How to Encrypt Windows Partition (C: drive) With BitLocker Startup Key in Windows 7 Home & Pro?

Updated on August 15, 2023 by Admin to BitLocker for Windows Home

BitLocker drive encryption is a pretty advanced and useful feature of Windows which can help you encrypt the contents of entire partition. Usually a disk encryption software only allows us to encrypt data partitions, and encrypting Windows Partition will cause Windows to fail to start because the Windows boot code does not recognize the encrypted partition. However, there is no such problem with BitLocker, we know that BitLocker is the disk encryption tool built into Windows, so Windows can correctly identify and decrypt the BitLocker encrypted partition. So if you have a Windows 7 Ultimate/Enterprise Edition installed on your computer, then you can use it to encrypt partition, including Windows partition and data partitions. However, as an enterprise feature, BitLocker is not available for Windows 7 Home & Professional users. Can we still use BitLocker to encrypt Windows partition in Windows 7 Home & Pro? The answer is YES. You just need to download and try Hasleo BitLocker Anywhere. The following are detailed steps for using Hasleo BitLocker Anywhere to encrypt windows boot partition in Windows 7 Home & Pro.

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Tutorial to Encrypt Windows Partition (C: drive) with BitLocker Startup Key in Windows 7 Home & Pro.

Step 1. Download and install Hasleo BitLocker Anywhere.

Step 2. Launch Hasleo BitLocker Anywhere, right-click the Windows drive letter (usually C:), then click "Turn On BitLocker".

select windows 7 drive to encrypt


Step 3. In this step, click 'Insert a USB drive that contains the startup key'.

select how to unlock drive at startup


Step 4. Now you are required to specify a USB drive to save the startup key, select a USB drive and click "Next".

save bitlocker startup key to usb

  • Encrypt used disk space only: Allows you to encrypt only the disk space that is currently used by the drive file system, unused space will remain unencrypted, this option can help you save time spent on encryption. After you encrypt a drive with this option, all files that you added to the drive are automatically encrypted.
  • Compatible mode: This option cannot be changed in Windows operating systems prior to Windows 10 Version 1511.
  • Use 256-bit encryption: Bitlocker supports 128-bit and 256-bit encryption strength. The 256-bit encryption is more secure but will take up more CPU resources, so you should choose different encryption strengths according to your needs. Please tick this checkbox if you want to use 256 encryption strength.


Step 5. After clicking "Next", you are asked how you want to backup the BitLocker recovery key. You can save the recovery key to a file or print a copy of it, then click "Next" to move on. Please note that anyone can use the recovery key to gain access to the drive, even if they do not have the startup key or password created in the previous step, so please do not disclose it to others.

back up bitlocker recovery key


Step 6. Now a pop-up will appear asking you if you want to reboot into Pre-OS to encrypt the Windows partition. Click "Yes" to continue.

need reboot into Pre-OS


Step 7. Another pop-up will appear asking you if you want to build a WinPE image to continue. Click "Yes".

need build winpe


Step 8. Hasleo BitLocker Anywhere starts building WinPE. This may take several minutes, so please be patient to wait.

building winpe


Step 9. After successfully builded the WinPE image, Hasleo BitLocker Anywhere will prompt you to reboot the computer, click "Yes" button to allow Hasleo BitLocker Anywhere to reboot your computer.

need reboot computer


Step 10. Hasleo BitLocker Anywhere will now reboot and enter Pre-OS to encrypt the contents of the selected drive using BitLocker drive encryption. The encryption process could take a long time to finish depending on the size of the drive, so please be patient to wait. If you don't want to wait until the encryption operation is finished, "Shut down the computer when the operation is completed" option is a good idea. Just check it.

encrypting drive with bitlocker


Step 11. After the encryption is complete, click the "Finish" button to close the window.

encryption is complete


Step 12. Now you have to plug in the USB drive which contains the startup key before you can start the Windows 7 Home & Pro.

Plug in USB drive to boot


To sum it all up, with the easy encryption wizard, use BitLocker Startup Key to enable BitLocker drive encryption for Windows partition in Windows 7 Home & Pro is as easy as it can be. Alternatively, you can use password to encrypt the Windows 7 partition and then start the BitLocker Encrypted Windows 7 with the password. New