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Why Bitlocker Might Not Be Running

Updated on January 9, 2018
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Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of 2, and a published sci-fi and horror author.

What Is Bitlocker?

Bitlocker is the built in encryption tool in the Windows 7 and later Windows operating systems. Bitlocker is relatively popular because it already comes with the Microsoft Operating System. What are some of the common problems with Bitlocker? Why might Bitlocker fail to work properly?

Bitlocker is another way to protect your data.
Bitlocker is another way to protect your data. | Source

Common Problems and Concerns with Bitlocker

  1. Bitlocker only encrypts devices, not files. If you encrypt your USB, Bitlocker encrypts the whole thing. To view a non-critical file, you have to decrypt all data on the device. If Bitlocker doesn’t seem to be working on your device, it may be because it did not successfully encrypt the device in the first place.
  2. Bitlocker uses Active Directory (AD) to store passwords and to recover them. If your active directory password is hacked, your encryption is meaningless. If you've locked your Active Directory password, you cannot access the information. If Bitlocker seems to never be working because you never have to log in, this can be because your Active Directory unlocks it without any other action on your part.
  3. To run Bitlocker, you need TPM (trusted platform module) installed. This, however, is not a default, built in function for users. You have to install trusted platform module yourself. If Bitlocker won’t run, check to see if TPM is installed.


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