Encryption on Windows 10 (with BitLocker)



It is very important to store data securely for education and research. The university advises not to store data locally, on your hard drive in your notebook, but to use storage facilities at the UT. Data on the local drive may be lost in case of malfunctioning or because the device is lost or stolen.

Loss of personal or confidential data must be considered as a data breach. To avoid data breach always use an encrypted folder or encrypted data storage.

BitLocker is a Microsoft tool to encrypt your files. Only users with the right decryption-key will be able to decrypt the files. BitLocker is comparable with your home key or the code of your bank account. LISA recommends the use of BitLocker on all your Microsoft devices to prevent your data being accessed by others than yourself.

To activate BitLocker you can follow the manual below. Besides the activation, you will be informed how to save your BitLocker Key. 

Before you start

  • This manual is written for Windows 10.
  • This manual uses a consistent style of writing: references to text and buttons on screens are printed in italics, information that you have to enter yourself is printed in bold.  

Activate BitLocker


  • Start File Explorer, Right mouse click on Disk C (Mostly called System), select Turn on BitLocker.


  •   When the question How do you want to back up your recovery key appears, select the option Print the recovery key.

  • select Microsoft Print to PDF. The key will be printed to a PDF file, Click Print. 

When selecting the Microsoft Print to PDF option, the key will be saved as a PDF file, it will not send the file to a printer. 

  • Save the PDF to the Desktop it is (often) not possible to print directly to a network-disk (Disk-M), because of that the Desktop is selected. Choose a File name and click Save.


  • Move the PDF file to Disk-M. 


  • If the following question pops up Choose how much of your drive to encrypt select the option Encrypt used disk space only. Click Next.

  • In some cases, the following window with the question Choose which encryption mode to use appears. Select New encryption mode, click Next


  • When the question: Are you ready to encrypt this drive? appears, make sure to uncheck the option Run BitLocker system check. Click Start encrypting. 

It is recommended that you do not turn off the computer during the encryption. 


Beware: in some cases the computer needs a restart. During the restart the F1-key needs to be pressed (make sure that if you are using a notebook to use the notebook keyboard). 

  • When BitLocker is ready with encrypting Disk-C following window appears. Encryption of C: is complete, Click Close. Disk C can now be used.


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