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Encrypt Portable Flash Drives via Bitlocker To Go in Windows 7 (Ultimate and Enterprise only)

Bitlocker, which was first introduced in Windows Vista, is designed to encrypt hard drive contents. This feature is excellent if you are anxious about important files or documents being hacked or stolen. Windows 7 (Ultimate and Enterprise editions) also provide us with Bitlocker To Go which can encrypt portable flash drives as well. This procedure shows how to use the Bitlocker to Go feature to encrypt a portable flash drive.

Procedure:

Open up My Computer and right click the flash drive you want to encrypt. Select the option Turn on Bitlocker from the drop down list.

Flash-Drive-Turn-On-Bitlocker

A warning box displays requesting if you want to start Bitlocker and informs you that by doing so, disk throughput is reduced. Click Yes to continue.

Flash-Drive-Bitlocker-Confirmation

Once BitLocker initalizes the flash drive, you are required to type in a password to unlock the drive. If you have a Smartcard, you can use this method instead. Click Next to continue.

Flash-Drive-Bitlocker-password

The following page requests whether you want to store your recovery key to a file or print it. If you choose the former option, ensure to store the recovery key on a separate drive to the one you are encrypting.

Flash-Drive-Bitlocker-Recovery-key-to-file

Once you have saved the recovery key, select the Start Encrypting button.

Flash-Drive-Bitlocker-Start-Encrypting

A progress screen appears showing that the flash drive is being encrypted.

Flash-Drive-Bitlocker-Encryption-progress

When encryption is complete a confirmation box displays. Click Close.

Flash-Drive-Bitlocker-encrypt-E-drive-complete

From now on, whenever you plug in your flash drive you will be prompted to enter in a password to gain access to the drive.

Flash-Drive-Bitlocker-unlock

When you have successfully unlocked the drive, you can manage the settings of Bitlocker.

Flash-Drive-Bitlocker-manage

 

 

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