How to Implement Disk Encryption with BitLocker in Windows 10

BitLocker is a full disk encryption feature in Windows 10, designed to protect data by encrypting entire volumes. It safeguards systems against offline attacks, where unauthorized users try to gain access to sensitive data by booting into another operating system or using recovery tools.

Terms Related to BitLocker Encryption

  • BitLocker: A volume encryption feature in Windows that protects data by encrypting the entire volume.
  • TPM (Trusted Platform Module): A specialized chip on a computer that stores encryption keys specific to the host system for hardware protection.
  • Recovery Key: A unique 48-digit numerical password is given when BitLocker is turned on. It provides access to the system if the password is forgotten or TPM fails.
  • System Drive: The drive where Windows is installed, usually the C: drive.

Prerequisites for Using BitLocker

For BitLocker to work, the computer must have a TPM chip version 1.2 or later, and the system firmware must support Secure Boot. The disk should also be formatted with the NTFS file system.

Steps to Enable BitLocker Encryption

  1. Check TPM Availability

    Press the Windows key, type "tpm.msc", and press Enter. The TPM Management console will indicate if TPM is available and active.

  2. Open BitLocker Settings

    Press the Windows key, type "BitLocker settings", and select the appropriate result.

  3. Turn on BitLocker

    Next to the system drive, select "Turn on BitLocker". Follow the on-screen instructions.

  4. Choose a Password or Smart Card

    Choose how to unlock the drive at startup: using a password or a smart card. Enter the preferred method and continue.

  5. Backup Recovery Key

    Save the 48-digit recovery key to a safe location. It can be saved to a Microsoft account, a USB drive, a file, or printed.

  6. Choose Encryption Method

    Opt between encrypting the used disk space only (faster) or the entire drive (slower but more secure).

  7. Start Encryption

    Review the choices and click "Start encrypting" to begin the process.


BitLocker provides an extra layer of security for sensitive data, ensuring that its data remains protected even if a device is lost or stolen. Always remember to keep the recovery key in a secure location.

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