How to Disable BitLocker To Go Encryption

BitLocker To Go is a very useful feature that can help protect the data on your flash drive if it should be lost or stolen. Though it can be very helpful, it isn’t a perfect feature and it may not appeal to all users. If you’ve encrypted your flash drive and given BitLocker To Go a fair trial and you decide to return the flash drive to its normal state, you’ll need to decrypt the drive. This tutorial will walk you through the process.

Turn Off BitLocker & Decrypt the Drive

Insert your flash drive into your computer and enter the password when prompted. Open the Control Panel and select "System and Security." Then, click on "BitLocker Drive Encryption" to launch the BitLocker configuration panel.

BitLocker To Go

Scroll to the bottom of the page to view your flash drive under BitLocker To Go. Click "Turn Off BitLocker" where it appears next to your drive.

BitLocker To Go

Select "Decrypt Drive" to begin the decryption process.

BitLocker To Go

A small window will appear that contains a progress bar to inform you how well the job is progressing. Depending on the amount of data on your drive, it can take a very long time for this progress bar to reach 100 percent. If you need to remove the drive before the process is complete, click "Pause."

BitLocker To Go

Once the job is paused, you can unplug your drive. When you are ready to finish the job, insert the drive once again and enter your password. The Decryption progress bar will reappear automatically and begin where it left off. When the job is complete, you’ll be notified.

BitLocker To Go


If BitLocker’s limitations make it undesirable to you, you have other options for protecting your data. Take a look at secure flash drives (such as Corsair Padlock), which include their own encryption built-in. Some drives use their own software that launches when you attempt to access the drive while others have hard keys on them for entering your pin or a biometric scanner to scan your thumbprint. These devices will be more expensive than a standard flash drive, but you won’t have the compatibility issues with older operating systems.

Related articles:

Encrypt Files on a USB Memory Stick with BitLocker To Go
How to Unlock a BitLocker Encrypted Flash Drive
Rescuing Data From a BitLocker Encrypted Flash Drive
Managing Your BitLocker To Go Encrypted Flash Drive