Privacy and Security Turn Off BitLocker for Drive in Windows 11


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BitLocker_unlocked_drive_banner.png

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 drives and computers.

You can turn on BitLocker to encrypt the operating system drive (Windows drive), fixed data drives (internal hard drives), and removable data drives (external hard drive or USB flash drive).

When you turn off BitLocker for a drive encrypted by BitLocker, it will completely decrypt the drive.

This tutorial will show you how to turn off BitLocker for an encrypted drive in Windows 10 and Windows 11.


It is required to unlock the BitLocker encrypted drive before being able to turn off BitLocker for the drive.

You must be signed in as an administrator to turn off BitLocker for a operating system drive and fixed data drive. You are not required to be an administrator to unlock your removable data drive.

BitLocker Drive Encryption is only available in the Windows 11 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions.



Contents

  • Option One: Turn Off BitLocker for Drive from Context Menu
  • Option Two: Turn Off BitLocker for Drive in BitLocker Manager
  • Option Three: Turn Off BitLocker for Drive using manage-bde Command
  • Option Four: Turn Off BitLocker for Drive in PowerShell





OPTION ONE

Turn Off BitLocker for Drive from Context Menu


This option requires adding Turn off BitLocker to the context menu first.


1 Open This PC in File Explorer (Win+E).

2 Right click or press and hold on the drive you want to decrypt, and click/tap on Show more options.

3 Click/tap on Turn off BitLocker. (see screenshot below)

Turn_off_BitLocker_context_menu.png





OPTION TWO

Turn Off BitLocker for Drive in BitLocker Manager


1 Open the Control Panel (icons view), and click/tap on the BitLocker Drive Encryption icon.

2 Click/tap on Turn off BitLocker for the encrypted drive you want to decrypt. (see screenshot below)

Turn_off_BitLocker_Control_Panel-1.png

3 Click/tap on Turn off BitLocker to confirm. (see screenshot below)

Turn_off_BitLocker_Control_Panel-2.png

4 The drive will now start decrypting. (see screenshot below)

Turn_off_BitLocker_Control_Panel-3.png

5 Click/tap on Close when decryption is complete. (see screenshot below)

Turn_off_BitLocker_Control_Panel-4.png





OPTION THREE

Turn Off BitLocker for Drive using manage-bde Command


1 Open Windows Terminal (Admin), and select either Windows PowerShell or Command Prompt.

2 Type the command below into Windows Terminal (Admin), and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

manage-bde -off <drive letter>:

Substitute <drive letter> in the command above with the actual drive letter of the encrypted drive you want to decrypt.

For example: manage-bde -off F:


You can check the status of BitLocker for the drive at anytime.


Turn_off_BitLocker_mange-bde.png






OPTION FOUR

Turn Off BitLocker for Drive in PowerShell


1 Open Windows Terminal (Admin), and select Windows PowerShell.

2. Type the command below into Windows Terminal (Admin), and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

Disable-BitLocker -MountPoint "<drive letter>:"

Substitute <drive letter> in the command above with the actual drive letter of the encrypted drive you want to decrypt.

For example: Disable-BitLocker -MountPoint "F:"


You can check the status of BitLocker for the drive at anytime.


Turn_off_BitLocker_PowerShell.png



That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

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Last edited:

OldGrantonian

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The simple DOS commands in OPTION THREE work fine for ancient relics like me.


In OPTION ONE, I can't see any BitLocker (BL) commands in the context menu.


In OPTION TWO, step 1. the "BitLocker Drive Encryption icon" is not presented. Google says "you don't have the right edition of Windows." I have Win 11 Home.

However, Google also gave me several (at least two from memory) methods of arriving at a window containing the command "Turn off BL" - exactly as in this tutorial. None of these commands worked as expected. (Of course, if the "Turn off BL" command had earlier worked silently, then my later attempts to turn off BL would have shown the command "Turn on BL" ;-) )

For the BL command, I saw exactly the same blue text as in your screenshots. Can't remember about the icon.

Note 1: I'm a "reduced privilege" Admin on my own machine. In other words, I get the UAC prompt occasionally. But I saw no UAC prompt for the BL command.

Note 2:The "Turn off BL" command appears at the end of of several other possible chains. In each case, there's zero response.

Here's an example:

- Settings > System > Storage > Advanced storage settings > Disks & Volumes > C: > Properties > BitLocker > Turn on BitLocker (I see that command, because I've turned BL off. And no - I don't want to test it !!)

Note 3: I hope no-one thinks that there's any criticism of Shawn in this post. He recorded what he saw, and I recorded what I saw. His screenshots are sufficient proof.
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 17

imanlien2020

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Windows 11 Pro Version 21H2(OS Build 22000.795)
Can I ask why would I want to turn off Bitlocker? Is there some positives to it or..?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro Version 21H2(OS Build 22000.795)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    AMD
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 8 Core
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte X570 Aorus Pro WiFi
    Memory
    32 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    PCI Express 3.0 x16: PowerColor RX Vega 56 Red Dragon
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC1220 and AMD Greenland - High Definition Audio Controller
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 - 27 inch Westinghouse
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    2 SSD - 2 TB each
    1 HDD - 2 TB
    Keyboard
    logitech
    Mouse
    logitech
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    1 GB
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge
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    Avast Premium

Brink

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Can I ask why would I want to turn off Bitlocker? Is there some positives to it or..?
Hello, :-)

Normally, you wouldn't turn off BitLocker for security reasons, but there may be times you need to temporarily suspend or turn off BitLocker for the OS drive to prevent it from interfering with things like a firmware update.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 980 PRO M.2,
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Motorola MB8611 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1
    CPU
    i7-1065G7 3.9 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR4-3200
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3" 4K UWVA AMOLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium

Brink

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Hello @OldGrantonian, :-)

If you have a Home edition of Windows, you wouldn't have options 1 and 2 available.

Instead, you would have Device Encryption below. Options 3 and 4 would still turn off Device Encryption though since it's basically a lite version of BitLocker.

 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 980 PRO M.2,
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Motorola MB8611 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1
    CPU
    i7-1065G7 3.9 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR4-3200
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3" 4K UWVA AMOLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium

TraderGary

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My Computer (click below) came with BitLocker turned ON.

For security reasons it remains turned ON.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 15 9510 OLED
    CPU
    11th Gen i9 -11900H
    Memory
    32 GB 3200 MHz DDR4
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 3050Ti
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15.6" OLED Infinity Edge Touch
    Screen Resolution
    16:10 Aspect Ratio (3456 x 2160)
    Hard Drives
    1 Terabyte M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
    2 Thunderbolt™ 4 (USB Type-C™)
    1 USB 3.2 Gen 2 (USB Type-C™)
    SD Card Reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC)
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    700 Mbps, 24 Mbps
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge (Chromium) + Bing
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Windows Security (Defender)
    Other Info
    Microsoft 365 subscription (Office)
    Microsoft OneDrive 1TB Cloud
    Microsoft File History
    Microsoft Outlook
    Microsoft OneNote
    Interactive Brokers Trader Workstation
    Lightroom/Photoshop subscription
    DaVinci Resolve Studio

cereberus

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Hello, :-)

Normally, you wouldn't turn off BitLocker for security reasons, but there may be times you need to temporarily suspend or turn off BitLocker for the OS drive to prevent it from interfering with things like a firmware update.
This is rather a matter of opinion.

I have two laptops - main one for home use (more powerful device), supplementary one for travel

I do not see any real point in bitlocking my home use device. OK, always a risk that laptop gets stolen but very low risk.

In fact, there is not much point in bitlocking my travel laptop as it has an emmc drive and surprisingly a TP2. So drive will automatically unlock if user gets past login password.

In the end bitlocker really only protects you against user stealing drive independent of laptop, which cannot be done with emmc drive.

You can of course use a bitlocker pin (different to password pin), to provide another layer of protection if a laptop is stolen.

I also have a company issued laptop with removable SSD, and it makes sense that this is bitlocked i.e. if laptop is stolen (I travel back and forth to office with this so nore risk of theft), users could not access company data (assuming they do not get past login stage).
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro + others in VHDs
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS Vivobook 14
    CPU
    I7
    Motherboard
    Yep, Laptop has one.
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated Intel Iris XE
    Sound Card
    Realtek built in
    Monitor(s) Displays
    N/A
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Optane NVME SSD, 1 TB NVME SSD
    PSU
    Yep, got one
    Case
    Yep, got one
    Cooling
    Stella Artois
    Keyboard
    Built in
    Mouse
    Bluetooth , wired
    Internet Speed
    72 Mb/s :-(
    Browser
    Edge mostly
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    TPM 2.0
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