Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services

Windows 8.1 BitLocker Encryption (Desktop and laptops)

Startup Password Tutorial

Applies to Window 8.1 Pro and Windows 8.1 Enterprise 

Note: Your system must meet the minimum system requirements.

Congratulations! You have encrypted your hard drive. Remember to keep your recovery key safe and secure. Do not store it with your computer.

  1. The Startup Password option should only be used when a TPM is not available. If you have a TPM in your computer please see the TPM+PIN tutorial.
  2. To enable BitLocker using a Startup Password:
    • Click Start
    • Select Control Panel
    • From the View by: (top right) dropdown menu, select Small icons

    control panel window

  3. Click on BitLocker Drive Encryption 
    control panel window - select bitlocker drive encryption
  4. BitLocker Drive Encryption will open
    • Select Turn on BitLocker
    • BitLocker will initialize and check for system requirements.
    • It may want to reboot once or twice.

    bitlocker settings

  5. On the "Choose how to unlock your drive at startup" screen, click Enter a password
    • If you do have a TPM and it is enabled, you will not see the Enter a password option. In this case go to the TPM+PIN tutorial

    bitlocker wizard

  6. The Enter a Password screen will open
    • Enter your Password
    • Re-enter you Password (Do not copy and paste - if you made a mistake originally, you will be confirming the mistake without knowing it)
    • Click the Next button

    enter password window

  7. The How do you want to back up your recovery key? screen will open.  Very Important:  BitLocker will prompt you to save the Security Recovery Key to a USB flash drive, or to a file, or to print the recovery key.
    • Do not  save the Recovery Key to a file on your hard drive. Save it somewhere else or print it.
    • You will need the Recovery Key if your computer ever has a problem. 
    • Make your selection and click the Next button

    recovery key question

  8. BitLocker will ask whether or not you want to encrypt the whole drive at once or just the used space.
    • Choose the option which best suits your situation and
    • Click Next to proceed.

    drive encryption options

  9. BitLocker now asks Are you ready to encrypt the drive?
    • Enable the Run BitLocker system check
    • Click the Continue button 

    confirmation screen

  10. A system restart is now required,
    • Click the Restart now button and let the system reboot. 

    restart screen

  11. After rebooting, the Full Hard Drive Encryption process has begun. It will take about an hour to complete this. 
    • You may use your computer while this is occurring but it will run slowly until completed.
    • The encryption process is stopped if your computer goes to sleep, hibernates or is shutdown. 
    • The encryption process will restart once you power up your computer again.
    • When BitLocker finishes encrypting the drive, it may not display any message but the hard drive light should stop flashing constantly.

    encryption tooltip