How to remove BitLocker encryption from USB drive, pen drive, external HDD on Windows 10/8/7 and macOS?

Updated by Tim to BitLocker for Windows Home on September 10th, 2020

I lock my D drive by bitlocker, I can unlock drive by password but cannot remove it permanently, can anybody help me to remove BitLocker encryption permanently?

Summary: This article will show you how to remove BitLocker drive encryption from the drive if you have the password and you don't have the password.

Table of the article contents

If you have the password, how to remove BitLocker encryption on Windows?

If you have the password and can unlock BitLocker drive, you can easily remove BitLocker encryption from USB drive, pen drive, flash drive, SD card, external hard drive with following solution:

Step 1: Click Start, click Control Panel and then click BitLocker Drive Encryption.

BitLocker Drive Encryption feature is missing in Windows 10/8/7 Home, refer to how to disable BitLocker drive encryption in Windows 10/8/7 Home.

Step 2: Find the drive on which you want to remove BitLocker encryption and then click Unlock drive.

Step 3: Enter the password to unlock BitLocker drive. After BitLocker drive is unlocked, please click Turn off BitLocker in BitLocker Drive Encryption of Control Panel.

turn off BitLocker drive encryption

Step 4: A message is displayed, informing you that your drive will be decrypted. This might take a long time, but you can keep using your PC during the decryption process. Click Turn off BitLocker to continue. By completing this procedure, you have decrypted the drive and removed BitLocker password.

If you don't have the password, how to remove BitLocker encryption on Windows?

If you don't have the password, you need to use following solutions to unlock BitLocker drive firstly and then remove BitLocker encryption from USB drive, pen drive, flash drive, external hard drive, SD card, etc.

Solution 1: Unlock BitLocker drive with recovery key

If you have saved the 48-digit BitLocker recovery key, just enter the BitLocker recovery key to unlock BitLocker drive and then go to Control Panel -> BitLocker Drive Encryption -> Unlock BitLocker drive -> Turn off BitLocker to remove BitLocker encryption.

If you don't know how/where to find lost recovery key, please refer to Where/How to find lost 48-digit BitLocker recovery key?

Solution 2: Retrieve BitLocker recovery key with BitLocker Recovery Password Viewer

If you are active directory users, you can use BitLocker Recovery Password Viewer to locate and view BitLocker recovery key that is stored in active directory.

Solution 3: Crack BitLocker password with BitLocker password brute-force cracking tool

There are three BitLocker password brute-force cracking tools: Passware Password Recovery Kit, Elcomsoft Forensic Disk Decryptor, Thegrideon BitLocker Password which can help to unlock BitLocker drive by running an attack.

Passware Password Recovery Kit recovers all kinds of lost or forgotten passwords for the office application files, including Excel, Word, Windows 2003, XP, 2K, or NT, RAR, WinZip, Access, Outlook, BitLocker, TrueCrypt, PGP, etc.

Elcomsoft Forensic Disk Decryptor offers forensic specialists an easy way to obtain complete real-time access to information stored in popular crypto containers. Supporting desktop and portable versions of BitLocker, PGP and TrueCrypt protection, the tool can decrypt all files and folders stored in crypto containers or mount encrypted volumes as new drive letters for instant, real-time access.

Thegrideon BitLocker Password is an advanced password recovery tool for encrypted BitLocker and BitLocker to Go volumes protected with a password. Several attacks can be queued: dictionary based, brute-force, mixed (combinations of independent dictionary, brute-force and fixed parts) for precise search range setup and fastest recovery. Highly optimized code (SSE2, AVX, AVX2) and GPU (AMD, NVIDIA, Intel) utilization.

If you don't have the important data, how to remove BitLocker encryption on Windows?

If you don't have the important data, you can reformat BitLocker drive to remove BitLocker drive encryption:

Step 1: Right click BitLocker drive in My Computer, This PC or Disk Management.

Step 2: Select "Format..." and set information in Format window.

Step 3: Click "Start" to reformat BitLocker drive.

If you accidentally formatted BitLocker drive and lost the important data, please refer to how to recover lost data from formatted BitLocker drive.

How to remove BitLocker encryption from USB drive, pen drive, external HDD on Mac?

Step 1: Back up the important data: Copy files out from BitLocker drive through M3 BitLocker Loader for Mac, refer to how to open/access BitLocker encrypted USB drive on Mac?

Step 2: Open Applications folder -> Utilities -> Disk Utility.

Step 3: Select BitLocker drive from the left panel in Disk Utility.

Step 4: Click "Erase" on the top menu of Disk Utility and then remove BitLocker from the specific drive.

Erase BitLocker drive on Mac

BitLocker recovery software - M3 BitLocker Recovery

M3 BitLocker Recovery is a professional BitLocker recovery software which can recover deleted files from BitLocker drive, recover lost files from formatted BitLocker drive, recover lost data from damaged, inaccessible or corrupted BitLocker drive, recover lost data after BitLocker drive encryption/decryption failed, recover lost files from deleted or lost BitLocker encrypted partition, etc., but it requires the password or 48-digit BitLocker recovery key to decrypt data from BitLocker drive.

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