iSumsoft » Resources »computer » How to Encrypt a USB Flash Drive with BitLocker To Go

How to Encrypt a USB Flash Drive for Free

USB flash drives are the most convenient removable device that people use to store and back up important data. For data security, you may want to encrypt the data on your USB flash drive. In a computer that runs Windows operating system, you can use Bitlocker To Go to encrypt a USB flash drive to protect your USB drive.

How to encrypt a USB flash drive with BitLocker To Go

The Ultimate and Enterprise versions of Windows Vista/7/8.1/10 have built-in full disk encryption feature – BitLocker. With BitLocker To Go, you can encrypt the removable drives for free. Now connect the USB flash drive to your Windows computer and follow the steps below to encrypt your drive with BitLocker.

Step 1: Turn on BitLocker.

1. Open the Control Panel. Click on the System and Security -> BitLocker Drive Encryption link.

BitLocker Drive Encryption

2. You will see that it lists all the internal and external drives on the computer. You can see two types of BitLocker Drive Encryption. Click the Turn on BitLocker link next to the USB flash drive.

Turn on BitLocker

Hard Disk Drives: With BitLocker, you can encrypt operating system drive and fixed data drives on your computer.

BitLocker to Go: With BitLocker, you can encrypt external drives such as USB flash drives and external hard drives.

3. Wait for BitLocker to initialize the hard drive.

Starting BitLocker

Step 2: Choose the encryption method.

Choose how you encrypt this USB flash drive. Use a password or smart card. You can check the box next to Use a password to unlock the drive and enter your password. Then click Next.

Use a password to encrypt USB flash drive

Tips: It requires you to follow its password policy to create a strong password.

Step 3: Back up the recovery key.

It will generate a recovery key that you can use to access the USB flash drive if you forget your password or lost your smart card to encrypt the USB flash drive. Therefore, you need to choose a destination where you want to save the recovery key. You can save it to a file and print it. In Windows 10, you can also save it to a Microsoft account. After saving the recovry key, click Next to continue.

Backup recovery key

Step 4: Start the encryption process.

1. Now everything is ready, click to Start Encryption.

Start Encrypting

2. Just wait for the encryption process to start.

Wait while encrypting

Note: After encryption is complete, you have to use a password or recovery key to access the USB flash drive. You can turn off BitLocker to decrypt the USB flash drive, just like encrypting it.