How to Launch It
- Open the traditional Control Panel through the Start Screen or using the Run Windows command “control”.
- Select “Category” view for Control Panel.
- Select “System and Security” category. This opens a new page containing the subcategories.
- Select “BitLocker Drive Encryption”. This will launch the applet on the same control panel page.
- Back up the recovery key (in case you lose the password)
- Change or remove the password
- Turn on auto-unlock – this will automatically unlock the drive for the existing user on the current system. BitLocker won’t prompt for a password.
- Turn off BitLocker – Remove the protection of encryption. This will again make the data accessible to all.
Create an authentication methodFirst of all, it will ask you to create a powerful password, preferably a combination of mixed case alphabets, numbers, and special characters. Windows also provides (a cooler) alternative to password – a smart card registration. You need to insert a smart card, the pin of which will be used as an access authentication.
Store recovery keyBitLocker provides you a recovery key in case you forget the password or smart card’s pin. You would want to safely store this key. You can store it to your Microsoft Account (you need to be logged in through a Microsoft Account for this, though), to a flash drive, to a file, or print the key as a hard copy.
What way you want to encrypt your driveWindows 8 provides two ways in which you can encrypt a drive.
- Encrypt only those parts of drive where the data resides. This is faster as BitLocker doesn’t waste time in encrypting empty disk space. This is ideal for new drives.
- Encrypt entire drive. Even though this is slower than the previous option, you might want to choose this for older drives. The unused space in the older drives might still contain shreds of deleted data, which might be recovered through certain data recovery software. So it’s best to encrypt the whole drive.