Summary: This article discusses how to open, read and write a BitLocker-encrypted USB drive on Mac. All you need is a reliable BitLocker for Mac tool, such as M3 BitLocker Loader for Mac.
I am a cross-platform user, I am sometimes required to use Windows but my choice is Mac. To secure the data on my USB, I have enabled BitLocker encryption on my USB drive. However, I need to open a BitLocker USB drive on my Mac. How to do it?
-- from Apple Community Forum
When you inserted an BitLocker-encrypted disk on Mac, an error message "The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer" will pop up. Instead of initializing or ejecting it, just ignore the message and we will tell you how to open a BitLocker-encrypted USB drive on a Mac so that you can read and edit your files.
Is there a BitLocker Mac version?
BitLocker Drive Encryption is a full-disk encryption method developed by Microsoft, so there is no Mac version of BitLocker available for users to open a BitLocker-enecrypted drive.
But does it mean that you can't use BitLocker-encrypted USB drives on Mac because BitLocker is not supported by Mac?
Of course not. With the right BitLocker for Mac tool, like M3 BiLocker Loader for Mac, you can easily unlock and open your external devices encrypted by BitLocker Encryption on macOS.
How to access BitLocker-encrypted drive on Mac Youtube Video Guide
YouTube video timeline:
00:10 Introduction of M3 BitLoader for Mac
00:20 Download and install the BitLocker for Mac utility
00:38 Enable System Extensions
00:59 Activate the utility
01:20 Unlock BitLocker-encrypted drive on Mac
02:00 Read and write BitLocker-encrypted drive in software's File Manager
03:10 Open BitLocker-encrypted drive in Mac's Finder
How to open a BitLocker-encrypted USB drive on Mac
- How to open BitLocker-encrypted hard drive on Mac:
- Step 1: Download M3 BitLocker Loader for Mac.
- Step 2: Install M3 BitLocker Loader for Mac.
- Step 3: Enable system extensions.
- Step 4: Launch M3 BitLocker Loader for Mac.
- Step 5: Insert a BitLocker-encrypted USB drive into your Mac.
- Step 6: Click "Open" icon under that BitLocker-encrypted USB drive.
- Step 7: Choose "Volume mounter" option.
- Step 8: Enter the password.
- Step 9: Click Unlock to mount BitLocker-encrypted drive on your Mac.
Follow the below detailed step-by-step tutorial to read and write BitLocker encrypted drive on your Mac:
Step 1: Download M3 BitLocker Loader for Mac.
The first step is to click "Free Download" button to download "m3bitlockerloader.pkg" from our official site.
Note that M3 BitLocker Loader for Mac setup requires macOS High Sierra 10.13 and later version. If you are using macOS Sierra 10.12 and older Mac OS X, please contact [email protected]
Step 2: Install M3 BitLocker Loader for Mac.
After downloading, double click the "m3bitlockerloader.pkg" file in your Downloads folder and then follow the wizard to install it.
Step 3: Enable system extensions.
If your Mac is running macOS High Sierra 10.13 and later version, click "Open Security Preferences" to allow system extensions when prompted. You are also required to restart your Mac to finish installing.
- > How to enable system extensions on Intel-based Mac?
- > How to enable system extensions on Apple Silicon M1 Mac?
Step 4: Launch M3 BitLocker Loader for Mac.
Once installed, go to Applications folder or Launchpad and launch M3 BitLocker Loader for Mac.
If you have not installed M3 BitLocker Loader for Mac, download it here:
Step 5: Insert a BitLocker-encrypted USB drive into your Mac.
M3 BitLocker Loader for Mac requires a healthy BitLocker-encrypted USB drive. But if your BitLocker-encrypted USB drive did get corrupted somehow, don't stress out! You can use our BitLocker data recovery software to save your important data.
Step 6: Click "Open" icon under that BitLocker-encrypted USB drive.
Step 7: Choose "Volume mounter" option at this step.
On the unlock window, there are two options to unlock BitLocker-encrypted drive.
- File manager: Trial users can click on "File Manager" to browse and preview all files on the BitLocker-encrypted drive. Here, you can get a test of how the M3 BitLocker Loader for Mac works.
- Volume mounter: To mount your BitLocker-encrypted drive into read-write mode, tick "Volume Mounter". This function is only available for paid users.
Step 8: Enter the password.
This step is mandatory for M3 BitLocker Loader for Mac to unlock your drive. It is as much of a policy issue as it is a technological limitation. Check "Remember this password in my keychain" to save the password for the next entry.
- If you can't recall your password, you can try the 48-digit BitLocker recovery key. Please be reminded that the 48-digit BitLocker recovery key is the only way to unlock a BitLocker-encrypted drive where the operating system is stored.
- If you are unlucky with both, read our article: How to unlock BitLocker drive without password and recovery key?
Step 9: Click Unlock to mount BitLocker-encrypted drive on your Mac.
After mounting the BitLocker-encrypted drive in read-write mode, you can see it in Finder and work with it just like your Mac's native drive. For example, copy, delete, edit, rename and transfer files from the BitLocker-encrypted drive to your Mac.
Your computer needs time to write data into the USB, so ejecting before the process is completed may result in data loss. Therefore, to ensure secure data, you need to disconnect your USB drive with the Mac safely. Here is the two-step formula:
1. Lock the encrypted drive: Click the Lock button to lock the drive. This step reinforces the encryption on the drive.
2. Safely eject drive: Click on the Eject button to disconnect your USB drive safely and then unplug it from your Mac. Doing so can eliminate your files or drive from being damaged.
BitLocker Alternatives for Mac
If you want to protect your confidential files from unwanted access by encryption, there are plenty of Windows BitLocker alternatives supported by macOS that can do the same thing.
Apple FileVault 2, a BitLocker Mac equivalent, is used to encrypt internal hard drive on Mac, while many third-party open-source apps can be installed to encrypt external storage media including HDDs, SSDs, SD cards, and USB flash drives.
Find some popular BitLocker equivalents for Mac:
- 1. VeraCrypt
- 2. TrueCrypt
- 3. AES Crypt
- 4. File Lock PEA
- 5. Encrypto
- 6. Axcrypt
- 7. Ciphershed
Are Macs Encrypted by Default?
It is a question without a simple yes or no answer. It all depends on what Mac model you are talking about.
For older Mac models before 2018, they are not encrypted by default. You need to turn on FileVault manually and then it starts to encrypt and decrypt your Mac hard drive.
However, for newer Macs with a T2 Security Chip and an Apple Silicon Chip, the built-in on-the-fly encryption encrypts Mac's SSD without user setup. In other words, those Macs are encrypted by default and the encryption cannot be turned on or off by an end user.
Also, on the T2 or M1-powered Macs, you can turn on FileVault to add another layer of protection.
How to make a USB drive BitLocker encrypted on Mac?
You can't encrypt a USB drive on Mac via BitLocker unless you employ a reliable third-party BitLocker for Mac tool. It uses the same BitLocker Drive Encryption algorithm as Windows to encrypt hard drives and other portable disks.
After the encryption process is finished, you can use the BitLocker-encrypted USB drive on Windows that supports BitLocker (Windows 10 Pro, Education, and Enterprise edition).
How to turn off BitLocker encryption from USB drive on Mac?
When you decided that BitLocker encryption is no longer needed for your USB drive, you can disable it and decrypt your data easily with a Windows PC.
But if you want to remove BitLocker encryption on a Mac, the only way is to format the disk using Disk Utility. But this method will erase all your files and make them unrecoverable. Read below to see how to format a BitLocker-encrypted drive on Mac.
How to format a BitLocker-encrypted USB drive on Mac?
Formatting a Bitlocker-enabled USB drive on Mac will return you a blank disk. Before doing so, you should use a BitLocker for Mac app or a Windows computer to back up your important files first.
Just like formatting any other Mac-friendly drives, you open Disk Utility and erase the BitLocker-encrypted drive. Or click "Initialize" when the error message pops up, and you will be led to Disk Utility window to wipe the disk and give it a workable file system as well.
Here is a detailed guide on how to format an external drive on Mac with Disk Utility. Read more >>
BitLocker for Mac FAQ:
Q: Is BitLocker compatible with Mac?
A: BitLocker is not compatible with Mac by default. You will need a reliable third-party BitLocker for Mac tool, such as M3 BitLocker Loader for Mac which can read and write BitLocker-encrypted drive on Mac.
Q: Does BitLocker work on Mac?
A: Yes. With the assistance of the M3 BitLocker Loader for Mac, BitLocker can work on Mac.
Q: How do you unlock a BitLocker drive on a Mac?
A: By Installing the M3 BitLocker Loader for Mac and then enter the password, you can unlock the BitLocker-encrypted drive on your Mac.
Q: How do I open BitLocker for free on Mac?
A: Download and install the M3 BitLocker Loader for Mac, and then you can enter the password to preview your files for free on Mac.
Q: Is M3 BitLocker Loader for Mac safe?
A: Absolutely! M3 Software is dedicated to providing our users with safe and reliable products. We won't keep any confidential information, business documents, or private pictures on your storage devices. Our customer reviews say all for us.
Q: Is there any Windows 10 BitLocker for Mac tool?
A: Yes, M3 BitLocker Loader for Mac is such a tool that is compatible with Windows 10. It can not only open BitLocker-encrypted drives on Mac but also perform BitLocker encryption on Mac.
Q: I don't have the password and 48-digit BitLocker recovery key, iBoysoft Data Recovery can recover data from BitLocker-encrypted drive?
A: Entering a password or a recovery key is a must for iBoysoft Data Recovery or any data recovery tool to recover data from your BitLocker-encrypted drive. If you have lost your password and recovery key, read this article to find solutions: How to unlock BitLocker drive without password and recovery key?
Q: How to choose the best BitLocker for Mac tool?
A: We dug deep on that topic and listed 5 BitLocker for Mac apps for you to choose from. Read more here: How to choose the best BitLocker for Mac tool for you? where lists 5 BitLocker for Mac apps.
Q: Is there any BitLocker alternative for Mac?
A: Yes, please read our article: How to choose the best BitLocker alternative for Mac.