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Windows 10 Hard Drive Encryption with BitLocker

BitLocker Drive Encryption is a data protection feature available for Windows 10.  Having BitLocker integrated with the operating system helps to address the threats of data theft or exposure from lost, stolen, or inappropriately decommissioned computers.  BitLocker does not require any additional authentication to access the machine during normal operation, using your Windows authentication to allow access to your encrypted data.  

Enabling BitLocker

NOTE:  If your machine prompts you that the TPM is not enabled or you run in to any other issues during the process, please submit a work order and we will have a tech assist you.

Step 1) Search Windows for 'bitlocker' and open the 'BitLocker Drive Encryption' option.


Step 2) If BitLocker is already turned on, your drive is already encrypted.  If not, click on the 'Turn BitLock On' link.

Click the 'Turn on Bitlocker' link


Step 3) You should then be presented with options on how you would like to store your BitLocker key.  It is very important to retain this key in a secure location (not stored directly with your laptop) so that you can still access your drive if you encounter Windows or laptop issues in the future.  Please print a copy of the key as well as storing a copy to your U drive before clicking the continue button. 


Step 4) When presented options to determine how much of your drive to encrypt, you are welcome to choose either option depending upon the status of your computer.  If it is a new machine, the first option will quickly encrypt it.  If you have been using the machine for a while, we recommend using the second option to make sure that the entire drive is encrypted.  (This option includes files that you may have previously deleted, but still reside in the backgound on your machine.)


Step 5) Unless your are encrypting a removable drive, select the 'New encryption mode' and proceed.

Click the 'New encryption mode' option and then the 'Next' button


Step 6) The system will then ask if you are ready to encrypt the drive.  Please check the box to 'Run BitLocker system check' and click the continue button.

Be sure to click the 'Run BitLocker system check' option before proceeding


Step 7) You will then be prompted to decide if you'd like to start the encryption now by restarting or if you'd like to wait until you next restart.  It will take a short moment on restart, but after that it will encrypt the drive as a background process so you are able to continue working while it progresses.

Choose when you would like to restart


Step 8) Please email a copy of your BitLocker key to  It is important for us to retain a copy of this key so that we are able to perform maintenance on the machine.  Without the key, work may require that the machine be reimaged and all data will be lost since we are unable to access encrypted information.


When will I need my BitLocker key?

Rarely.  The only time your BitLocker key should be required is if your machine encounters and issue and maintenance needs to be performed outside of Windows or by removing the hard drive.

Provide your BitLocker key when attempting to access the drive without authenticating through Windows

If you have any questions, please call the Technology Solutions Center x3619 or visit us at BAC C107.