Data Protection – Bitlocker to Go

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Enabling Bitlocker protection on a portable storage device will protect it in the event that it is lost or stolen from unauthorised access. PC’s used by staff, will require that any portable media device is encrypted before it can be written to. This is to prevent data loss. You can read from portable storage device without the need to encrypt it.


  • Only use USB Drives / Portable storage as absolute last resort to transfer data
  • School provided cloud storage (OneDrive) is the ITS recommended alternative and gives you more control of shared data
  • Alternatively access your files via the Remote Desktop


  • USB Drives are not school provided and are encrypted at your own risk.
  • If a USB Drive / Portable media is damaged the encryption process can fail and data loss can occur
  • USB drives can be copied from without the need to encrypt the drive
  • If you want to copy data from a school computer, the drive is required to be encrypted
  • Once encrypted the USB Drive will only work by default on a Windows PC (Windows 7 onward)

Encrypting a Portable drive in Windows 10

  • To encrypt a USB Drive: Insert the drive into an appropriate port
  • You will be Prompted to encrypt the drive to be able to write data to it, you can skip this step if you just want to read data from it

  • Alternatively: In Windows Explorer right click on the drive and choose “Turn on Bitlocker…”
  • Follow the instructions in the wizard and make sure use a complex password
  • When prompted you should store the recovery key somewhere where it will be backed up and only you have access (e.g. your Home Drive)
  • Once the encryption process starts, wait for it to complete or “Pause” the process before removing the device