Encrypt USB Flash Drives with BitLocker To Go in Windows 7

Microsoft has extended BitLocker functionality in Windows 7. BitLocker To Go extends BitLocker data protection to USB storage devices, enabling them to be restricted with a passphrase.

In addition to having control over passphrase length and complexity, IT administrators can set a policy that requires users to apply BitLocker protection to removable drives before being able to write to them. BitLocker To Go also allows users to more securely share data with users who have not yet deployed Windows 7.

Encrypt USB Flash Drives with BitLocker To Go

To get started, first plugin your USB flash drive. Next, right click on the USB drive icon in the Computer folder and select Turn on BitLocker.

Select how you want to protect it. Set a password or passphrase or use a smart card.

Click Next and back up your recovery key to a safe place. Now click Start Encrypting.

The USB flash drive will now be protected.

When you encrypt a fixed data drive using BitLocker Drive Encryption or encrypt a removable drive using BitLocker To Go, you choose a method for unlocking the drive. The method you choose depends on the type of drive you are encrypting, the flexibility that you want, and any requirements set by your organization (if you are encrypting drives on a work computer, for example).

The following is a list of unlock options and the benefits and restrictions of each option.

  1. Password
  2. Smart Cart
  3. Automatically unlock.

When you use it on another computer, you will have to give the password first.

If you wish to change any settings, right click on the USB Drive icon in the Computer folder and select Manage BitLocker. It will present options to change or remove the password, add a smart card, save or print the key again, or allow automatic unlocking the USB Drive on this particular computer.

This post will show you how to secure portable storage devices using BitLocker To Go in Windows 10 and Windows 8.

Go here to know more about the BitLocker feature, how to prepare your computer for BitLocker Drive Encryption & how to recover data from a corrupted disk volume, encrypted with BitLocker.

Go here to check out some freeware to Password Protect USB Drive.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.