Privacy and Security Turn Off BitLocker for Drive in Windows 11


  • Staff
BitLocker_unlocked_drive_banner.png

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

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.


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


 
Last edited:
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
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 23H2(OS Build 22631.3527)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    AMD
    CPU
    12-Core AMD Ryzen 9 5900X, 4950 MHz (49.5 x 100)
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master
    Memory
    4 - G Skill Trident Z Neo F4-3600C16-16GTZNC
    Graphics Card(s)
    PCI Express 4.0 x16: PowerColor RX 6800
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC1220 @ AMD K19.2 - High Definition Audio Controller
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 - 27 inch Westinghouse
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    2 SSD - 2 TB each
    1 SSD - 4TB
    1 HDD - 2TB
    Keyboard
    logitech
    Mouse
    logitech
    Internet Speed
    1 GB
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Eset Endpoint Security
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
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING (11GB GDDR5X)
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    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,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1 14-eu0098nr (2024)
    CPU
    Intel Core Ultra 7 155H 4.8 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR5x-7467 MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Integrated Intel Arc
    Sound Card
    Poly Studio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14" 2.8K OLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    2880 x 1800
    Hard Drives
    2 TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Internet Speed
    Intel Wi-Fi 7 BE200 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5.4
    Browser
    Chrome and Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
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
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING (11GB GDDR5X)
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    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,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1 14-eu0098nr (2024)
    CPU
    Intel Core Ultra 7 155H 4.8 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR5x-7467 MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Integrated Intel Arc
    Sound Card
    Poly Studio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14" 2.8K OLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    2880 x 1800
    Hard Drives
    2 TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Internet Speed
    Intel Wi-Fi 7 BE200 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5.4
    Browser
    Chrome and Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
My Computer (click below) came with BitLocker turned ON.

For security reasons it remains turned ON.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • 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)
    Internet Speed
    900 Mbps Netgear Orbi + 2 Satellites
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge (Chromium) + Bing
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Windows Security (Defender)
    Other Info
    Microsoft 365 subscription
    Microsoft OneDrive 1TB Cloud
    Microsoft Outlook
    Microsoft OneNote
    Microsoft PowerToys
    Microsoft Visual Studio
    Microsoft Visual Studio Code
    Macrium Reflect
    Dell Support Assist
    Dell Command | Update
    LastPass Password Manager
    Amazon Kindle
    Interactive Brokers Trader Workstation
    Lightroom/Photoshop subscription
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Tablet
    Manufacturer/Model
    Microsoft Surface Pro 7
    CPU
    i5
    Memory
    8 GB
    Hard Drives
    256GB SSD
    Internet Speed
    900 Mbps Netgear Orbi + 2 Satellites
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge (Chromium) + Bing
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Windows Security (Defender)
    Other Info
    Microsoft 365 subscription (Office)
    Microsoft OneDrive 1TB Cloud
    Microsoft Outlook
    Microsoft OneNote
    Microsoft Visual Studio
    Amazon Kindle
    Interactive Brokers Trader Workstation
    Lightroom/Photoshop subscription
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
Brink, will Disable-Bitlocker MountPoint “ C" work offline? I have a customer that has no idea how bitlocker was even turned on so they done have a recovery key and it's not even found in the email associated with the computer.

Is there away to disable bitlocker while using boot media possibly?
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Asus FX505DT-WB52
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
    Motherboard
    ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC. FX505DT (FP5)
    Memory
    32 GB DDR4-3200 • CL=22 • NON-ECC • SODIMM • 260-pin • 1.2V • 2Rx8/1Rx8 • PC4-25600
    Graphics Card(s)
    4095MB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (ASUStek Computer Inc) 128MB ATI AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek High Definition Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Generic PnP Monitor
    Screen Resolution
    (1920x1080@60Hz)
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 860 Evo 500GB
    PSU
    Stock
    Case
    Stock
    Keyboard
    Stock
    Mouse
    Stock
    Internet Speed
    30 MBPS
    Browser
    Mozilla Firefox
    Antivirus
    Norton 360 Deluxe
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS
    CPU
    Intel i7 8700k
    Motherboard
    TUF Z390M-PRO GAMING (WI-FI)
    Memory
    OLOy WarHawk RGB (Intel/AMD Ready) 288-Pin PC RAM DDR4 3600 (PC4 28800) 16GB
    Graphics card(s)
    PNY GeForce RTX 3060 12GB XLR8 Gaming Revel Epic-X RGB Single Fan Graphics Card
    Sound Card
    Stock
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LG UltraGear FHD 24-Inch Gaming Monitor 24GL600F-B
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080 @ 144Hz
    Hard Drives
    PNY CS2140 500GB (SSD)

    Seagate BarraCuda 4TB (ST4000DMZ04/DM004)
    PSU
    EVGA 750 BQ 80 Plus Bronze PSU
    Case
    NZXT H510 Flow
    Cooling
    Cooler Master MA620M dual tower air cooler and SP120 RGB Elite Performance 120MM PMW Triple Fan
    Mouse
    GM702 GAMING MOUSE
    Keyboard
    PICTEK RGB Gaming Keyboard
    Internet Speed
    30mbs
    Browser
    Mozilla Firefox
    Antivirus
    Norton 360 Deluxe
Brink, will Disable-Bitlocker MountPoint “ C" work offline? I have a customer that has no idea how bitlocker was even turned on so they done have a recovery key and it's not even found in the email associated with the computer.

Is there away to disable bitlocker while using boot media possibly?
Hello,

I'm afraid not. BitLocker will have to be unlocked for the drive before it can be turned off the same drive. :(

It may be "Device Encryption" (basically a light BitLocker) instead that is turned on by default for devices that support Modern Standby.


If they signed in with a Microsoft account, the recovery key may be available like in option one below.

 

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
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING (11GB GDDR5X)
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    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,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1 14-eu0098nr (2024)
    CPU
    Intel Core Ultra 7 155H 4.8 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR5x-7467 MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Integrated Intel Arc
    Sound Card
    Poly Studio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14" 2.8K OLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    2880 x 1800
    Hard Drives
    2 TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Internet Speed
    Intel Wi-Fi 7 BE200 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5.4
    Browser
    Chrome and Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium

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