Most Windows users don’t know about Windows BitLocker, which is a great feature of Windows computers. Read this post to the end, you will figure out the details of Windows BitLocker. You will a clear understanding that how it works, its benefits and the usage rules.
What is Windows BitLocker?
BitLocker is a native security feature of Windows that can encrypt files on any drive. Windows BitLocker is basically used to provide maximum protection to any file. To decrypt an encrypted file, you need a specific key or a simple password.
How does Windows BitLocker work?
Windows BitLocker works through a hardware component called TPM or Trusted Platform Module. What BitLocker does do for hard drives that are used to access that drive? Again, there is a recovery key that will come in handy if you forget the real key. This recovery must be stored in a safe place.
BitLocker actually encrypts the files. As a result, their structure changes, so no one can use those files without decrypting them. If you know about encryption, it will be easier for you to understand BitLocker clearly. Well, what is encryption, how is it used and why? Keep reading.
The advantage of using a BitLocker
BitLocker basically encrypts computer drives, so I got the idea. BitLocker protects computers from data breaches or hacks. BitLocker provides maximum protection to the entire drive using the TPM module. If you want, you can set up BitLocker for automatic saving in Active Directory.
Windows BitLocker does not require any additional software to encrypt files. It is built-in Windows. Besides, BitLocker does not have any effect on the read and write speed of the drive. BitLocker is also quite easy to set up which you can learn from this post.
What does it take to use a BitLocker?
It is safe to say that BitLocker will not work on some computers or drives. Windows BitLocker works on the following operating systems:
- Ultimate and Enterprise Edition of Windows Vista and Windows 7 (TPM version must be at least 1.2 or higher and running)
- Pro and Enterprise editions of Windows 7 and 8.1
- Pro, Education and Enterprise Edition of Windows 10 or 11
- Windows Server 2008 or later
In addition to these, you have to log in to the computer as an administrator. You will also need a printer to print the recovery key though it’s optional.
Rules for using Windows BitLocker
To turn on BitLocker, type Manage BitLocker in the search box of the Start menu. You will also find these settings in the Device Encryption section and in the Dedicated section. Note that BitLocker does not work in Windows 10 Home Edition. If you support BitLocker on your computer, you can use the Turn on BitLocker option with one click. Then you will see the new settings, from which you have to proceed step by step.
Now Windows will check if BitLocker will work on your computer by checking the system settings and configuration. If the TPM module is off on your computer, Windows will start automatically. This step may require you to turn on the computer one or more times to verify that your computer is ready.
Before beginning the encryption, you will be asked to enter a password. It will be used every time you turn on your computer to access that drive. You can provide it manually or use a USB drive if you want.
Turn on these settings for Windows PC security
Now you will see the recovery key settings that the PIN will be used if you cannot access the computer. In Windows 10 you will see the option to save the file to your Microsoft account, save it to a flash drive, save it to a local or cloud file, and print the recovery key manually. Select the option that you think is advantageous.
Then click on Next and you will be asked to select how much part of your drive you want to encrypt. You will get “Used disk space only” and “whole drive”. The Used disk option works much faster and is a good option for new computers and drives. The Whole Drive option is more effective for already used drives. Note that this process will take a little longer if you select Whole drive.
Windows 10 Build 1511 or later may be asked to select the encryption mode. From here, the Compatible option works well on removable drives and older computers. And the New option works in the case of the device storage. Clicking on the Run BitLocker System check button will check your Windows system before starting the encryption process. Now restart the computer manually and enter the password. Confirm if you are asked if you are ready to encrypt the selected drive.
The time it takes to encrypt a file using BitLocker depends on how many or how many files you are encrypting. This process is very fast on new computers, in about 20 minutes