BitLocker FAQ


What is BitLocker? How does it work?

Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption is a data protection feature available in Windows Enterprise. BitLocker provides enhanced protection against data theft or exposure on computers that are lost or stolen, and more secure data deletion when BitLocker-protected computers are decommissioned.

Data on a lost or stolen computer is vulnerable to unauthorized access, either by running a software attack tool against it or by transferring the computer’s hard disk to a different computer.┬áBitLocker helps mitigate unauthorized data access on lost or stolen computers by combining two major data-protection procedures:

  • Encrypting the entire Windows operating system volume on the hard disk. BitLocker encrypts all user files and system files in the operating system volume, including the swap and hibernation files.
  • Checking the integrity of early boot components and boot configuration data. BitLocker uses the enhanced security capabilities of the TPM to help ensure that your data is accessible only if the computer’s boot components appear unaltered and the encrypted disk is located in the original computer.

Is there a performance impact when BitLocker is enabled?

Bitlocker should use a negligible amount of processing power that should not be noticed.

Approximately how long will initial encryption take when BitLocker is turned on?

BitLocker encryption occurs in the background while you continue to work, and the system remains usable, but encryption times vary depending on the type of drive that is being encrypted, the size of the drive, and the speed of the drive. If you are encrypting very large drives, you may want to set encryption to occur during times when you will not be using the drive.

What happens if the computer is turned off during encryption or decryption?

If the computer is turned off or goes into hibernation, the BitLocker encryption and decryption process will resume where it stopped the next time Windows starts. This is true even if power is suddenly lost.

Once my computer has been fully encrypted, will I notice anything different ?

Your drive icon will change to what is shown below. No other changes should be seen or noticed once the computer is encrypted with Bitlocker.