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Queen's University

Windows 8.1 BitLocker Encryption (Desktop and laptops)


Applies to Window 8.1 Pro and Windows 8.1 Enterprise 


Note: Your system must meet the minimum system requirements.


  1. To turn on BitLocker:
    • Click Start
    • Select Control Panel
    • From the View by: (top right) dropdown menu, select Small icons
  2. Click on BitLocker Drive Encryption 
  3. BitLocker Drive Encryption will begin
    • Select Turn on BitLocker
    • BitLocker will initialize and check for system requirements.
    • It may want to reboot once or twice.
  4. If your computer has a TPM Module, skip to step 12. 

  5. Without a TPM Module, you will receive this message. Close this window and from the Windows Start Screen type GPEdit.MSC 
  6. The following window will appear after you launch GPedit.msc (a utility to easily change Windows defaults to allow no TPM Module)

  7. Below Computer Configuration, select Administrative Templates, Windows Components, BitLocker Drive Encryption, then click on Operating System Drives.  Now on the right side of the screen, double-click Require additional authentication at startup.

  8. Now, you are creating a simple policy, select Enabled and select Allow BitLocker without a compatible TPM. Ignore the rest of this policy, click Apply and OK. Close the Policy Editor.

  9. If you computer does NOT have a TPM Module, it will prompt you to use a USB Key or Enter a Password.
    • If you are going to use a USB key, click on Insert a USB flash drive. Go to Step 10
    • If you are going to enter a password, click on Enter a password. Go to Step 11
  10. If you selected Insert a USB flash drive the Save your startup key screen will open
    • Insert a USB flash drive
    • Once it appears on the screen select it
    • Click the Save button
    • Go to step 12
  11. The Create a password to unlock this drive 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
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. BitLocker now asks Are you ready to encrypt the drive?
    • Enable the Run BitLocker system check
    • Click the Continue button 
  15. A system restart is now required,
    • Click the Restart now button and let the system reboot. 
  16. 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.
  17. Congratulations! You have encrypted your hard drive. Remember to keep your recovery key safe and secure. Do not store it with your computer.



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