Windows 10 comes with a full disk encryption feature called "BitLocker". It is bundled with the operating system by default, however, the disk encryption has to be enabled explicitly by the user. Even if you are not using BitLocker, its context menu options are always visible in the drive's context menu in File Explorer. Here is how to hide BitLocker-related context menu entries.
BitLocker was first introduced in Windows Vista and still exists in Windows 10. It was implemented exclusively for Windows and has no official support in alternative operating systems. BitLocker can utilize your PC's Trusted Platform Module (TPM) to store its encryption key secrets. In modern versions of Windows such as Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, BitLocker supports hardware-accelerated encryption if certain requirements are met (the drive has to support it, Secure Boot must be on and many other requirements). Without hardware encryption, BitLocker switches to software-based encryption so there is a dip in your drive's performance. This is the primary reason most people do not use BitLocker.
If you find no use for this feature, it might be annoying to see its context menu items. Even if you are a BitLocker user, you may want to hide it from the drive's context menu, since it is also accessible from the Control Panel. Removing BitLocker-related context menu items can be done with a simple Registry tweak.
How to remove BitLocker from context menu in Windows 10
All BitLocker-related context menu commands are represented by the following Registry keys:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\change-passphrase HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\change-pin HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\encrypt-bde HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\encrypt-bde-elev HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\manage-bde HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\resume-bde HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\resume-bde-elev HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\unlock-bde
To disable it, you need to do the following.
- Open Registry Editor.
- Go to the following Registry key:
Tip: you can quickly open the Registry editor app at the desired key. See the following article: How to jump to the desired registry key with one click.
- Here, create a new string value called ProgrammaticAccessOnly. Don't set any value data, just leave it empty.
- Now, go to the following key:
The command Turn on BitLocker becomes invisible.
ProgrammaticAccessOnly does the main trick. It is a special parameter which tells the Windows Explorer shell that the context menu item can only be accessed by software programmatically. The user interface gets locked down, so the command disappears from the context menu!
Repeat the instructions above for all BitLocker-related commands that you want to hide from the context menu.
To save your time, I prepared ready-to-use Registry files which you can download here:
The undo file is included. By default, the tweak disables all context menu commands related to BitLocker, so you might want to edit it first before applying.
Alternatively, you can use Winaero Tweaker. See the following screenshot:
Did you use BitLocker? Have you found it useful or did you never bother to use it? Tell us in the comments.
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