How to use BitLocker Drive Encryption on Windows 10 | Windows Central.How to use BitLocker Drive Encryption on Windows 10 | Windows Central
Encrypting your hard drive is one of the easiest and fastest ways to increase your security. Windows 10 has a drive encryption program built in. BitLocker is a full drive encryption tool available to Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education users. Drive encryption sounds intimidating. If you lose your password, your drive remains lockedforever.
Nonetheless, the security it grants you is almost unrivaled. You can use BitLocker to encrypt a drive volume. A drive volume can mean part of a drive, rather than the entire drive. BitLocker offers strong encryption to regular Windows 10 users.
As far as encryption goes, that’s strong. At the current time, there is no known method of brute forcing a bit AES encryption key. A research team did come up with one potential attack on the AES encryption algorithm, but it would take millions of years to crack the key. That’s why people refer to AES as “military grade encryption. Still, you can also use BitLocker with a larger bit key, making the drive key essentially impossible to unlock.
Unsure if your system has a TPM module? If you meet the “Compatible TPM cannot be found” message like me! It isn’t a problem if you do not have one. See the following section to understand how. Before progressing to the BitLocker drive encryption tutorial, check whether BitLocker is enabled on your system. Type gpedit in your Start Menu search bar and select the Best Match. The Group Policy Editor will open. What is Group Policy and how do you use it?
Select Require additional authentication at startup , followed by Enabled. First up, type bitlocker in your Start Menu search bar, then select the Best Match. Now you must Choose how you want to unlock this drive. Here you have two options. Here’s the fun part: choosing a suitably strong password that you can also remember. As the BitLocker wizard helpfully suggests, your password should contain upper and lower case letters, numbers, spaces, and symbols.
Need help? Check out exactly how you can make a strong password that you will never forget. The next page contains options for creating a BitLocker recovery key. A BitLocker recovery key is unique to your drive and is the only way you can safely and securely create a backup of sorts.
External devices like flash drives and external hard drives can be encrypted by disk encryption software, too. In general, we’d recommend that you use those tools if you can. If you can’t for some reason, or if your operating system’s included tool doesn’t offer a feature you’d like, one of the free programs below might be for you.
You can instead encrypt only some of your files. Based on the popular but discontinued TrueCrypt software is VeraCrypt. It’s a powerful disk encryption program that supports hidden volumes, on-the-fly encryption, keyfiles, keyboard shortcuts, and more awesome features. Not only can it encrypt whole disks of data at once, but it can also encrypt the system partition that has an OS installed.
Furthermore, you can use VeraCrypt to build a single file that acts as a drive, complete with its own encrypted files and folders. If you’re encrypting the system volume the partition you’re actively using , you can still carry on with regular activities while the process completes in the background.
This is really nice considering how long it takes to run a full disk encryption on large amounts of data.
You can use this program in Windows, macOS, and Linux. DiskCryptor is one of the best free disk encryption program for Windows. It’s also really simple to use and has some pretty neat, unique features. In addition to password protecting a partition, you can even add one or more keyfiles to it for increased security. Keyfiles can be in the form of files or folders and, if set up as such, are required before mounting or decrypting a volume.
Data on a volume encrypted using DiskCryptor can be viewed and modified while the drive is mounted. There is no need to decrypt the whole drive just to access the files. It can then be dismounted in seconds, which renders the drive and all data on it unusable until the password or keyfile s are entered.
Something we particularly like about this program is that if your computer reboots while a drive is mounted and readable, it automatically dismounts and becomes unusable until the credentials are entered again. The only thing we don’t like very much is that it has a major glitch that could render your encrypted system volume unusable. It’s important to recognize this problem before encrypting a partition that’s used to boot into Windows.
More about this in our review. Both drive types can be configured to require authentication by password or a USB device. Using an external device as authentication requires it to be plugged in before you’re given access to the encrypted files. Instead, you must use the same password for each one. You can change the initial password or USB authentication method any time you want but it, unfortunately, applies to all the encrypted drives. Windows , XP, Vista, and 7 are supported. That Network Attached Storage drive you’ve got in the corner also supports encryption, but before you install encryption software, explore whether the NAS itself supports on-board encryption.
BitLocker for Windows 10 Home – Hasleo BitLocker Anywhere For Windows.3 Best Free Full Disk Encryption Programs
Regardless, BitLocker is a good option for encrypting your entire disk. When you get your new PC, it does not include BitLocker encryption. If you have Windows 8. This upgrade is also carried over to Windows Whether you have an old PC or a new computer, BitLocker will protect your data.
It will encrypt the whole hard drive on which your operating system and data reside. The security of this feature is one of the main benefits of this program, as it only allows those with the right encryption key to access the data. Attempts by unauthorized individuals to access the secured data will be met with authentication prompts and error messages.
It is a great piece of software that offers you peace of mind. If you have an older version of Windows 10, you can also use VeraCrypt, which is a free encryption tool. VeraCrypt has similar functionality as Microsoft Bitlocker, but its layout may be different. After enabling encryption, VeraCrypt will encrypt your drive.
This software can protect your computer from unauthorized changes and prevent firmware-level malware from infecting your computer. The recovery key is printed out or saved to a USB drive or Microsoft account. Once you plug in the external drive, you will be prompted to enter the unlock method.
Without this method, people will not be able to access the files on the drive. However, there are third-party programs and utilities that act like BitLocker on Windows Once encrypted, only the user with the correct recovery key can access the protected files. Unauthorized attempts to open the protected data will be met with error messages and authentication prompts.
Having this protection will give you peace of mind and keep your data safe. BitLocker encrypts data on your system drive, internal hard drive, and VHD file. BitLocker To Go allows you to protect files on removable devices.
To determine if BitLocker is enabled on your PC, you can run the command manage-bde -status from the command prompt. You can also choose whether or not BitLocker encrypts the entire drive, or just the used disk space. Encrypting the whole drive will take longer than encrypting a specific drive, but it will help prevent data from being recovered by others.
To determine if BitLocker is enabled, you need to log in as the administrator. Then, go to Control Panel and click Advanced settings. Then click the Enable button. This feature is not available on the Windows 10 Home edition. But you can enable it with just a single click. Read on for more information. With earlier versions of Windows, administrators had to enable BitLocker after Windows had been installed. Although this process could be automated, BitLocker would need to encrypt the entire drive, a process that could take anywhere from several hours to more than a day depending on drive size and performance, which delayed deployment.
Microsoft has improved this process through multiple features in Windows 11 and Windows Beginning in Windows 8. With Windows 11 and Windows 10, Microsoft offers BitLocker Device Encryption support on a much broader range of devices, including those that are Modern Standby, and devices that run Windows 10 Home edition or Windows Microsoft expects that most devices in the future will pass the testing requirements, which makes BitLocker device encryption pervasive across modern Windows devices.
BitLocker device encryption further protects the system by transparently implementing device-wide data encryption.
Unlike a standard BitLocker implementation, BitLocker device encryption is enabled automatically so that the device is always protected. The following list outlines how this happens:. Microsoft recommends that BitLocker Device Encryption be enabled on any systems that support it, but the automatic BitLocker Device Encryption process can be prevented by changing the following registry setting:.
In this case, BitLocker device encryption automatically makes additional BitLocker options available. No conversion or encryption is required, and MBAM can manage the full BitLocker policy set if any configuration changes are required.
After that, different BitLocker settings can be applied. BitLocker in earlier Windows versions could take a long time to encrypt a drive, because it encrypted every byte on the volume including parts that didn’t have data.
That is still the most secure way to encrypt a drive, especially if a drive has previously contained confidential data that has since been moved or deleted. In that case, traces of the confidential data could remain on portions of the drive marked as unused. But why encrypt a new drive when you can simply encrypt the data as it is being written? To reduce encryption time, BitLocker in Windows 11 and Windows 10 let users choose to encrypt just their data.
Depending on the amount of data on the drive, this option can reduce encryption time by more than 99 percent. Exercise caution when encrypting only used space on an existing volume on which confidential data may have already been stored in an unencrypted state, however, because those sectors can be recovered through disk-recovery tools until they’re overwritten by new encrypted data. In contrast, encrypting only used space on a brand-new volume can significantly decrease deployment time without the security risk because all new data will be encrypted as it’s written to the disk.
Microsoft worked with storage vendors to improve the hardware capabilities, and now BitLocker supports the next generation of SEDs, which are called encrypted hard drives. If you plan to use, whole-drive encryption with Windows 11 or Windows 10, Microsoft recommends that you investigate hard drive manufacturers and models to determine whether any of their encrypted hard drives meet your security and budget requirements. For more information about encrypted hard drives, see Encrypted Hard Drive.
An effective implementation of information protection, like most security controls, considers usability and security. Users typically prefer a simple security experience. In fact, the more transparent a security solution becomes, the more likely users are to conform to it. It’s crucial that organizations protect information on their PCs regardless of the state of the computer or the intent of users. This protection shouldn’t be cumbersome to users.
One undesirable and previously commonplace situation is when the user is prompted for input during preboot, and then again during Windows sign-in. Challenging users for input more than once should be avoided. Windows 11 and Windows 10 can enable a true SSO experience from the preboot environment on modern devices and in some cases even on older devices when robust information protection configurations are in place.
The TPM in isolation is able to securely protect the BitLocker encryption key while it is at rest, and it can securely unlock the operating system drive. When the key is in use and thus in memory, a combination of hardware and Windows capabilities can secure the key and prevent unauthorized access through cold-boot attacks.
For more information, see BitLocker Countermeasures. Such a PIN requirement can prevent an attacker who has physical access to a PC from even getting to the Windows sign-in, which makes it virtually impossible for the attacker to access or modify user data and system files. This configuration comes with some costs, however. One of the most significant is the need to change the PIN regularly. This requirement not only increased management costs but made users less willing to change their BitLocker PIN or password regularly.
Windows 11 and Windows 10 users can update their BitLocker PINs and passwords themselves, without administrator credentials. Not only will this feature reduce support costs, but it could improve security, too, because it encourages users to change their PINs and passwords more often.
In addition, Modern Standby devices don’t require a PIN for startup: They’re designed to start infrequently and have other mitigations in place that further reduce the attack surface of the system.
For more information about how startup security works and the countermeasures that Windows 11 and Windows 10 provide, see Protect BitLocker from pre-boot attacks.
Bitlocker drive encryption free for windows 10
M3 BitLocker Loader for Windows is an application that lets you turn on the BitLocker drive encryption in Windows 11/10 Home. You can use this. bitlocker drive encryption free download. Cryptomator Cryptomator is a free and open source project that offers multi-platform, transparent client side en. Encrypting your hard drive is one of the easiest and fastest ways to increase your security. Windows 10 has a drive encryption program built.