BitLocker is Microsoft’s encryption tool, available on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10. The feature allows you to encrypt your computer’s hard drive, protecting documents and files from unauthorized access.

Windows encryption tool
BitLocker for windows

When activated, the system encrypts the information and prevents hackers from using it without entering the user-defined key. Starting with Windows 7, Microsoft has included BitLocker To Go functionality, which is able to protect external data drives, such as USB sticks and portable hard drives.

What is encryption and how does it work?

Encryption is a set of techniques to prevent unauthorized access to certain data. Information is transformed into a tangle of characters impossible to be understood, which can only be ‘read’ with the decryption key. In addition, it guarantees file integrity by detecting data changes.

Disk drive encryption with BitLocker prevents unauthorized users from tampering with Windows data protection on computers that are lost, stolen or improperly disabled. All user and system files are encrypted, including swap and hibernation files.

What versions of Windows support BitLocker?

BitLocker is not available on all versions of Windows and for all computers.

In Windows Vista, for example, it is necessary to have the Ultimate, Business or Enterprise version and it is necessary to have a TPM chip installed in the PC.

On Windows 7, the feature is present in the Ultimate and Enterprise versions, and a TPM chip is not required to obtain HD encryption. In this case, however, the protection functions are limited.

For Windows 8 and 10, it is necessary to have a Professional or Enterprise version.

BitLocker for windows – What is TPM?

The TPM, Trusted Platform Module, is a special chip that runs the authentication on your hardware, software, and firmware. If the TPM detects an unauthorized change, the PC will restart in a restricted mode to block potential attacks. BitLocker itself informs you if your machine has this chip.

How do I activate BitLocker on my computer?

The paths to activate BitLocker are similar in all versions of Windows. You can find the function in three different ways:

METHOD 1 – Access the Windows “Control Panel” and select the “System and Security” option. Then search for “BitLocker drive encryption. A new window will open and the computer’s storage units will be listed there, along with the option to activate BitLocker.

METHOD 2 – Go to “My Computer”, right-click on the disk you want to encrypt and then select “BitLocker”.

METHOD 3 – Open the start menu and then search for “BitLocker”. If your system and computer are compatible, the corresponding result will appear.

I hope that this article will help learn more about the BitLocker function and the various better ways that you can use it to better protect your computer and your hard drives and USB’s.

Remember to carefully use this function , and keep in mind that you are fully aware of the many ways that it can be used. In case of any doubts look for the help of a professional or someone that is educated on the subject.