This article describes steps to enable or disable BitLocker drive auto-unlock in Windows 11.
BitLocker helps protect your data on your computer so only authorized users have access to it. In addition, new files created on a BitLocker-enabled drive will also be protected.
Users can protect external, fixed, and operating system drives using BitLocker. When you enable BitLocker to protect the OS drive, it will automatically unlock the drive at startup using a TPM chip.
However, users can add additional security by requiring a USB flash drive and a PIN to unlock BitLocker at startup.
Suppose you enable BitLocker on a fixed or removable drive. In that case, you can turn on or off the auto-unlock feature so that after successfully signing into Windows, the fixed or removable drive will unlock to access the secured content.
Below is how you turn on or off auto-unlocking for BitLocker fixed and removable drives in Windows 11.
Disable or enable auto-unlocking for BitLocker drive in Windows 11
As described above, if you enable BitLocker on a fixed or removable drive, you can turn on or off auto-unlocking so that after you successfully sign into Windows, the fixed or removable drive will unlock so you can access the secured content.
Here’s how to do that in Windows 11.
First, open the Control Panel. Then navigate to the BitLocker drive encryption page at Control Panel -> System and Security -> BitLocker Drive Encryption.
Control Panel -> System and Security -> BitLocker Drive Encryption
On the BitLocker drive encryption page, locate the fixed or removable drive encrypted with BitLocker. Then click on the link that says “Turn on auto-unlock” to unlock the drive automatically after you sign into Windows.
If auto-unlock is on and you want to disable it, go back to the BitLocker drive encryption settings page, then click the link “Turn off auto-unlock” to disable automatically unlocking the drive when you sign into Windows.
Turn on or off BitLocker auto-unlock for the fixed drive using commands
One can use BitLocker built-in commands to enable or disable auto-locking fixed drives in Windows 11. To do that, open the Windows Terminal app.
Turn run the command format using either PowerShell or the Command Prompt tab.
manage-bde -autounlock -enable <drive letter>:
manage-bde -autounlock -enable E:
manage-bde -autounlock -disable E:
Turn on or off BitLocker auto-unlock for the fixed drive using PowerShell
Users can use the Windows PowerShell app to accomplish the same above. First, open the PowerShell app, then run the commands below format below.
Disable-BitLockerAutoUnlock -MountPoint "<drive letter>:"
Enable-BitLockerAutoUnlock -MountPoint "E:"
Disable-BitLockerAutoUnlock -MountPoint "E:"
That should do it!
This post showed you how to turn on or off BitLocker auto-unlocking for fixed drives in Windows 11. Please use the comment form below if you find any errors above or have something to add.