How to encrypt your hard drive quickly on Windows 11

Dave W. Shanahan


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When you want to encrypt your data, using just a password is not always enough, hackers can always find a way to access your information. Keeping your data secure enough may seem like an uphill battle.

The good news is that you can always use BitLocker to secure your data whether it be on primary or secondary hard drives. BitLocker can be used to protect the data on both internal and external hard drives.

BitLocker doesn’t just function after Windows 11 starts; it can even detect if there is a security issue during your PC’s boot up process.

Encrypt your data

Here’s what you need to do.

1. Open Manage BitLocker (under Control panel)bitlocker1
2. Select the drive you want to protect and click on Turn on BitLocker
3. Select how you want to lock and unlock the drive, either by password or smart card. encrypt
4. Choose where you want to save the recovery key, just in case you forget your password. You can choose to save to your Microsoft account, save to a file, or print your recovery key. encrypt
5. Next, you need to choose whether you want to protect the whole drive, or only the used space. This will determine how fast your drive works once it’s encrypted.
6. Now, you need to choose which encryption mode to use.
7. Congratulations! You made it to the last step! If you are ready to start the encryption, click Start encrypting.

Now, 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 Windows 11 computer, Windows will ask for the password before unlocking the drive. This feature is not limited to Windows 11, a password will still be required even on older computers dating back to Windows XP.

Of course, data encryption does sacrifice the speed of accessing the drive, as well as the speed of file transfers to and from the drive.

Still, the peace of mind you get from knowing that your sensitive data won’t fall into the wrong hands might be worth the compromise.

If you need more information on BitLocker, be sure to check out Microsoft’s extensive BitLocker documentation, which provides more information on configuring BitLocker with different drives and authentication systems.

You may be using BitLocker now without even realizing it. New Windows devices with a TPM enable BitLocker by default if you login using a Microsoft account. Everything occurs in the background when you authenticate, with the TPM enabling BitLocker to authenticate your identity from your Windows password. Your files stay encrypted until you login.

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