In this post, we will show you how to enable or disable BitLocker to encrypt or decrypt fixed and removable data drives in Windows 10. BitLocker is a feature that can help you encrypt the drives on your computer. When you enable BitLocker, new files are automatically encrypted when you add them to a drive. When you copy these files to another drive or a different PC, they’re automatically decrypted.
Turn BitLocker On or Off for Data Drives
To turn BitLocker on, open Explorer and right-click the data drive (eg. E: ) you want to encrypt and select Turn on BitLocker.
Choose how (Password, Smart card, or Automatically) you want to unlock this drive, and click Next.
The Automatically unlock this drive on this computer option will only be available only if the operating system drive has already been encrypted by BitLocker.
Turn BitLocker On or Off for Removable Data Drives
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.
To turn on Bitlocker for Removable Data Drives, open Explorer, right-click the removable data drive you want to encrypt, click Turn on BitLocker.
Follow the same steps as mentioned above for fixed data drives.
When encryption has completed, you’ll receive a prompt. Click on Close.
To turn Off Bitlocker for Removable Data Drives, open an elevated command prompt, type the following command, and hit Enter.
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:
Thus you can turn BitLocker on or off for both Fixed and Removable Data Drives in Windows 10.
Obinna Onwusobalu, Windows Insider MVP, MCSA, MCTS, MCITP, has studied Information & Communication Technology and is a keen follower of the Windows ecosystem. He runs a computer software clinic. He says it's best practice to create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your PC.