Device encryption in Windows

What is device encryption?

Device encryptionhelps protect your data, and it'savailable on a wide range of Windows devices. If you turn on device encryption, the data on your device can only be accessed by people who've beenauthorized.If device encryption isn't available on your device, you may be able to turn on standard BitLocker encryption instead.

Note:BitLocker is not available on Windows 10 Home edition.

Normally when you access your data it's through Windows 10 and has the usual protections associated with signing into Windows 10. If somebody wants to bypass those Windows protections they could open the computer case and remove the physical hard drive. Then by adding your hard drive as a second drive on a machine they control, they may be able to access your data without needing your credentials.

If your drive is encrypted, however, when they try to use that method to access the drive they'll have to provide the decryption key (which they shouldn't have) in order to access anything on the drive. Without the decryption key the data on the drive will just look like gibberish to them.

Device encryption is available on supported devices running any Windows 10 edition. If you want to use standard BitLocker encryption instead, it'savailable on supported devices running Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education. Some devices have both types of encryption. For example, a Surface Prowhich runs Windows 10 Prohas both the simplified device encryption experience, and the full BitLocker management controls. Not sure which version of Windows you have? SeeWhich Windows operating system am I running?

In the search box on the taskbar, type System Information, right-click System Informationin the list of results, then selectRun as administrator. Or you can select theStartbutton, and then under Windows Administrative Tools, select System Information.

At the bottom of the System Information window, findDevice Encryption Support. If the value says Meets prerequisites, then device encryption is available on your device. If it isn't available, you may be able to use standard BitLocker encryption instead.

Sign in to Windows with an administrator account (you may have to sign out and back in to switch accounts). For more info, seeCreate a local or administrator account in Windows 10.

Select theStart button, then selectSettings > Update & Security > Device encryption. If Device encryption doesn't appear, it isn't available. You may be able toturn on standard BitLocker encryption instead.

If device encryption is turned off, select Turn on.

Sign in to your Windows device with an administrator account (you may have to sign out and back in to switch accounts). For more info, seeCreate a local or administrator account in Windows 10.

In the search box on the taskbar, type Manage BitLocker and then select it from the list of results. Or you can select theStartbutton, and then under Windows System, select Control Panel. In Control Panel, select System and Security, and then under BitLocker Drive Encryption, select Manage BitLocker.

Note:You'll only see this option if BitLocker is available for your device. Itisn't available on Windows 10 Home edition.

Select Turn on BitLocker and then follow the instructions. (If BitLocker is turned on and you want to turn it off, select Turn off BitLocker.)

If your device requires a recovery key to unlock, see Find your recovery key.

The rest is here:
Device encryption in Windows

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