Article Number: 000124701
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Applies to: Windows 10, and Windows 11
BitLocker device encryption is supported on a broad range of devices, including those that meet Modern Standby standards and devices that run Windows 10 Home edition or Windows 11.
Dell computers are not encrypted at the factory but follow the recommendation from Microsoft to support automatic device encryption. BitLocker Device Encryption
After a clean installation of Windows 11 or Windows 10 is completed and the out-of-box experience (OOBE) is finished, the computer is prepared for first use. As part of this preparation, BitLocker device encryption is initialized on the Operating System drive and fixed data drives.
Open a PowerShell or Terminal window as Administrator and type:
manage-bde -status : (replace with the drive letter, e.g., “C”)
Suspend-BitLocker -MountPoint "C:" -RebootCount 0
This command suspends BitLocker encryption on the BitLocker volume that is specified by the MountPoint parameter. Because the RebootCount parameter value is 0, BitLocker encryption remains suspended until you run the Resume-BitLocker cmdlet.
To resume device encryption, use:
Resume-BitLocker -MountPoint "C:"
Preventing or disabling the device encryption should only be used in servicing scenarios.
The automatic BitLocker Device Encryption process can be prevented by changing the registry setting:
Modifying the registry key is only effective when applied to an image before installing Windows. If you want to stop encryption during OOBE and disable it permanently, use Manage-bde Off .
The suspension provides a quick option to temporarily disable the protection on the computer drive for service. The process only takes a few seconds to complete and ensures that the drive content is still protected from unauthorized access yet allows computer repair or maintenance to occur.
Decryption permanently removes the protection and makes the content accessible to anybody who can access the drive. Also, decrypting a drive is time-consuming: Microsoft estimates it takes approximately 1 minute per 500 MB of drive space. The device decryption should only be used before restoring a Windows image.
Before making a change that might trigger a BitLocker Recovery Key, ensure that a recovery key was safely backed up before activating BitLocker protection. Ensure that any backed-up recovery key is accessible from another computer or phone: Finding your BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows .
Device encryption should be suspended before the computer is serviced on-site or returned to a service center. The device encryption must be suspended before flashing the computer BIOS and when a motherboard or a computer drive replacement is expected.
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