How to Encrypt a USB Drive Using BitLocker

When handling sensitive data, it is vital that it is kept safe and secure. USB drives can be encrypted using BitLocker, which will only allow access to the stored data using a password.

Follow these steps to secure your USB drive.

Note: The following instructions use Windows 10.

1) Insert your USB drive, then open File Explorer File Explorer icon

2) Right-click the USB drive icon. From the context menu, select Turn on BitLocker.
Turn on BitLocker

3) Check the box next to Use a password to unlock the drive, type in a password of your choice*, and click Next.
BitLocker create password

*Note: Vol State requires that the password has at least eight characters, and contain a mixture of uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and special characters. If the password is forgotten, IT will not be able to assist in recovery unless provided with an appropriate recovery key created in the next step.

4) Select Save to file to backup the recovery key to any location, such as My Documents. You also have the option to Print the recovery key if you wish to print off a hard copy of the key, however it is recommended that you DO NOT store the printed key with your encrypted USB drive. Click Next.
BitLocker recovery key save and print

5) Select Encrypt entire drive. If the USB drive is new, you may select Encrypt used disk space only. Click Next.
BitLocker choose how much to encrypt

6) Select Compatible mode, then click Next.
BitLocker compatible mode

7) On the Are you ready to encrypt this drive? screen, select Start encrypting.
BitLocker are you ready to encrypt

The encryption process can take quite a while; it's not unusual for it to take about 10 minutes per gigabyte. The system will notify you when it is completed.

Note: It is important that you do not remove the drive during this process. If you do need to remove the drive, be sure to click Pause before doing so.

Your drive is now encrypted and secure. When inserting it into a machine, you will now be prompted for your password. For security, DO NOT select Automatically unlock on this PC.

For additional assistance, please contact the IT Help Desk at (615) 230-3302.


Article ID: 89161
Fri 10/11/19 2:05 PM
Thu 7/30/20 11:45 AM