How to enable BitLocker device encryption on Windows 11 Home

Yes, you can enable BitLocker on Windows 11 Home, and here's how.

Windows 11 Home BitLocker

Although BitLocker is not part of Windows 11 Home, you can still protect your computer and files using “device encryption.”

In the Home edition of Windows 11, device encryption is a light version of BitLocker. When you enable the feature, the data gets scrambled on the primary and secondary drives using the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption algorithm to protect your information, and only you with the correct password can access it.

The main difference between BitLocker and BitLocker device encryption is that BitLocker is only available in the Pro and higher editions of Windows 11 and offers additional management options.

Device encryption requires a Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) firmware and Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2 with support for Modern Standby. Home, since Windows 11 also requires these components, the feature should be available in almost all laptops and desktops running the Home edition of the OS.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to enable device encryption in the Home edition of Windows 11.

Enable BitLocker on Windows 11 Home

To “turn on BitLocker” device encryption on Windows 11 Home, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Privacy & Security.

  3. Under the “Security” section, click the Device encryption page.

    Open Device encryption settings

  4. Turn on Device encryption toggle switch to enable BitLocker on Windows 11 Home.

    Windows 11 Home enable BitLocker

Once you complete the steps, the feature will begin encrypting the entire system drive.

Retrieve Bitlocker recovery key

To export the BitLocker recovery key, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Privacy & security.

  3. Under the “Security” section, click the Device encryption page.

    Open Device encryption settings

  4. Under the “Related” section, click the BitLocker drive encryption option.

    Open BitLocker device encryption

  5. Under the “Operating system drive” section, click the Back up your recovery key option.

    Windows 11 Home backup recovery key

  6. Click the Save to a file option.

    Export recovery key

  7. Save the BitLocker recovery key on an external drive.

  8. Click the Save button.

After you complete the steps, the recovery key will be saved in the location you specified, and you will be able to use it to access your files in case you are having trouble accessing your computer.

If you don’t have access to your computer and have never backed up the recovery key, you can download it from your Microsoft account.

Disable BitLocker on Windows 11 Home

To turn off BitLocker device encryption in the Home edition of Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Privacy & security.

  3. Under the “Security” section, click the Device encryption page.

    Open Device encryption settings

  4. Turn off Device encryption to disable BitLocker on Windows 11 Home.

    Windows 11 Home disable BitLocker

  5. Click the Turn off button.

Once you complete the steps, the feature will begin decrypting all the files on your device.