would like to manage BitLocker.

    3 Right click or press and hold on the encrypted removable data drive (ex: F: ), click/tap on Manage BitLocker, and go to step 6 below. (see screenshot below)

    Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10-turn_off_bitlocker_removable_data_drive-1.png

    4 Select the encrypted removable data drive (ex: F: ), click/tap on the "Drive Tools" Manage tab, click/tap on the BitLocker button in the ribbon, click/tap on Manage BitLocker, and go to step 6 below. (see screenshot below)

    Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10-turn_off_bitlocker_removable_data_drive-2.png

    5. Open the Control Panel (icons view), click/tap on the BitLocker Drive Encryption icon, and go to step 6 below.

    6 Expand open the encrypted removable data drive (ex: F: ) under Removable data drives - BitLocker To Go, and click/tap on Turn off BitLocker. (see screenshot below)

    Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10-turn_off_bitlocker_removable_data_drive-3.png

    7 Click/tap on Turn off BitLocker to confirm. (see screenshot below)

    Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10-turn_off_bitlocker_removable_data_drive-4.png

    8 The removable data drive will now start decrypting. (see screenshot below)

    Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10-turn_off_bitlocker_removable_data_drive-5.png

    9 When decryption has finished, click/tap on Close. (see screenshot below)

    Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10-turn_off_bitlocker_removable_data_drive-6.png






    OPTION THREE

    To Turn Off BitLocker for a Removable Data Drive in Command Prompt


    1 Open an elevated command prompt.

    2 Type the command below in the elevated command prompt, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

    manage-bde -off <drive letter>:

    Substitute <drive letter> in the command above with the actual drive letter of the encrypted drive you want to decrypt.

    For example: manage-bde -off E:


    You can check the status of BitLocker for the drive at anytime.

    Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10-turn_off_bitlocker_command.png






    OPTION FOUR

    To Turn Off BitLocker for a Removable Data Drive in PowerShell


    1 Open an elevated Powershell.

    2. Type the command below in the elevated PowerShell, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

    Disable-BitLocker -MountPoint "<drive letter>:"

    Substitute <drive letter> in the command above with the actual drive letter of the encrypted drive you want to decrypt.

    For example: Disable-BitLocker -MountPoint "F:"


    You can check the status of BitLocker for the drive at anytime.

    Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10-turn_off_bitlocker_powershell.png



    That's it,
    Shawn


    Related Tutorials





  1. Posts : 1,116
    win 10 pro x64 os build 20H2
       #1

    Hi Brink i'm encrypting a empty 1 TB seagate backup plus drive, its been encrypting since 7:30 am and its on usb 3 i did the whole drive encryption, but it's only 25.9% done is this normal? should it be this slow?. anyway to stop the process and turn it off, or will it finish at some point today. it's 3:26 pm now.
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 61,533
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter
       #2

    Hello Tony, :)

    If the 1 TB drive is full of data, then yeah it can take a long time to finish. I'd let it sit until finished if you like.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 1,116
    win 10 pro x64 os build 20H2
       #3

    nope its empty nothing on it is wired how its taking a long time, but it's a notebook style drive a small seagate backup plus drive so could that be why?.
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 61,533
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter
       #4

    It shouldn't normally take that long on an empty drive, but if it's a 5400 RPM drive, then it will be slower.
    Last edited by Brink; 19 Jan 2016 at 19:32.
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 1,116
    win 10 pro x64 os build 20H2
       #5

    ok i will give it time i will see if i can check the speed on it as well. yes its a 5400 rpm drive wired as i just bought it must been old stock.
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 61,533
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Hopefully it'll hurry up and finished for you. It's just that a 5400 RPM will be a bit slower than a 7200 RPM model. :)
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 1,116
    win 10 pro x64 os build 20H2
       #7

    yea hope so i want to store my banking info and tax info on it that's why encrypting it.
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 245
    Windows 10 Pro 2004
       #8

    I'm trying to unlock my grandson's pen drive. It has BitLocker.

    His password is not accepted. My eventual objective is to reformat the drive and forget about BitLocker. It only contains junk files.

    When I try: manage-bde -off g:

    I get message: The operation cannot be performed because the volume is locked.

    What should I do now?

    Thanks.
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 61,533
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter
       #9

    OldGrantonian said:
    I'm trying to unlock my grandson's pen drive. It has BitLocker.

    His password is not accepted. My eventual objective is to reformat the drive and forget about BitLocker. It only contains junk files.

    When I try: manage-bde -off g:

    I get message: The operation cannot be performed because the volume is locked.

    What should I do now?

    Thanks.

    Hello mate,

    If you don't care about losing the files on the USB pen drive, then you could just format it to remove the BitLocker encryption.
      My Computers


 

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