How to Password Protect USB Flash Drive for Free?
USB flash drive is an indispensible tool for file storage and transfer nowadays. Besides that, it can also be used as password reset disk for Windows 7 password recovery, or created as a bootable Windows system installation disk.
Usually, the data in USB is very important. But USB flash drive, with the size no more than a pack of chewing gums, is always prone to theft or loss. To prevent data from leakage and enhance data security on USB flash drive, this article will show you how to password protect your USB at free.
Bitlocker in Windows 7
There are many USB data encryption tools available, some are free and some are paid. However, starting from Windows Vista, Microsoft has added a free data encryption tool within the Operating System. It is known as Bitlocker. In Windows 7, Bitlocker is improved to be able to protect removable storage devices, such as USB-based hard drives, flash drive, and other media devices.
How to encrypt USB with Bitlocker in Windows 7?
1. Right click on your USB flash drive.
2. Click on Turn on BitLocker.
3. BitLocker starts initialize the USB flash drive.
4. Then you will be prompted to set a password or smart card protection for USB flash drive.
5. Save the recovery key to a file, or print the recovery key. And then you will see the file content as follows:
BitLocker Drive Encryption Recovery Key
The recovery key is used to recover the data on a BitLocker protected drive. To verify that this is the correct recovery key compare the identification with what is presented on the recovery screen.
Recovery key identification: E5E2A484-7AD2-48
Full recovery key identification: E5E2A484-7AD2-486C-AC47-7E0C3569DEEA
BitLocker Recovery Key:
Note: The three keys are different as USB varies.
6. Click Start Encrypting button. It may take a while for encryption to complete, depending on the size of the drive.
Next time you need to enter your password to unlock the USB flash drive to continue, either to access data stored in it, or eject it from PC.
The encrypted USB can also be used on Windows XP/VISTA, but it is in written protection, and its files are read-only.
If the USB flash drive is used as Windows password reset disk, system repair disc, and other kind of discs that should be read before accessing Windows system, since you cannot remove password protection at that time, do not encryption USB created for those purposes.
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