You want to be sure that your valuable data is safe. The last thing you want to hear is that your data has fallen into the wrong hands, especially if you lose your precious device.
BitLocker provides an easy way for Windows 10 users to protect their data using encryption. The program creates a safe environment for all your files without any extra effort from you.
If you no longer need BitLocker, you can disable it in a few quick steps. However, when you disable BitLocker on Windows 10, it will: decrypt all your filesand your data is no longer protected.
What is BitLocker?
BitLocker is a native feature built into PCs running Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise versions. The feature encrypts your entire hard drive to protect your data from unauthorized manipulation and prying eyes.
Not sure which version of Windows you are using? Check out our guide on how to tell which version of Windows you have installed.
Remark: Although Windows 10 Home does not have BitLocker, you can still use device encryption to protect your files from unauthorized access if your device is lost or stolen. You can also put your important files in the OneDrive personal vault.
BitLocker uses your Windows login to secure your data without the need for additional passwords. The feature encrypts your data by encrypting it so that no one can access or read it without using a recovery key.
BitLocker protects your data only in the event that your device is stolen or lost. If you want to protect your files from ransomware or other malware, check out our top picks for the best malware and virus scanners guaranteed to destroy any virus†
Disable Bitlocker on Windows 10
BitLocker is a discreet method of protecting your data from unauthorized access. Disabling the feature will not erase your files, but it is still good practice to keep backup copies of your files.
There are several ways you can disable BitLocker on Windows 10, such as through Settings, Control Panel, the Windows search box, or through PowerShell and Command Prompt. Below are the steps to take when using each of these methods to disable BitLocker.
There are some sites that suggest that you should disable the BitLocker Windows service or use Group Policy to disable BitLocker, but those methods don’t really work and can eventually lead to misconfigurations and errors.
Disable BitLocker in Windows 10 via Windows Search
The Windows search function allows you to perform painstaking searches to find specific items in File Explorer, the Start menu, or the Settings menu. You can also perform web searches from here without opening your browser and accessing the files or apps you use most often.
If you want to disable BitLocker, you can do it easily through the Windows search box.
- Log in to your PC with an administrator account, type Manage BitLocker in the Windows search box, then select it from the list of results.
- Then select Turn off BitLocker†
Disable BitLocker in Windows 10 from the Settings menu
The Windows Settings menu contains basic settings that you can use to make app-specific changes to your PC. Here’s how to disable BitLocker from the Settings menu.
- Select Get started † Settings†
- In the Settings window, select System†
- Select About find the at the bottom left Related settings section in the right pane and select BitLocker Settings†
Remark: If you still don’t see the tab, it means your PC doesn’t have BitLocker.
- Then select Turn off BitLocker†
- If prompted, select: Turn off BitLocker again. BitLocker encrypts your hard drive, then Windows prompts you to enter your password before disabling the feature.
How to Uninstall BitLocker in Windows 10 via Control Panel
Windows 10’s Control Panel contains settings that control almost everything about how Windows looks and works. Here’s how to disable BitLocker from Control Panel.
- Open Control panel on the Start menu or type Control Panel in the search box and select it from the search results.
- Select System and security†
- Then select BitLocker Drive Encryption † Manage BitLocker†
- Select the Turn off BitLocker clutch.
- A pop-up will appear stating: Your disk will be decrypted. This may take a long time, but you can continue to use your PC during the decryption process† Select Turn off BitLocker to confirm the action.
Remark: If BitLocker encrypted one hard drive, it starts the decryption process for that drive. If there are several drives, you need to choose the drive for which you want to disable BitLocker.
Disable BitLocker with PowerShell and Command Prompt
Finally, if you are having trouble using the GUI interface or if you only have access to the command line tools, you can disable BitLocker using PowerShell or Command Prompt. Make sure to run both tools as an administrator.
For PowerShell, the command is below, but you replace X with the drive letter of the encrypted disk.
Disable Bitlocker -MountPoint “X:”
The volume status should be: Fully decrypted and Protection status should be Out†
If you use the command prompt, you first need the recovery key that you saved in your Microsoft account or in a file when you first set up BitLocker. It is normally a sequence of eight digits consisting of six digits each, separated by dashes. Once you have that, you need to type the following command and replace X with the drive letter on your PC:
manage-bde -unlock X: -RecoveryPassword Recovery-Key
Note that this unlocks the drive, but does not disable BitLocker completely. If you want to disable it completely, use this command:
manage-bde -off X:
If you want to re-enable BitLocker later, see our guide on how to set up full disk encryption on Windows with BitLocker.
Safely disable BitLocker on Windows 10
Disabling BitLocker will decrypt all your files, meaning your data will no longer be protected. However, you can still encrypt or encrypt all your online and offline data†
Whatever you decide to do, make sure your files are protected. If your data falls into the wrong hands, hackers can use your data against you.