You can password protect your USB pen drive for security and prevent data theft. Follow the steps below to encrypt your pen drive with a password.
For Windows 7
Windows 7 comes with an in-built feature to encrypt not only USB flash drives, but also your computer hard drive with a password. Follow the steps below to password protect your Pen drive or hard drive:
- If you want to lock your pen drive, plug it in your PC. If you want to lock a hard drive, skip this step.
- Open Control Panel and click on BitLocker Drive Encryption
- A list will appear showing all drives that can be locked, including your computer hard drives and all connected storage devices. Click Turn On BitLocker for any storage drive. We have chosen a pen drive.
- A dialog box will appear. Wait till it initializes the selected drive.
- Check Use a password to unlock the drive. Now type your desired Password and click Next.
- The setup will now ask you how you prefer to store your recovery key. If you forget your password, you can use this recovery key to access the drive. Either save the key in your PC, or print it, or both. Then click next.
- Now it will ask you for confirmation. Click the button saying Start Encrypting.
- The encryption will take time depending on the size of your disk. Do NOT remove your disk while it’s encrypting, or you may damage your files.
- Your drive’s icon will change, as shown in the screenshot.
- Plug out your drive, now whenever you plug it in, anywhere, it will not open until you enter the password.
**To remove the encryption, open BitLocker Drive Encryption from control panel and select Turn off BitLocker for any drive and then enter your password, when prompted. Decryption will take time.
**To change password, open BitLocker Drive Encryption from control panel and select Manage BitLocker.
Note: Storage devices encrypted with BitLocker cannot be accessed on Windows XP, Vista & other OS, since they dont’ have BitLocker. But, you can read the files by downloading BitLocker To Go Reader for Windows XP & Vista.
Recommended: Since Bitlocker only works with Windows 7, use TrueCrypt software for encryption across Windows XP/Vista/7, Mac OS X & Linux.
For Windows XP/Vista/7, Mac OS X & Linux
For Windows XP & Vista, you need to download an open source software named TrueCrypt, which will encrypt any storage drive, across any OS.
Download the software and install it. Then follow the on-screen instructions to encrypt a storage disk with a password.
You do not need to install the software at a different computer for unlocking your storage device.