How To Turn On or Turn Off Device Encryption in Windows 11

Windows 11 has built-in Device Encryption to protect your system. Here is how to turn on or turn off Device Encryption in Windows 11.

Like with Windows 10, Windows 11 has built-in Device Encryption. However, unlike Windows 10, the Device Encryption feature is fully turned on by default in almost all computers, thanks to the much higher and stricter system requirements.

This simple guide will show you how to turn on Device Encryption in Windows 11 and turn off Device Encryption in Windows 11. Depending on what you want to do, follow the relevant section.

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What is Device Encryption

Device Encryption is a BitLocker technology that automatically encrypts all the drives and contents with a robust encryption algorithm. That way, only authorized users can access the data on your computer. The best thing is, Device Encryption integrates with your user account seamlessly. Just log into your user account, and all the drives are automatically decrypted. If you are wondering, you will not see any performance loss while using Device Encryption.

When the Device Encryption is active, you will see a small lock icon on the drives.

In previous versions of Windows, all your data is protected by the user account itself. That means bad actors can remove the hard disk and place it in another computer to access your data. Device Encryption defeats that. Since the Device Encryption feature requires users to log into a connected user account or provide a BitLocker recovery key, your data is safe from prying eyes.

I cannot find the Device Encryption option in Windows 11

Keep in mind that the Windows 11 Device Encryption feature is only available in Pro and Enterprise editions. If you are running Windows 11 Home edition, you cannot use Device Encryption. This is because the Home edition doesn’t support the BitLocker feature/technology. Your computer should also meet the minimum system requirements.

Device Encryption system requirements

On Windows 11, below are the minimum system requirements to use the Device Encryption feature.

  • Should have TPM (Trusted Platform Module) v2.0 or higher chip.
  • The system should support and use UEFI.
  • Your computer should support Secure Boot, and it must be enabled.

Turn on Device Encryption in Windows 11

To turn on the Device Encryption feature in Windows 11, follow the steps given below.

  1. Open Windows 11 Settings.
  2. Select “Privacy & Security” on the sidebar.
  3. Click on the “Device Encryption” option.
  4. Turn on the “Device Encryption” option.
  5. With that, the Device Encryption is turned on.

Detailed Steps:

Press the “Windows key + I” shortcut to open the Windows 11 Settings app. Next, go to the “Privacy & Security > Device Encryption” page. After that, turn on the “Device Encryption” option. As soon as you turn on the option, Windows 11 will start the encryption process.

turn on device encryption in windows 11

The whole encryption will take some time to complete. The time mainly depends on your system specifications and how much data you have in it. While the encryption is in progress, you can do other work with your computer. Once the Device Encryption is turned on, you will see the lock icons on the drives in Windows 11 File Explorer.

lock icons on drives in Windows 11 File Explorer because of active Device Encryption

Turn off Device Encryption in Windows 11

To disable or turn off Device Encryption in Windows 11, follow the steps given below.

  1. Open Windows 11 Settings.
  2. Select “Privacy & Security” on the sidebar.
  3. Click on the “Device Encryption” option.
  4. Turn off the “Device Encryption” option.
  5. Click the “Turn off” button.
  6. With that, the Device Encryption is turned off.
turn off device encryption in windows 11
confirm turn off

After turning off the Device Encryption feature, Windows 11 will start the decryption process. The decryption will take time to complete depending on your system resources and how much data you have. While the decryption is running, you can do other work on the computer.

Windows 11 decrypting drives

Once the Device Encryption is turned off, you will no longer see the lock icons on the drives in Windows 11 File Explorer.

no lock icons on drives in Windows 11 file explorer

That is all. It is that simple to turn on or turn off Device Encryption in Windows 11.

I hope that helps.

If you are stuck or need some help, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.

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