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Turn On Auto-unlock for BitLocker Drive in Windows 10

How to Turn On or Off Auto-unlock for a BitLocker Protected Drive in Windows 10

BitLocker is one of the key data protection technologies in Windows 10. BitLocker can encrypt the system drive (the drive Windows is installed on), and internal hard drives. The BitLocker To Go feature allows protecting files stored on a removable drive, such as a USB flash drive. You can also configure BitLocker to automatically unlock a drive protected with BitLocker every time you sign in to your user account.

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. BitLocker in Windows 10 supports a number of encryption methods, and supports changing a cipher strength.

Note: In Windows 10, BitLocker Drive Encryption is only available in the Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions. BitLocker can encrypt the system drive (the drive Windows is installed on), internal hard drives, or even a VHD file. The BitLocker To Go feature allows protecting files stored on removable drives, such as a USB flash drive. Interested users can additionally change the encryption method for BitLocker.

You can make BitLocker to automatically unlock your fixed or removable drives in Windows 10. There are a number of ways to get that working.

To Turn On Auto-unlock for BitLocker Drive in Windows 10,

  1. Open File Explorer to the This PC folder.
  2. Double-click on the drive to unlock it, and provide your password or smart card.
  3. Right-click on your BitLocker protected drive and select Manage BitLocker from the context menu.
  4. Alternatively, go to Control Panel\System and Security\BitLocker Drive Encryption in the classic Control Panel.
  5. On the right side of the Drive Encryption, find your drive, and click on the link Turn on auto-unlock.

You are done. The link will change its text to Turn off auto-unlock. Clicking on it will turn off the auto-unlock feature.

Alternatively, you can turn on auto-unlock for a BitLocker protected drive in the Unlock Drive dialog.

Turn On BitLocker Auto-unlock for Drive When Unlocking Drive

  1. Open File Explorer to the This PC folder.
  2. Double-click on your protected drive.
  3. When asked to unlock the drive and provide a smart card or password, click on the More options link.
  4. Turn on (check) the box Automatically unlock on this PC to turn on the auto-unlock feature.

Windows 10 will remember your choice, and will unlock your drive automatically.

Later, you can cancel this in Control Panel\System and Security\BitLocker Drive Encryption by clicking on the Turn off auto-unlock link.

Also, you can enable auto-unlock for a BitLocker protected drive using Command Prompt or PowerShell.

Turn On or Off BitLocker Auto-unlock in Command Prompt

  1. Open a new command prompt as Administrator.
  2. To enable auto-unlock, type and run the following command: manage-bde -autounlock -enable <drive letter>:
  3. Substitute <drive letter> with the actual drive letter of your BitLocker protected drive.
  4. To disable auto-unlock, type and run the following command: manage-bde -autounlock -disable <drive letter>:.

You are done.

Turn On or Off BitLocker Auto-unlock in PowerShell

  1. Open PowerShell as Administrator.
  2. To enable auto-unlock, type and run the following command: Enable-BitLockerAutoUnlock -MountPoint "<drive letter>:".
  3. Substitute <drive letter> with the actual drive letter of your BitLocker protected drive.
  4. To disable auto-unlock, type and run the following command: Disable-BitLockerAutoUnlock -MountPoint "<drive letter>:".

That's it!

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