BitLocker, or BitLocker Drive Encryption, is a built-in data protection feature in Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions in both x86 and x64-bit varieties. BitLocker enables you to encrypt an entire hard drive, which can be the Windows OS drive or the data drive. But what if you don’t want to encrypt your entire hard drive any more? Don’t worry! You can disable BitLocker on your Windows 10 PC easily!
To Disable BitLocker on Windows 10
Note: If you has already enabled BitLocker on your system drive (the drive where you installed Windows 10, usually the Drive C:), under certain circumstances, you’ll need to unlock your system drive (usually the drive C:) to continue booting.
To unlock the system drive encrypted by BitLocker, you need to enter your BitLocker password or connect the USB drive that you used to enable BitLocker.
If you forgot any of these, or if the BitLocker password is not accepted, then you should press ESC to enter your BitLocker recovery key. According to Microsoft, here’re several places where your BitLocker recovery key may be, depending on the choice you made when enabling BitLocker:
- On a printout you saved
- On a USB flash drive
- In your Microsoft account
- In an Azure Active Directory account
- Held by your system administrator
After you signed in Windows 10, you can pick one of the methods below to disable BitLocker:
Method 1: Disable BitLocker through Control Panel
Through Control Panel, you can disable BitLocker easily. Here’s how to do it:
- On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and R at the same time to invoke the Run dialog. Copy
control /name Microsoft.BitLockerDriveEncryptionand paste it to the Run dialog, then press Enter to open the BitLocker Drive Encryption window.
- In the BitLocker Drive Encryption window, you’ll see the BitLocker status of your operating system drive, fixed data drives and removable data drives. You can either select to suspend or to disable BitLocker.
If you don’t want to encrypt your entire hard drive with BitLocker, select the drive you want to disable BitLocker, then click Turn off BitLocer next to it. A wizard will pop up.
- Click Turn off BitLocker to continue.
- Wait until the decryption is completed.
- Click Close when the decryption is completed.
Now, BitLocker should be disabled on the selected drive.
Method 2: Disable BitLocker through Windows PowerShell
If you’re an advanced Windows user, you can also disable BitLocker through Windows PowerShell.
To turn off BitLocker through Windows PowerShell:
If you want to disable BitLocker for a volume, follow the steps below:
- On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and X at the same time, then select Windows PowerShell (Admin) to run Windows PowerShell as an administrator. Click Yes if you’re prompted for permission.
- In Windows PowerShell window, for example, if you want to turn off BitLocker for drive: E, enter
Disable-BitLocker -MountPoint "E:"and press Enter to run it.
If you want to disable BitLocker for another volume, remember to replace E with the letter that represents your hard drive volume.
After you pressed Enter to run the cmdlet, it will start removing all key protectors and BitLocker will begin decyrpting the content of the volume.
Disable-BitLockercmdlet will not proceed. You can use the
Clear-BitLockerAutoUnlockcmdlet to remove all automatic unlocking keys before running the
If you need to disable BitLocker for all volumes, follow the steps below:
- Run Windows PowerShell as an administrator.
- Enter the cmdlet
$BLV = Get-BitLockerVolumeand press Enter. This cmdlet uses
Get-BitLockerVolumeto get all the BitLocker volumes for your computer and stores them in the $BLV variable.
- Enter the cmdlet
Disable-BitLocker -MountPoint $BLVand press Enter. The cmdlet turns off BitLocker for all the BitLocker volumes stored in the $BLV.
You may need to wait for a while before the decryption is complete. Once the volume is decrypted, you’ll find BitLocker is disabled for all volumes.
Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ve learnt how to disable BitLocker and have turned it off on your Windows 10 PC. If you have any questions or suggestions on this topic, feel free to leave us a comment below. Thanks for reading!