Bitlocker to Go is a relatively new feature of Windows. The use of small size but large storage capacity flash drives is increased exponentially. Though convenient, the use of portable drives has given rise to challenges of data security. In case of theft or lost drive, the risk is not about the cost of the drive but the intrinsic value of data in it. Microsoft has introduced Bitlocker as a solution to help this situation by encrypting the drives.
Part 1: What Is Bitlocker to Go
Bitlocker to Go enables you to encrypt the flash drive and secure it using a password. When the flash drive is encrypted, the sensitive data is secured and can only be used by the person who knows the password.
Bitlocker can be used by both home users and business users. It is a dynamic system that can also be configured through a policy enforced by the system administrator. System admin can specify the password length and complexity in the policy.
Part 2: How to Use Bitlocker to Go
In this section, we are going to discuss how to use Bitlocker in Windows 7 and Bitlocker in Windows 10. No need to discuss Bitlocker to Go download, because it is included in Microsoft Windows.
1. Encrypt Drive with Bitlocker to Go
To use Bitlocker in Windows 7 and advanced versions, you will be using Bitlocker Drive Encryption Wizard. The wizard is available from the control panel and windows explorer.
To use through windows explorer, right-click on your removable drive and select ‘Turn On Bitlocker’.
Besides, you can access Bitlocker from Windows 10 or advanced versions using the control panel in the ‘System and Security’ tab.
As your system starts the Bitlocker, make sure you do not unplug the drive as it may take some time. Once it is initialized, you will be asked if you want to use the password or a smart card to encrypt it. Using the password is a frequent choice.
If you forget your password after encryption of the drive, then your data is lost forever. Since it is an extreme case, therefore Bitlocker to Go Windows 7 and Windows 10 gives you another way to access the data. You can save the recovery key in the Microsoft account, on your PC, or print it. This is your backup plan in case you forget the password.
Now, choose if you want to encrypt the files stored on it only or the entire drive.
Bitlocker to Go Windows 10 has two encryption modes. First is the new encryption mode that can be used for drives on the device only. While the compatible mode can be used on removable drives too.
All the configuration is done now and you can move on to encrypt your drive. This may take some time.
If you need to remove the drive during the process, press the pause button. When you replug the drive, the Bitlocker to Go will take up the task from there again.
Congratulations! Your data is secure now.
2. Change Password of the Drive
When you have an encrypted drive, you may want to change the password. It is also very easily managed through the management options of Bitlocker. You can change the password, remove the password, backup the recovery key, etc.
To change the password, unlock the drive using the password. Next, right-click the drive and select the ‘Change Bitlocker password’ option.
Now, fill in the password fields to lock the drive with a new password.
3. Decrypt the Drive
When you have the password or the recovery key of the encrypted drive, you can easily decrypt the drive using the control panel or the Bitlocker to Go Windows 7 management options. To decrypt a drive using the control panel, go to the ‘System and Security’ tab. Click the Bitlocker Drive Encryption link.
In the case of windows explorer, right-click the encrypted drive and select Manage Bitlocker.
In the management panel, click ‘Turn Off Bitlocker’. Confirm this option when the prompt comes.
Extra Tip: How to Change Windows Administrator Password
If you have lost your Windows administrator password, you lose a large part of your control over the system. You cannot perform the administrative tasks, cannot add or remove programs, and so on. This becomes a headache as you do not want to lose the data and always want the control therefore clean install is not feasible at all.
While looking for the options, your first instinct is to look for the system-wide default administrator password. However, this option is removed from the latest Window options because of security measures.
However, all is not lost here. PassFab 4WinKey is a software that helps to change Windows administrator password even if you have forgotten it. To use the 4WinKey software, follow these steps.
Create the password reset disk.
Run PassFab 4WinKey, insert your USB. And select the disc you will be using to reset the password.
- All the data on the reset password disk will be lost so make sure to make a backup. The burning of the disk may take some time.
Boot from the reset password disk.
- Insert the password reset disk in the locked computer and reboot it.
- Press “F12” or “ESC” to enter the boot menu.
- Select the reset disk in the boot menu and boot from it.
- Now 4WinKey will take over. Select the Windows operating system.
In the next screen, you can choose to change the password for any user on the system.
Once you set a new password, the control of the system is back to you.
Setting passwords is essential for the security of the system and data. Bitlocker to Go is a very practical tool for securing the storage devices from theft and misuse of data. Similarly, setting passwords on administrator accounts is also very important. However, if you forget the password, you are locked out of the system and that is a nightmare. 4WinKey is a must-have software in case of such an issue and resolves the problem very conveniently.