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How to Password Protect a USB Flash Drive in Windows

We want to protect our data. One of the most common means through which we share data between devices is through USB drives. Almost everyone with a computer uses USB flash drives to transfer data from one system to another or store data. Now, if someone else uses the USB drive other than the primary user, then he/she, too, will also have access to the sensitive data.

Windows realizes the need for privacy when it comes it comes to a USB drive or any drive in general. So they have introduced a feature called Bitlocker to the Windows environment starting from the Vista edition. This lets you encrypt data on USB drives and even password protect them. So if you are worried about other people getting access to the data on your USB drive, this feature will come in handy. So without further ado, let’s get into it.

How to Password Protect a USB Flash Drive in Windows

How to Password Protect USB Flash Drives on Windows 7/8/10?

The Bitlocker feature in the Windows operating system does not require any extra download. You don’t need to download any kind of application. All you need is a working Windows environment and the USB drive you want to protect with a password. Even the data on the USB drive is encrypted when you turn on Bitlocker on that drive. But you don’t need to decrypt it separately if you want to move or copy the data to another location. You can copy the files, and they will automatically be copied and then decrypted.

So to enable password protection on a USB drive, follow the steps below.

  • Plugin the USB drive to your computer.
  • Open “My Computer” or “This PC” depending upon your version of Windows.
  • Then right-click on the USB drive and choose the “Turn on BitLocker” option.

How to Password Protect USB Flash Drives on Windows 7/8/10?

  • If a pop-up shows up asking for permission, then allow it.
  • Then it will take a while to initialize the USB drive.
  • After that, you will see the options of choice regarding how you want to unlock the device. Since you want to password protect it, choose the “Use a password to unlock the device” option.

How to Password Protect USB Flash Drives on Windows 7/8/10?

  • Then enter the password in the first box. Then re-enter it in the second box. The password you enter here should contain upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers, spaces, and symbols. Click on Next after that.
  • On the next page, you will see the Recovery key option, a key that you can use to unlock the USB drive in case you forget the password someday. You have the option to save the recovery key on to your Microsoft account or save it as a file on your system or print it. The best would be to store the key as a file on the computer in a location that you prefer. Do not save the file in the USB drive itself because it won’t be useful then. Click on Save and then click on Next.

How to Password Protect USB Flash Drives on Windows 7/8/10?

  • Then on the next page, choose the “Encrypt used disk space only” option and click on Next.

How to Password Protect USB Flash Drives on Windows 7/8/10?

  • Then you will see the page of encryption mode. You won’t see this page if you are using a windows system older than the Windows 10 version 1511. If you see this page, then choose the “Compatible mode” option and click on Next.

How to Password Protect USB Flash Drives on Windows 7/8/10?

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  • Then finally click on “Start encrypting,” and the process will initiate. Depending upon the size of the USB drive, it will take a while.

  • Now remove the USB drive from the computer and plug it in again. This time you will see a lock icon on your USB drive. If you try to open the USB drive now, you will see a window of BitLocker asking for the password. Enter the password, and you will be able to access everything on the USB drive.

What to do if you forget the password?

As mentioned in the steps above, we have a recovery file stored on the PC to act as a recovery key. If you don’t remember the password, then choose the option “More Options.” Here, you will see the “Enter recovery key” option.

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Click on it and open the recovery file stored on your computer. It will be a text file with the recovery code written somewhere on it. Copy this recovery key from this text file and enter it in the Bitlocker window asking for the recovery key to unlock the USB drive. Click on Unlock after you have inserted the recovery key. It will be a combination of different numbers with a length of 48 characters. So look for that in the recovery text file.

How to remove password protection or to disable BitLocker on your USB device?

  • Plugin the USB drive to your computer.
  • Open “My Computer” or “This PC” depending upon your version of Windows.
  • Then right-click on the USB drive and choose the “Manage BitLocker” option.

  • In the next window, you will see all the options for Bitlocker, from turn it off or changing password. if you want to disable it, then choose the option “Turn off BitLocker.”

So that is how you can password protect USB drives without installing any third-party applications. If you have any questions or queries about this guide, then comment down below, and we will get back to you. Also, be sure to check out our other articles on iPhone tips and tricks, Android tips and tricks, PC tips and tricks, and much more for more useful information.

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