Can’t enable BitLocker for pendrive or USB removable drive
If your pendrive or removable drive (after selecting it in This PC) has BitLocker button disabled (in Protect section of Drive Tools tab) or if you can’t see it listed in BitLocker itself then it is (currently) not supported. Most guides you’ll find will tell you that the destructive way of formatting drive is the only option.
That turned out to be not true, at least in my case. Simple deactivation of pendrive’s partition using DiskPart solved problem.
Of course you need Windows 10 Pro, because “lower” editions of this system does not have BitLocker.
Follow these steps:
- Click Start, type
cmd, right-click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator from context menu.
diskpartand hit Enter.
list diskand hit Enter. Locate your removable drive by looking at Size column.
select disk nwhere
nis number (in Disk ### column) that corresponds to your disk. Hit Enter.
list partitionand hit Enter. Usually your drive will have only one
select partition 1(or other number) and hit Enter.
inactiveto make selected partition inactive and hit Enter.
exittwice and confirm with Enter twice to leave DiskPart and Command Prompt.
DiskPart marked the current partition as inactive
in 7th point should confirm that the whole process has completed successfully. You should now be able to use BitLocker on your removable drive.
Please note that in my case, immediately after performing above steps:
- neither BitLocker button become enabled (in Protect section of Drive Tools tab of This PC)
- nor Manage BitLocker item appeared (in pendrive’s context menu).
So, at first sight all looked like nothing has changed.
But that was just some kind of glitch in Windows itself. Opening BitLocker program itself revealed that drive is actually listed among removable drives and I could start encryption process for it.