Encrypt a USB Drive in Windows 10

A USB drive is a portable device that offers a convenient way of storing and/or transferring your data, though this can come with several security risks. Thankfully, you can encrypt a USB drive and protect your sensitive files and data whenever they’re transferred between different locations.

You should note that encryption doesn’t protect your data and files from password prying methods and password-collecting malware. It’s simply a way of preventing your sensitive and confidential files and data from landing in the wrong hands or being accessed by unauthorized persons via security incidents and data breaches.

In order to encrypt your USB drive using BitLocker, take the steps below:

  1. Insert your USB flash drive into your Windows PC.
  2. Open File Explorer.
  3. Right click on flash drive and select Turn on BitLocker.
  4. Wait a few seconds for BitLocker to setup.
  5. Next, check the Use a password to unlock the drive box.
  6. Type in a unique, strong password you can remember in the Enter your password box, and do it again in the Re-enter your password box.

    You’ll get a prompt to back up a recovery key. This key allows you to access the USB drive in the event that you lose the encryption password you entered in the previous step. You can save this key or print it out and store it someplace safe instead of storing it in the cloud.
  7. Next, select how much of your USB drive you’d like encrypted. Here, you have two options: select the entire drive or the used space only.
  8. Select the 256-bit XTS-AES encryption mode (with an improved algorithm, it also offers integrity support).
  9. The next step is to encrypt the USB drive. The speed by which it encrypts your drive may move fast or slow depending on the size of your USB drive, the amount of data you have stored on it, and the system specs of your machine. Click Start Encrypting when ready.

If you open This PC by the lock symbol, you’ll know the drive is securely encrypted. You’ll also be prompted to enter the password you created initially each time you plug in the encrypted USB drive. There are also other options you can pick to automatically unlock the drive on your computer, or if you forgot the password, you can enter the recovery key instead.


Article ID: 133785
Wed 6/30/21 11:09 AM
Wed 4/6/22 1:45 PM