ARTICLE

Encrypt a USB Flash Drive In Windows 8

Posted by Aman Singhal Articles | Windows 8 February 12, 2013
In this article we explain how to encrypt a USB flash drive in Windows 8.
Reader Level:

Introduction

In this article we explain how to encrypt a USB flash drive in Windows 8.

Procedure to encrypt a USB flash drive in Windows 8

Step 1

First, plug in your USB flash drive. After Windows recognizes it, go into Computer and find the drive and highlight it. From the new Windows 8 Explorer Ribbon you'll see Drive Tools highlighted. Click "Turn on BitLocker".

Turn-on-BitLocker-Win8.png.jpg 

Step 2

Alternately, you can right-click the external drive and select "Turn on BitLocker" from the context menu. This method works best in Windows 7.

Turn-on-Bitlocker-Context-Menu.png.jpg

Step 3

Next, check "Use a password to unlock the drive" and type in your Password twice. Click Next.

enter-bit-locker-PW.jpg 

Step 4

Windows asks how to backup your Recovery Key. The Recovery key is a string of characters that lets you access the drive even if you've lost the password.

Recovery-Key.jpg 

Step 5

Next choose how much of the drive to encrypt. If you select Used Disk Space Only then it's faster and any data you add will also be encrypted. I recommend selecting "Encrypt Entire Drive", even though it takes longer.  That way even deleted data, that's possibly recoverable is encrypted too.

Encrypt-Disk.jpg 

Step 6

Then click "Start Encrypting" to kick off the process.

Ready-to-Start.jpg 

Step 7

You'll be able to monitor the progress while your drive is encrypted. The amount of time it takes will vary depending on the amount of data on your drive and its size.

Encrypting-Progress.jpg 

Step 8

After the drive is encrypted, you'll see a lock icon on the drive listed in Computer.

Encryption-iCon.jpg 

Step 9

Now when you want to use the drive, plug it in and you're prompted for the Password before you can access it.

password-to-unlock.jpg 

Step 10

This is the screen you'll see on Windows 7 to enter the password to unlock the encrypted drive.

Enter-Password-Windows-7.jpg 

Step 11

After that, AutoPlay comes up (if enabled) and you can start using the drive as you want.

Start-Using-Drive-Windows-8.jpg 

Step 12

If you need to change the Password or manage other options on your BitLocker encrypted drive, in Windows 8, right-click on it and select "Change BitLocker Password" or "Manage BitLocker".

Windows-8-manage-or-change-pw.jpg


manage-bitlocker-win8.jpg 

Step 13

In Windows 7, right-click the drive and select "Manage BitLocker". Then you'll get a menu listing various options to manage, including "Change Password".

Options-Windows-7.jpg

COMMENT USING