How to Encrypt Your External Disk in Windows 10

How to Encrypt Your External Disk in Windows 10

Last Updated: June 26, 2020 | Reading Time: 3 minutes

Yes, You need to protect your personal or confidential data such as family photos, personal document files, company documents, etc. just in case if you lost your device or stolen, the data will be safe. In this article, I will show you how to encrypt the external disk in Windows 10.

There are many methods and software that offer this feature, but do you know that Windows 10 has its own disk-encryption software?

BitLocker

BitLocker built-in inside Windows 10 Professional, not available for Windows 10 Home edition. To use it is super easy. I plugged in my external disk in USB 3 port, and walk through the steps below:

1. Open Windows Explorer, right-click on the disk you want to encrypt and select BitLocker On.

Windows Explorer to Start with Encryption
Windows Explorer

2. On the next screen, select use a password to unlock the drive, add your password, and click next.

BitLocker add your password
Add your password

3. Next screen, you’ll prompt to backup recovery key. If you have a Microsoft account, I suggest to use this option and click next. Wait for the saving process to Microsoft account finished.

BitLocker recovery code
BitLocker recovery code
BitLocker saving recovery code
BitLocker saving recovery code

4. On “Choose how much of your drive to encrypt” choose “Encrypt used disk space only” If your drive is new or empty. Or choose the “Encrypt entire drive” if you already have files in the disk.

Choose encryption type
Choose encryption type

5. The next screen, “Select which encryption mode to use,” because my target is an external disk, so I choose the “Compatible mode.”

Encryption mode
Encryption mode

6. On “Are you ready to encrypt this drive?” click “Start encrypting” to start.

Start the encryption process
Start the encryption process

7. The encryption process will take a few minutes. Do not remove the disk while the encryption still on process.

Encrypting the disk
Encrypting the disk

8. The encryption is done.

Encryption is done
Encryption is done

Next time you plug in this drive in the same or different computer, you will be prompted a password to access this drive.

Windows Notification
Windows Notification
Prompt for Password to access drive
Prompt for Password to access drive

BitLocker Manager

If you have many drives that are encrypted in your PC, you can manage them by using the “Manage BitLocker”, using this manager, you can change password, turn off the encryption, encrypt a new one, or download a backup key.

Manage BitLocker

That’s it, it’s super easy isn’t it?

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