How to encrypt your hard drives in Windows 10, keeping data safe and secure

Fahad Al-Riyami

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In today’s world, information is power, and in the event of your personal computing devices getting stolen, it would mean access to a lot of your information. Information that can be taken advantage of, used against you, or destroyed.

Simply locking your PC with a password isn’t enough, as hackers can still find ways to bypass the lock screen. Windows Hello makes the processes a lot harder considering it relies on biometrics, but in cases where your information is stored on a secondary hard-drive that can be pulled out, biometrics become largely irrelevant. The good news is that you can still protect your information on Windows 10 by using BitLocker drive encryption.

BitLocker can be be used to secure both internal and external hard-drives. It doesn’t only function after signing in to Windows, it can also determine if a security threat is present during the boot up process, so you’re fully covered.


Step 1: To set up BitLocker Drive Encryption, hit Start, type BitLocker, then click Manage BitLocker

Step 2: Select the drive that you want to encrypt, and click Turn on BitLocker

Step 3: Select how you want to unlock the drive, either by password or by smartcard

Step 4: Choose where you want to save the recovery key in case you forget your password

Step 5: Choose whether you want to encrypt the entire drive, or only the used space. This will determine how fast your drive works when encrypted.

Once you click start encrypting, Windows will work on securing your drive. Once complete, only those with the password will be able to access the drive. When plugging the drive into another computer, say at school or work, Windows will ask for its password before unlocking it. You’ll be pleased to know that it’s not limited to Windows 10, a password will still be required even on older computers dating back to Windows XP!


While data encryption does sacrifice the speed of accessing the drive, as well as the speed of file transfers to and from the drive, knowing that your sensitive data will be inaccessible even if it falls into the wrong hands is worth the compromise.

Do you encrypt your hard drives? Let us know in the comments section below.