How to Enable or Disable BitLocker Drive Auto-unlock on Windows 11

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The article discusses how to enable or disable BitLocker drive auto-unlock feature in Windows 11. BitLocker helps protect computer data with access only by authorized users, including new files created. The encryption tool can auto-unlock drives at startup and can be further secured with a USB flash drive and a PIN. It provides detailed steps…

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 can access 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 automatically unlocks 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 to 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.

windows 11 turn on bitlocker auto unlock for fixed drive
Windows 11 turns on BitLocker auto unlock for fixed drive

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.

windows 11 turn off bitlocker auto unlock for fixed drive
Windows 11 turns off BitLocker auto unlock for fixed drive

Turn on or off BitLocker auto-unlock for the fixed drive using commands

BitLocker built-in commands can 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>:

Enable:

manage-bde -autounlock -enable E:

Disable:

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:

Enable-BitLockerAutoUnlock -MountPoint "E:"

Disable:

Disable-BitLockerAutoUnlock -MountPoint "E:"

That should do it!

Conclusion

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.

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