How to encrypt USB drive on Windows 10 Home, Professional, Enterprise edition?

Updated by Admin to Bitlocker Solution on July 1st, 2019

Windows 10 has a built-in encryption feature - BitLocker which allows user to secure information on USB drive, SD card, memory stick, external hard drive, etc. and prevent unauthorized access to it. The operating system will ask user to enter the password once such USB drive will be connected to the computer. This option can be extremely useful when you don't want anyone to access your private files on USB drive, SD card, memory stick, external hard drive, etc.

Which edition of Windows 10 is available for Bitlocker?

BitLocker is available on Windows 10 Professional and Enterprise edition - you won't find it in Home edition. However, you can encrypt USB drive with the help of BitLocker To Go on Home edition.

Tutorial to encrypt USB drive on Windows 10 Home

Although Bitlocker drive encryption feature is disabled on Windows 10 Home, but with the help of M3 Bitlocker Loader for Windows, USB drive can still be encrypted by Bitlocker, please follow below steps:

Step 1: Download and install M3 Bitlocker Loader for Windows on Windows computer.

Step 2: Launch M3 Bitlocker Loader for Windows.

Step 3: Select the USB drive which you want to encrypt.

Bitlocker for Windows 10 home

Step 4: Click Encrypt.

Step 5: Enter the password and then click Next.

Enter the password

Step 6: Save the recovery key and then click Next.

Save the recovery key

Step 7: Start Bitlocker drive encryption on the specific drive in Windows 10 Home.

Start Bitlocker drive encryption

After encrypting USB drive with Bitlocker, you can access it on another Windows and Mac computer. If it is Mac computer, you need to use the 3rd party tool: M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac to access Bitlocker encrypted USB drive on Mac computer.

Tutorial to encrypt USB drive on Windows 10 Professional/Enterprise

To enable BitLocker drive encryption on a USB drive, do the following:

Step 1: Insert a USB drive to a Windows computer where installed Windows 10 Professional/Enterprise.

Step 2: Format USB drive into FAT32/NTFS/exFAT file system. If there is data in USB drive, please go to step 3.

Step 3: Right click USB drive in My Computer or This PC and select "Turn on Bitlocker".

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Turn on Bitlocker

Step 4: On the "Choose How You Want To Unlock This Drive" window, choose one or more for the following options, and then click Next:

Enter the password to encrypt

"Use A Password To Unlock This Drive": Select this option if you want to be prompted for a password to unlock the drive. Passwords allow a drive to be unlocked in any location and to be shared with other people.

"Use My Smart Card To Unlock The Drive": Select this option if you want to use a smart card and enter the smart card PIN to unlock the drive. Because this feature requires a smart card reader, it is normally used to unlock a drive in the workplace and not for drives that might be used outside the workplace.

Step 5: On the "How Do You Want To Back Up Your Recovery Key" window, click Save to a file.

Save recovery key

Step 6: In the "Save BitLocker Recovery Key As" window, choose a storage location and then click Save.

Step 7: On the "Are You Ready To Encrypt This Drive" window, click Start Encrypting. Do not remove the USB drive until the encryption process is complete. How long the encryption process takes depends on the size of the drive and other factors.

After encrypting USB drive with Bitlocker, you can access it on another Windows and Mac computer. If it is Mac computer, you need to use the 3rd party tool: M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac to access Bitlocker encrypted USB drive on Mac computer.

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