Protect USB drives

Protect (encrypt) Windows, devices and drives

UWE Bristol's encryption solution is Microsoft's BitLocker. BitLocker Drive Encryption is a data protection feature that integrates with the operating system and addresses the threats of data theft or exposure from lost, stolen, or inappropriately decommissioned computers.


1.   To encrypt a USB storage device using BitLocker, right click on the icon for the device in the “My computer” menu and select “Turn on BitLocker…”

Screenshot of the above Bitlocker step 1

2.   You will be prompted for a password which you will use to decrypt the device and access your files in the future. To ensure your data is properly protected, choose a strong password.

Screenshot of the above Bitlocker step 2

3.   Once you have confirmed the settings, BitLocker will begin encrypting your USB device. This may take some time, but you should not remove the USB device before encryption is complete – otherwise the files on the device may become corrupted.

4.   When the message below appears, the drive is now encrypted and safe to use.

Screenshot of the above Bitlocker step 4

5.   When the encrypted drive is inserted into a computer, it must be unlocked using the password before any data can be accessed.

Screenshot of the above Bitlocker step 5

6.   Once the device has been successfully unlocked then data stored on it can be accessed as normal.

Screenshot of the above Bitlocker step 6

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