How to enable BitLocker on Windows 11

How to enable BitLocker on Windows 11 – On Windows 11, BitLocker is a security feature that allows you to use encryption on a drive to protect your data from unauthorized access to your documents, pictures, and any kind of data you may have on the computer.

BitLocker is available on Windows 11 Pro, Enterprise, and Education, and while it’s not available for the Home edition, Windows 11 still provide device encryption in specific devices, such as Surface Pro 8, Laptop 4, and others.

When enabling encryption on the drive, any data becomes scrambled using the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption algorithm to encrypt the data in the entire drive, and no one can access it without the correct password, even if you share the file with other people.

Windows 11 offers two types of encryption, including BitLocker to encrypt and protect the operating system and fixed data drives and BitLocker To Go to encrypt removable drives that you can access from different devices.

BitLocker requires a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip for the best experience, and since you can’t install Windows 11 on a device without TPM, it’s no longer necessary to check and configure the security feature.

If you have an older version, such as Windows 10, you can use BitLocker with TPM or software-based encryption, but it requires extra steps for additional authentication.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to disable and enable BitLocker on a  Windows 11 drive, fixed and data drives, and USB removable storage.

Enable BitLocker encryption on Windows 11

To encrypt the Windows 11 drive with BitLocker, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 11.
  2. Click on Storage.
  3. Under the “Storage management” section, click on Advanced storage settings.
  4. Click on Disks & volumes.Disks & volumes
  5. Select the drive with the volume to encrypt.
  6. Choose the volume to enable BitLocker encryption and click the Properties button.Settings app drive properties
  7. Click the Turn on BitLocker option.Windows 11 turn on BitLocker option
  8. Under the “Operating system drive” section, click the Turn on BitLocker option.BitLocker Windows 11 drive encryption
  9. Select the option to backup the recovery key – For example, Save to your Microsoft account.Save encryption key to Microsoft account
  10. Click the Next button.
  11. Select the Encrypt used disk space only option.Encrypt used disk space only
  12. Click the Next button.
  13. Select the New encryption mode option.New encryption mode

    Important: If you intend to encrypt a drive that you will end up using on an older version of Windows, you should choose the Compatible mode option.

  14. Click the Next button.
  15. Check the Run BitLocker system check option.BitLocker system check
  16. Click the Restart now button.

Once you complete the steps, the computer will restart to enable BitLocker. However, depending on the amount of data available on the drive, BitLocker will continue to encrypt the used space in the background.

If you used the Microsoft account option to save the BitLocker recovery key, then, later on, you can find the keys in the device BitLocker recovery keys section of your account.

Enable BitLocker on fixed data drive on Windows 11

To turn BitLocker on a secondary drive, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Storage.
  3. Under the “Storage management” section, click on Advanced storage settings.
  4. Click on Disks & volumes.Disks & volumes
  5. Select the drive with the fixed data drive to encrypt.
  6. Choose the volume to enable BitLocker encryption and click the Properties button.Open fixed data drive properties
  7. Click the Turn on BitLocker option.Open BitLocker for fixed drive
  8. Under the “Fixed data drives” section, click the Turn on BitLocker option for the storage.Enable BitLocker fixed drive
  9. Check the Use a password to unlock the drive option.BitLocker password unlock drive settings
  10. Create and confirm the password to unlock the BitLocker drive.
  11. Click the Next button.
  12. Select the option to save the recovery key:
    • Save to your Microsoft account.
    • Save to a USB flash drive.
    • Save to a file.
    • Print the recovery.

    Save recovery key on Microsoft account

  13. Click the Next button.
  14. Select the Encrypt used disk space only option.Encrypt used disk space only
  15. Click the Next button.
  16. Select the New encryption mode option.New encryption mode
  17. Click the Next button.
  18. Click the Start encrypting button.Start encryption fixed data drive
  19. Click the Close button.

After you complete the steps, BitLocker will encrypt the entire volume on the secondary drive.

Enable BitLocker To Go on USB flash drive on Windows 11

To set up BitLocker To Go on a removable storage, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Storage.
  3. Under the “Storage management” section, click on Advanced storage settings.
  4. Click on Disks & volumes.Disks & volumes
  5. Select the USB flash drive with the volume to encrypt.
  6. Choose the volume to enable BitLocker To Go encryption and click the Properties button.Open USB drive properties
  7. Click the Turn on BitLocker option.Turn on BitLocker To Go
  8. Under the “Removable data drives BitLocker To Go” section, click the Turn on BitLocker option for the storage.Enable BitLocker To Go on Windows 11
  9. Check the Use a password to unlock the drive option.Configure BitLocker To Go recovery
  10. Create and confirm the password to unlock the BitLocker drive.
  11. Click the Next button.
  12. Select the option to save the recovery key:
    • Save to your Microsoft account.
    • Save to a file.
    • Print the recovery.

    Save BitLocker To Go key on Microsoft account

  13. Click the Next button.
  14. Select the Encrypt used disk space only option.BitLocker To Go encrypt used disk space only
  15. Click the Next button.
  16. Select the Compatible mode option.BitLocker To Go compatibly mode
  17. Click the Next button.
  18. Click the Start encrypting button.
  19. Click the Close button.

Once you complete the steps, the data inside the USB portable drive will be encrypted with BitLocker To Go.

Disable BitLocker on Windows 11

To disable BitLocker on any drive, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Control Panel and click the top result to open the app.
  3. Click on System and Security.
  4. Click on BitLocker Drive Encryption.1641586422 934 How to enable BitLocker on Windows 11 • Pureinfotech.webp BitLocker Drive Encryption
  5. Select the drive to disable BitLocker encryption.Windows 11 disable BitLocker
  6. Click the Turn off BitLocker option.
  7. Click the Turn off BitLocker button.

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