There wasn't much to celebrate about Windows Vista, but one good thing that came out was a new feature called BitLocker. This feature allows users to encrypt drives to prevent unauthorized access.

If you've encrypted your drive with BitLocker, you may have noticed that it has some quirks of its own. Here's how to turn off or pause BitLocker on Windows 10.

Why disable BitLocker?

Let's say you've encrypted your drive with your current Windows 7 PC, and now you've bought a sleek new PC that runs Windows 10. You want to install your old, encrypted hard drive on your new computer. However, when you try to access the drive, Windows 10 prompts you to turn off BitLocker or doesn't recognize your password.

BitLocker also doesn't behave well with other programs and doesn't allow dual-booting, especially if you've encrypted the C: drive. So while encryption can be a nice touch, Bitlocker can sometimes be more of a curse than a blessing.

If those annoyances made you rethink using BitLocker, we're going to walk you through how to disable it on Windows 10. However, that doesn't mean you have to compromise on security. There are several Syskey encryption alternatives that you should consider.

How to disable BitLocker from Control Panel

This is the easiest way to turn off BitLocker. First, look for Manage Bitlocker in the start menu and launch the best match in the search results. This opens the BitLocker Drive Encryption Window in which you can see all of your drives listed. Next to the drive you will see an option to Deactivate BitLocker. Click on it and follow the instructions in the wizard.

Bitlocker control panel

How to turn off BitLocker in the Local Group Policy Editor

The versions of Windows 10 Professional and Enterprise have a more comprehensive console for changing Windows settings called the Local Group Policy Editor. Press Profit + r, Type gpedit.msc, and press Enter to start the Group Policy Editor.

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Navigate to in the left pane Computer configuration > Administrative templates > Windows components > BitLocker Drive Encryption > Fixed data drives.

Go to the right pane and double-click Deny write access to hard drives not protected by BitLocker to configure the setting.

bitlocker gpedit

If you're using BitLocker, this setting is in a Allows State. Change the status to Not configured or Disabled person, and press OK to save changes and exit. Restart your PC and your drive should no longer be encrypted.

Unfortunately, if you're using Windows 10 Home, Group Policy isn't enabled by default. However, there is a way to access Group Policy on Windows 10 Home.

How to turn off BitLocker from the command prompt

If you're more technical and prefer to use command lines, you can turn off BitLocker using the command prompt or PowerShell (discussed below). It will also save you some time.

If you've turned on BitLocker encryption for multiple drives, skip to the next method to turn off BitLocker for all of them at the same time.

Search for cmd Right-click in the start menu command prompt, and choose Execute as administrator to run an elevated command prompt. Run the following command:

manage -bde -off D:

Replace the letter D with the drive that you want to turn off BitLocker for.

How to turn off BitLocker using PowerShell

Search for Power Shell by doing Start menu, Right click on Power Shell, and choose Execute as administrator to run Power Shell with administrator rights. Run the following command:

Disable-BitLocker -MountPoint "D:"

Again, replace the letter D with the drive that you want to disable BitLocker for.

However, if you have BitLocker encryption enabled for multiple drives, you may want to run the following commands:

$ BLV = Get-BitLockerVolume

Disable BitLocker -MountPoint $ BLV

The first command identifies all of the volumes that you've encrypted with BitLocker and stores them in the $ BLV variable. The next command disables BitLocker for all volumes stored in the $ BLV variable.

How to turn off BitLocker from the Services window

At least one of the methods discussed so far should work. Regardless of this, you also have the option of using the BitLocker Drive Encryption Service to disable BitLocker.

Press Profit + r, Type services.mscand press Enter to open the Services panel. search for BitLocker Drive Encryption Service In the list.

Bitlocker service

Double click the service and change the Start type to Disabled person. Press OK to save the changes and exit.

When do you not have to deactivate BitLocker?

If you're considering turning off BitLocker to perform a UEFI / BIOS update, change a hardware component, or upgrade to a newer version of Windows 10, you don't necessarily have to turn off BitLocker.

While you may find it difficult to keep BitLocker enabled when you're doing any of these tasks, there is an alternative to disabling BitLocker. you can suspend it. Note that you should definitely disable or pause BitLocker when updating UEFI / BIOS. Otherwise, the update will delete all keys stored on the TPM.

In contrast to disabling BitLocker, stopping it does not decrypt the data on your drives. Also, any extra data you add to the drive while it is locked will still be encrypted. So when you have made all the changes to your PC, you can go back to the Control Panel and continue with the encryption.

How to interrupt BitLocker from Control Panel

Type Manage Bitlocker in the start menu and open the best match in the search results. By doing BitLocker Drive Encryption, you will see that the drives you encrypted have an option to Expose protection.

Expose bitlocker

Click on Expose protection and click Yes sir when the warning message appears. Then when you want to resume protection repeat the same steps except you have to click Resume protection Instead of Expose protection.

How to pause BitLocker using the command prompt

Search for cmd Right-click in the start menu command prompt, and choose Execute as administrator to run the command prompt with administrator rights. Run the following command:

manage -bde -protectors -Enable D:

Replace the letter D with the destination drive.

How to interrupt BitLocker with PowerShell

Search for Power Shell Right-click in the start menu Power Shell, and choose Execute as administrator to run a PowerShell with elevated rights. Run the following command:

Resume-BitLocker -MountPoint "D:"

Of course, change the letter D to the letter of your destination drive.

Get rid of BitLocker

BitLocker is without a doubt one of the most useful security features on Windows. However, sometimes you may need to disable it or pause it while doing some critical operations. It really isn't that difficult to turn off or pause BitLocker as long as you have your BitLocker key.

find-bitlocker-recovery-key-feature

How to Find Bitlocker Recovery Key in Windows 10

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About the author

Arjun Ruparelia
(14 articles published)

Arjun is a trained accountant and loves researching technology. He likes to use technology to make everyday tasks easier and often a lot more fun.

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By Arjun Ruparelia

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