Bitlocker: What is it and how to activate it in Windows 10

The security of our computer should always be a priority, only then can we keep our data and personal information safe. There are many threats that can interfere with the safe use of a device, be it this laptop or desktop computer. However, one of the most serious is the computer information theftas personal data is exposed. BitLocker appears as a Microsoft tool to protect these devices. We tell you more details about this tool and how you can activate it in Windows 10.

Here you will find the answer to all the questions that are on your mind about BitLocker and its uses in Windows 10. We tell you what it is, how to activate it and why it can be your best ally both for personal computers and in work environments.

BitLocker is a encryption application that allows to protect the hard drive to keep it safe in the event of an attempt to steal information on the device. This tool is available in several versions of Windows, it can be found from Windows Vista, through Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10. This application encrypts entire volumes, so it can encrypt the entire hard drive or a part of it that you interest to keep protected.

To achieve this encryption on the hard drive, use a AES algorithm in CBC mode, with a 128-bit key. If all this has sounded complicated to you, just know that the AES is nothing more than a encryption scheme that the United States government decided to establish as a standard methodTherefore, it is the best known.

Where to find the Bitlocker key

In order to access the encryption system you must get a password, this will allow you to access the data. This key can be hosted in several places, we show you which ones and how to find the key:

  • In a Microsoft account: This is a convenient and easy option to find the encryption key that will work like a key. You’ll just need to sign in to your Microsoft account from another device.
  • In a usb flash drive: You can store the encryption key on a USB that you must connect to be able to open the encryption on the device
  • In a hard copy: You can print the key to always have it at hand, however, this is not the most secure option, as other people can easily access it.
  • in an account Azure Active Directory: Your computer may have a linked Azure Active account, this is common in work environments and many times, an administrator action is required to access it.

If you are in a work environment, you may need the help from a system administrator In order to access this confidential information, this is something common and in such a case, you should ask those in charge. Many times, access to this information is restricted to workers, simply to increase the security of the company, so only essential profiles that require access to that information of their position have access.

How to activate Bitlocker in Windows 10?

BitLocker is not available for Windows 10 Home, it was designed for professional environments, where information traffic is higher and attacks are more common. Therefore, in order to activate it You must have the professional version of the operating system. If you take this into account, you only have to follow the steps that we show you below to activate BitLocker in Windows 10:

  • Sign in to Windowsremember that you must have administrator permissions.
  • In the windows task barwrite Manage BitLocker and select the option when it appears.
  • If you can’t find it through the taskbar you can go to Control Panel>System and Security>BitLocker Drive Encryption.
  • Select the option Turn on BitLockeryou’ll find it next to the drive you want to encrypt to keep it safe.
  • Follow the steps indicated by the wizard to finish the task.
  • Choose where to save the key, remember that we have marked some of the options above.

The most essential part of this whole process is save the key to access the encrypted drive in a safe place, if not, other people will be able to access it. The least recommended option is to print the key, since it will be visible and you will not be able to control the security of the device.

Encrypt a USB with BitLocker

BitLocker can also be useful for encrypt USB sticks and keep them safe. The procedure is simple and you can have it ready in a matter of minutes. Let’s see how you can do it:

  • Connect your USB device in the computer.
  • Open the drive in File Browser.
  • go to the section Unit Tools and select BitLocker.
  • Follow the steps in the wizard to finish setting up encryption.
  • Save the encryption key in a safe place.

As you have seen, the process is very similar to activating BitLocker on a computer. With the encryption of the USB drive will protect the information and you will know that this will not be transmitted, you just have to save the password and have it on hand for when you need to access the information.

How to disable encryption

Let’s say you wanted to encrypt a part of your hard drive or a USB drive and you want to reverse the process. It may be that you no longer need to protect that information or that you simply do not quite fit the method. Follow the steps below and turn off BitLocker on your device:

  • go to Control Panel of the computer.
  • Accede to Security system.
  • Select the option BitLocker Drive Encryption.
  • Look for the option Turn off BitLocker and select it.

Once the process is finished, the information will no longer be encrypted, this is essential to remember, especially if you share a computer or are in a work environment where personal data is shared.

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