Can a Mac open/access a Bitlocker encrypted USB drive?

Updated by Admin to Bitlocker for Mac on February 5th, 2020

Summary: This post will introduce how to open, read, write Bitlocker encrypted USB drive on Mac.

Free download M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac to open Bitlocker encrypted USB drive now:

Table of contents

Bitlocker for macOS & Mac OS X

I am a cross-platform user, I am sometimes required to use Windows but my choice is Mac. I carry a lot of portable apps on my USB. To secure the data on my USB, I have enabled BitLocker encryption on the USB drive. However, I need to open Bitlocker encrypted USB drive on my Mac computer and then access the files. How to do it?

The above question is from Apple discussions forum. You may ask the same question if you want to open Bitlocker drive on Mac and access the data:

Is Bitlocker supported on Mac or can a Mac open a Bitlocker drive?

The answer is YES. Download M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac to open a Bitlocker encrypted drive on your Mac now:

By default, macOS cannot open a Bitlocker encrypted drive (Many users have known this fact), why?

It is generally known that Bitlocker drive encryption is developed by Microsoft. However, Microsoft only released Bitlocker for Windows version and has not implemented Bitlocker for Mac version, so macOS cannot recognize Bitlocker drive encryption. It is why you cannot open a Bitlocker encrypted drive on Mac.

However, a good news is... With the help of the 3rd-party tool: M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac, Bitlocker is compatible with Mac.

M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac supports macOS Catalina 10.15/10.14/10.13/10.12 and Mac OS X 10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8. With it, you can open a Bitlocker encrypted drive on Mac and use Bitlocker to encrypt external drive on Mac.

Download M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac to open a Bitlocker encrypted drive on your Mac now:

Lost data from Macintosh HD on macOS Catalina 10.15/10.14/10.13 or APFS external drive? M3 Mac Data Recovery supports APFS file system and so that you can recover lost files from APFS drive.

Even Bitlocker is compatible with macOS through M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac, how to open/access a Bitlocker encrypted drive on Mac?

Tutorial to open/access, read, write a Bitlocker encrypted USB drive on Mac

Follow below steps to open, access, read, write a Bitlocker encrypted USB drive on your Mac computer:

Step 1: The first step is to download M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac from our site.

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Step 2: M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac requires Mac OS X 10.8 or later. After downloading, find the "m3bitlockerloader.pkg" file in your Downloads folder and double-click on it. Follow the wizard to install it.

Step 3: If you are using macOS High Sierra 10.13 and later version, click "Ok" to allow the system extension when prompted.

Allow system extension

Open System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General tab as shown in following picture, please click the Lock to unlock and then click Allow "System software from developer "Benjamin Fleischer" was blocked from loading".

Mac computer security privacy settings

Step 4: Once M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac is installed, go to the Applications folder or launchpad and launch M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac.

Launch M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac

If you are using macOS Catalina 10.15, please open System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Full Disk Access and allow M3 Bitlocker Loader.

Full disk access

Full disk access M3 Bitlocker Loader

Step 5: Insert a Bitlocker encrypted USB drive into your Mac computer.

M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac requires a healthy Bitlocker encrypted USB drive. If your Bitlocker encrypted USB drive has been corrupted, please download M3 Bitlocker Recovery to recover lost data from the corrupted Bitlocker encrypted drive.

Step 6: After the Bitlocker encrypted USB drive is connected to your Mac computer, choose "Ignore" if you receive a warning message as "The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer. with three buttons: Initialize, Ignore, Eject" leaving.

The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer

Step 7: Select the Bitlocker encrypted USB drive and then click "Open" icon to continue.

Select Bitlocker encrypted drive on Mac

Step 8: Enter the password or recovery key and click "Unlock" to unlock this Bitlocker encrypted USB drive.

Mount Bitlocker encrypted drive on Mac

If it is Bitlocker encrypted OS drive, the recovery key is only way to unlock this drive.

If you lost the password and Bitlocker recovery key, M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac doesn't and won't break into your Bitlocker encrypted drive.

Recover the forgotten Bitlocker password, refer to how to unlock Bitlocker drive without password and recovery key.

Step 9: After unlocking this Bitlocker encrypted USB drive, it will be mounted in read-write mode. Then you can operate this Bitlocker encrypted USB drive like a Mac's native drive, such as read, write, copy, delete, edit, rename, etc.

Open/Access Bitlocker encrypted drive on Mac

The files will not be protected any more once they leave from the Bitlocker encrypted USB drive and the files will be automatically encrypted after copying them to the Bitlocker encrypted USB drive.

Step 10: In M3 Bitlocker Loader main interface, click "Lock" button to lock the Bitlocker encrypted USB drive after completing the read and write operations.

Step 11: In the main interface of M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac, click "Eject" button to safely eject the Bitlocker encrypted USB drive from your Mac computer.

Eject Bitlocker encrypted drive in M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac

Please don't directly unplug the Bitlocker encrypted USB drive from your Mac computer in case of any disaster, safe ejection is very important to prevent data loss.

Video tutorial:

Key features of M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac

M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac can read/write Bitlocker encrypted drive and use Bitlocker to encrypt external drive on Mac.

1. Read/write a Bitlocker encrypted drive on Mac

M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac can easily open a Bitlocker encrypted drive and then enable to read/write it on Mac. However, the password or recovery key is required.

M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac supports USB drive, flash drive, external hard drive, pen drive, thumb drive, memory stick, etc.

M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac supports macOS Catalina 10.15/10.14/10.13/10.12 and Mac OS X 10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8.

It is fully compatible with Mac Mini, Mac Pro, MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac or iMac Pro.

2. Use Bitlocker to encrypt an external drive on macOS/Mac OS X

Besides to read/write the Bitlocker drive on Mac, M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac can also use Bitlocker to encrypt an external drive on Mac OS X 10.11 and the later version.

The Bitlocker encryption requires the file system of an external drive must be NTFS, FAT32 or exFAT.

Follow below steps to use Bitlocker to encrypt a USB drive on Mac:

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

Step 2: Insert a USB drive into your Mac computer.

Step 3: Launch M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac.

Step 4: Click "Encrypt" button in the toolbar or statur bar.

M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac

Step 5: After seeing the USB drive, click Encrypt button located the USB drive.

Encrypt drive with M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac

Step 6: Enter the password (It is used to encrypt the USB drive and then unlock the Bitlocker encrypted USB drive later).

Enter the password

Step 7: Save the recovery key.

Save the recovery key

Step 8: Bitlocker drive encryption process will take a while. Once the encryption is completed, your USB drive will be protected by Bitlocker.

Start Bitlocker drive encryption on Mac

Actually there is no M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac installed on your USB drive during the encryption process, so you don't need to worry about your data security.

After encrypting USB drive, you can use M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac to read/write a Bitlocker encrypted USB drive on Mac.

Download M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac to read/write a Bitlocker encrypted drive on your Mac now:

You can also access a Bitlocker encrypted USB drive on any Windows computer without the 3rd-party software or access a Bitlocker encrypted USB drive on Linux with M3 Bitlocker Loader for Linux.

How to decrypt or turn off Bitlocker on Mac?

Although M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac doesn't have function to decrypt/turn off Bitlocker on Mac, but you can remove Bitlocker encryption with following method:

Step 1: Back up the important data: Use M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac to open a Bitlocker encryped USB drive and then copy files out from this USB drive.

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

Step 3: Select the Bitlocker encrypted USB drive from the left panel in Disk Utility.

Step 4: Click "Erase" on the top menu of Disk Utility and then remove/turn off Bitlocker encryption from the USB drive.

Erase Bitlocker encrypted USB drive on Mac

You can also connect the Bitlocker encrypted USB drive to a Windows computer and decrypt the Bitlocker drive by right clicking the Bitlocker in My Computer -> Manage Bitlocker -> Turn off Bitlocker.

How to format a Bitlocker encrypted USB drive?

For macOS

Step 1: Launch M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac and then enter the password or recovery key to open a Bitlocker encrypted USB drive.

Step 2: Back up the important data.

Step 3: Open Applications folder -> Utilities -> Disk Utility.

Step 4: Select Bitlocker encrypted USB drive from the left panel in Disk Utility.

Step 5: Click "Erase" on the top menu of Disk Utility and then format a Bitlocker encrypted USB drive on Mac.

For Windows

Step 1: Enter the password or recovery key to unlock the Bitlocker encrypted USB drive on Windows.

Step 2: Back up the important data.

Step 3: Right click the Bitlocker encrypted USB drive in My Computer (This PC) or Disk Management and then select "Format" to format the Bitlocker encrypted USB drive on Windows.

Bitlocker for Linux/Ubuntu

M3 Bitlocker Loader for Linux is a command line tool to encrypt a USB drive, flash drive or external hard drive with Bitlocker and open/access Bitlocker encrypted drive in Linux/Ubuntu.

Tutorial to open a Bitlocker encrypted USB drive in Linux

Step 1: Download M3 Bitlocker Loader for Linux installation package.

Step 2: Insert a Bitlocker encrypted drive into your Linux computer.

Step 3: tar -xvf m3.bitlocker.linux.tar ./

Step 4: cd m3.bitlocker.linux

Step 5: ./install.sh

Step 6: Enter the command to open Bitlocker drive in Linux: m3.bitlocker [device name] [mount path] [volume name] [password]

Bitlocker for Windows Home

M3 Bitlocker Loader for Windows is a free encryption software to create an encrypted container which is compatible with Bitlocker Drive Encryption so that the USB drive, flash drive or external hard drive is protected by Bitlocker in Windows 10/8/7 Home and Windows 7 Professional.

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