[Solved] How to Encrypt a Hard Drive in Windows 10?

March 1, 2021, Posted by Admin to BitLocker for Windows 10 Home

Why encrypt hardware drives?

Simply put, we encrypt hard drives for data security. In recent years, despite the introduction of a series of relevant laws and regulations by governments and organizations, the number of data leakage incidents has still increased (including some of the world's leading companies), so we must pay enough attention to the protection of sensitive data. The most effective way to prevent data leakage is to encrypt important data, that is, to encrypt important files or the hard drive where important files are stored. In this tutorial, we mainly describe how to encrypt hardware drives.

How to encrypt a hard drive in Windows 10?

There are many softwares on the market that can be used to encrypt hard drives in Windows 10, such as Microsoft BitLocker, Symantec Endpoint Encryption, McAfee Complete Data Protection, VeraCrypt, TrueCrypt, etc. If you are an open source and free software enthusiast, you can use TrueCrypt or VeraCrypt. If you are very concerned about the technical support of the product, then you can choose the products of commercial companies such as Symantec and McAfee, which are usually very expensive. If you are a fan of Microsoft, then Microsoft BitLocker is your best choice. Here, we recommend that you use Microsoft BitLocker, because Microsoft is the most famous software company in the world, its products are worthy of our trust, and BitLocker is a built-in encryption feature of Windows 10. The only flaw is that although we can access BitLocker encrypted drives in Windows 10 Home, we cannot encrypt and decrypt drives. Fortunately, we can still use BitLocker Anywhere to encrypt hardware drives in Windows 10 Home.

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Encrypt hard drive in Windows 10 Professional/Enterprise with Windows 10 built-in BitLocker feature

Step 1. Press Windows + R to open the Run dialog, enter control panel in the edit and click OK.

Open Control Panel.png

Step 2. View all options in Large icons, and then click "BitLocker Drive Encryption" to open it.

Open BitLocker Drive Encryption

Step 3. Find the hard drive you want to encrypt and click "Turn on BitLocker".

Turn on BitLocker

Step 4. Enter the encryption password and save the BitLocker recovery key.

Enter encryption password

Step 5. Select the encryption method and encryption mode.

Choose encryption mode

Step 6. Click the "Start encrypting" button to encrypt the drive.

Start encrypting drive

Step 7. After clicking the "Start encrypting" button, the "BitLocker Drive Encryption" program starts to encrypt the hard drive. This will take a long time depending on the size of the drive to be encrypted and the encryption method you choose.

Encrypting drive with BitLocker

 

Please note that using the above method, you can only encrypt the hard drive in Windows 10 Professional and Enterprise editions. If you are using Windows 10 Home Edition, please follow the steps below to encrypt the hard drive.

 

Encrypt hard drive in Windows 10 Home with Hasleo BitLocker Anywhere

Step 1. Download and install Hasleo BitLocker Anywhere For Windows.

Step 2. Launch Hasleo BitLocker Anywhere For Windows, right-click the drive letter you want to encrypt, then click "Turn On BitLocker".

select the drive to encrypt
 

Step 3. In this step, you are required to specify a password for encrypting the drive, enter the password and click "Next". You should choose a password having a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, spaces, and special symbols. Once the encryption is complete, you can access the drive using this password.

enter encrypt password
 

Step 4. Back up BitLocker recovery key, then click "Next" to move on. You can save the recovery key to a file or print a copy of it. Please note that anyone can use the recovery key to gain access to the drive, even if they do not know the password entered in the previous step, so please do not disclose it to others.

back up bitlocker recovery key
 

Step 5. Hasleo BitLocker Anywhere For Windows will now 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 6. After the encryption is complete, click the "Finish" button to close the window.

encryption is complete
 

 

With BitLocker Anywhere, you can not only use BitLocker to encrypt hard drives in Windows 10 Home Edition, but also perform BitLocker features that are not supported by Windows 10 Home Edition, such as decrypting BitLocker encrypted drives and changing passwords for BitLocker encrypted.