Encrypt USB Drive to Protect Data

Encrypt USB Drive to Protect Data
Encrypt USB Drive to Protect Data
Enable BitLocker on USB Flash Drives
to Protect Data
Encryption is an effective method of protecting
data stored on portable devices such as USB flash
drives and external hard drives.
Encryption encodes data so that it can only be read
by someone who has the right encryption key
(password) to decode it. This means that if your
device is lost or stolen, the information contained
on it cannot be accessed by unauthorized users.
1. Insert the USB flash drive – this can be a new drive, or one
that already has data stored on it.
2. Open My Computer or Windows Explorer, right click on the
flash drive then select Turn on BitLocker… from the pop-up
3. After BitLocker has prepared the flash drive, the wizard
prompts you to Choose how you want to unlock the drive.
 Passwords allow a drive to be unlocked in any location and
to be shared with other people.
4. The wizard prompts you to store your recovery key in the
event that you forget your password.
Do not save the recovery key on the flash drive you are encrypting.
5. Click on Save the recovery key to a file. In the Save BitLocker
Recovery Key as dialog, browse to a suitable location then
click Save.
5. When you have finished, click Next.
6. On the Are You Ready To Encrypt This Drive page, click Start
Do not remove the USB flash drive until the encryption
process is complete. The encryption time depends on the size
of the drive, the processing power of the computer, and the
level of activity on the computer. For example 2.5GB of data
could take up to 10 minutes.
7. When encryption is complete you’ll see this notification:
When you open My Computer or Windows Explorer, you’ll
notice that the flash drive icon has changed. The padlock
indicates that the drive is now encrypted with BitLocker.
The padlock icon is colored grey – means that the drive is
The next time you right-click on this drive in My Computer or
Windows Explorer and select Manage BitLocker from the
pop-up, you’ll see the following options:
How To use encrypted USB Drive In Windows 7
When you insert the encrypted flash drive into your computer, you will
notice that the padlock icon is colored gold – indicates that the drive is
You will be prompted to enter the password you created when you
encrypted the drive in order to unlock it.
You can use your encrypted drive on Windows XP or Vista PCs by BitLockerToGo
utility on your encrypted flash drive.
Note: Access is read only – you can not save anything back onto the drive when
using it in the Windows XP or Vista.
The encryption process does the following:
• Adds an Autorun.inf file, the BitLocker To Go reader, and a Read Me.txt file
to the USB flash drive.
• Creates a virtual volume with the full contents of the drive in the
remaining drive space.
• Encrypts the virtual volume to protect it.USB flash drive encryption takes
approximately 6 to 10 minutes per gigabyte to complete. The encryption
process can be paused and resumed provided that you don’t remove the
As a result, when AutoPlay is enabled and you insert the encrypted drive
into a USB slot on a computer running Windows 7, Windows 7 runs the
BitLocker To Go reader, which in turn displays a dialog box. When you are
prompted, enter the password to unlock the drive. Optionally, select
Automatically Unlock On This Computer From Now On to save the
password in an encrypted file on the computer’s system volume. Finally,
click Unlock to unlock the volume so that you can use it.
How To Turn Bitlocker Off &
Decrypt The Drive In Windows 7
1. Open the Control Panel and select BitLocker Drive
Encryption to launch the BitLocker configuration panel.
3. Scroll to the bottom of the page to view your flash drive
under BitLocker To Go. Click Turn Off BitLocker where it
appears next to your drive.
4. Select Decrypt Drive to begin the decryption process.
A small window will appear that contains a progress bar to
inform you how well the job is progressing. Depending on
the amount of data on your drive, it can take a very long
time for this progress bar to reach 100 percent. If you need
to remove the drive before the process is complete, click
Once the job is paused, you can unplug your drive. When
you are ready to finish the job, insert the drive once again
and enter your password. The Decryption progress bar will
reappear automatically and begin where it left off. When the
job is complete, you'll be notified.
Forgotten your password
1. If you forget the password for your encrypted USB drive, you
can use the BitLocker recovery key to unlock the drive and
create a new password.
2. Click on Type the recovery key.
2. Find and open the BitLocker Recovery Key file that you saved
before in NotePad. Copy the recovery key code and paste:
3. You will now have temporary access to your drive. Click on
Manage BitLocker, from the options, click Change password
to unlock the drive.
Forgotten your password &
Lost your recovery key
1. If you forget the password and lose your recovery key, it will
not be possible unlock the encrypted USB drive and you will
lose all the data on it.
Strongly recommend you store your recovery key on a save
place where you know.
2. In this case, if would like to reuse
your flash drive you can reformat it:
(default setting: FAT)
Note: This action will erase all data
from the drive!
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