How to check BitLocker Drive Encryption status in Windows 10

Windows 10

BitLocker Drive Encryption is the technology in Windows 10 which can encrypt your hard disk drive and keep your data safe. It will usually require you to enter a pin/usb key/certificate to allow access to the encrypted hard disk drive.

But how do you check the status of BitLocker on your computer?

There are a couple of ways. For a quick check to see if a disk has BitLocker encryption enabled on it you can look in File Explorer (Windows Key + E) and look for the padlock icon next to the drive letter. Or you can use the Control Panel – L Drive Encryption App.

File Explorer - bitlockerControl Panel - BitLocker App

But if you want to find out the algorithm used or the current status (if it is encrypting or decrypting) we can use the BitLocker Drive Encryption Configuration Tool to check the status of BitLocker on all local drives.

1. Right click the Start button (or press CTRL + X), and select Command Prompt (Admin)

Start - Command Prompt (Admin)2. At the User Access Control Prompt click yes.

3. At the Command Prompt type: manage-bde -status
This will return the BitLocker status of all the drives in your computer.

manage-bde -statusIf you just want to check a particular drive you can use the following command (for C:\)

manage-bde -status C:

There numerous commands you can run with BitLocker Drive Encryption Configuration Tool, a simple manage-bde /? displays the possible options.

manage-bde slash questionmark

The above information was really useful recently while troubleshooting a Sophos SafeGuard Encryption issue with a new Windows 10 (version 1511) installation.

In Windows 10 (version 1511) XTS-AES is the new default algorithm, but the version of SafeGuard in use was version 7 which doesn’t support XTS-AES. The solution was to decrypt the volume and make sure the Group Policy had taken effect which specified the correct algorithm to use (AES 256), then to encrypt the drive. Alternatively, we could have upgraded Sophos SafeGuard Encryption to the latest version which supports XTS-AES.

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