How to manage BitLocker on a Windows 11 computer?

If you have important files on your hard drive and want to protect them so other people can’t access them, you can enable BitLocker in Windows 11.

BitLocker is an encryption feature built into computers running Windows 11 Pro. If you are using Windows 11 Home, you cannot use BitLocker as it is not available.

BitLocker creates a secure environment for your data without any extra effort. Once it’s set up, you won’t have to worry about it again.

BitLocker secures your data by encrypting it. Encryption secures your data by distorting it so it cannot be read without authenticated decryption using a recovery key.

BitLocker differs from most other encryption programs because it uses your Windows login credentials to secure your data; no additional passwords are required. Once you log in, your files look the same as otherwise, and everything is protected once you log out.

There may be several reasons to set up BitLocker in Windows. For example, you may need to use BitLocker because of your job. On the other hand, you may simply want to secure your data because it provides you with security. Whatever the reason is for this article, I will explain to you step by step how to set up BitLocker in Windows 11.

How to manage BitLocker on a Windows 11 computer?

How to turn on Bitlocker?

In the Windows search bar type: manage BitLocker. Next, click Manage BitLocker from the menu to open the BitLocker settings in Windows 11 Pro.

Manage bitlocker in Windows 11

To enable Bitlocker for your hard drive in Windows, click the “Turn Bitlocker On” link.

Turn Bitlocker on in windows 11

There are two ways to unlock the locked drive in Windows. You can use a USB drive where a password file is created in it or set a password. The advantage of a USB drive is that you have a physical device that you can use. On the other hand, a password may be more convenient because you prefer to remember a password or lose the USB drive. The choice is up to you.

Whichever option you choose, you will end up in the next window.

There are several ways to back up the BitLocker recovery key. First, this key must be backed up. Without it, all the data on your device is inaccessible.

BitLocker offers you four different options to back up your recovery key: Save to your Microsoft account, save to a USB flash drive, Save to a file, or print the recovery key.

Using your Microsoft account is recommended. For example, suppose you need to restore your BitLocker recovery key. In that case, you can access it from the BitLocker Recovery Keys page after signing in to your Microsoft account.

However, if you choose to save or print your BitLocker recovery key in a file, make sure you keep it in a safe place, not on the encrypted device. The disadvantage of printing is that ink fades at some point. Keep this in mind.

Without your BitLocker key, all data on your device will remain completely inaccessible.

How do you want to back up your recovery key

The ability to choose the encryption mode is a new feature in Windows. If you plan to use your drive with older versions of Windows or versions of Windows 10 released before mid-2016, select Compatible Mode.

Otherwise, select New Encryption Mode (this will be the best option for most people). Then click Next to continue.

Select which encryption mode to use

You can choose to start encrypting your disk or run a BitLocker system check first.

I recommend running the BitLocker system check to ensure that BitLocker can read the recovery key before encrypting the drive.

Check the “Run Bitlocker system check” option and click the Continue button.

Run bitlocker system check

BitLocker will reboot your computer before it encrypts. Still, you can continue to use it while your drive is being encrypted. Once the encryption is complete, log in to your computer as you usually would. BitLocker works unobtrusively in the background.

You have now successfully equipped your drive with BitLocker.

How to turn off BitLocker

If you ever want to deactivate BitLocker again, just reopen the BitLocker settings on your computer and click on Turn off BitLocker. You can also change the BitLocker password here, remove the BitLocker password, and backup your BitLocker recovery key.

Turn off bitlocker in Windows 11

Once you have turned off BitLocker the drive starts decrypting.

BitLocker decrypting

I hope this has helped you. Thank you for reading!

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