How To Unlock A BitLocker Encrypted Flash Drive

Protecting the data on your flash drive using BitLocker drive encryption is a smart move to ensure that your personal information is not available to anyone who gets their hands on your drive. While it does take a while to encrypt the data, after the initial setup, you will have no trouble using your encrypted drive. By entering the password you configured, you can unlock it for regular use in a matter of seconds to have full access to view, copy and edit your data. Read on to learn everything you'll need to know to work with your encrypted drive.

Note: BitLocker is available in the Enterprise and Ultimate editions of Windows 7, and also in the Pro and Enterprise editions of Windows 8 and 8.1.

How To Unlock Your Encrypted Drive in Windows 8.1

Insert your encrypted flash drive into a USB port on your computer and wait for Windows to recognize it. A pop-up window will automatically appear on the right corner of the screen telling you that the drive is Bitlocker protected. Click or tap on the pup-up to go to the next step.

Then, you will be asked to enter your password.

To check if it's entered correctly tap on the little eye icon from the right corner of the password field.

If you want your computer to automatically open this drive in File Explorer each time you plug it in, you can select Automatically unlock on this PC in the More options section. Be careful though, to enable this option only if you are using a safe computer. Avoid enabling this option if you're using a public or otherwise shared computer.

Tap Unlock when you've entered your password and made your selections. If the password is entered incorrectly, you'll receive an error.

If you close the Bitlocker window before entering the password you can reopen it by clicking or tapping on the flash drive in File Explorer.

How To Unlock Your Encrypted Drive In Windows 7

Insert your encrypted flash drive into a USB port on your computer. Windows will automatically recognize the encrypted drive and launch a BitLocker window.

Enter your password in the appropriate field. Then, check the "Show password characters as I type them" if you want to be sure that you have typed your password correctly.

Select "Automatically unlock on this computer from now on" if you're on your own computer. This will allow you to skip this step and access your data automatically whenever you insert your drive. Do not select this option on a shared or public computer.

Click Unlock after you've entered your password and made your selections. If your password is entered incorrectly, you'll receive an error.

Otherwise, an AutoPlay window will launch allowing you access to your drive. Click "Open folder to view files" to view your data in Windows Explorer.

If AutoPlay is not enabled, simply open Windows Explorer and open the contents of the flash drive.

When you are finished working with it, remember to safely remove your flash drive.


As you can see, working with an encrypted flash drive is a simple matter. Though you'll have to sacrifice a few seconds before each use to enter your password, it is a small price to pay for data security. If we've missed anything, or you have any questions about the procedure described above, please feel free to leave a comment.