Dialed in remotely now to my PC at work, where I've left a thumb drive with sensitive info on it inserted in the USB port. I just encrypted it with Windows 10 Pro using Bitlocker with password. The process completed, but the icon still shows the lock icon in unlocked position, and I can see the contents. I've logged out and back in. But still the unlocked icon. Manage Bitlocker shows that it is "on". How to actually lock it, so that when I click on it, there is a password prompt?

Bitlocker On


I left the drive with sensitive information in my PC at work and am dialed in remotely, trying to make it so that the drive is inaccessible. How to actually lock it, so that when I click on it, there is a password prompt?

You need to run the following command in a command prompt. I might also point out that, the drive is only unlocked for the current user, any other user that attempts to access the drive would require the password.

manage-bde –lock F:

Source: manage-bde: lock

  • Is the need to issue that command on the command line the result of some Windows intelligence that recognizes that I'm dialed in remotely? If I had been there in person would it have locked the thumb drive immediately? – Tim Aug 29 '19 at 19:59
  • 1
    No. There is simply no other way to just lock a BitLocker-encrypted volume without rebooting. – Daniel B Aug 29 '19 at 20:04
  • I would like to add to this answer, that any user with physical access to the computer can access the files. The content is only locked if the USB key is removed and inserted into a different pc. Also, if you run the bitlocker wizard, it will say that it does the encryption in the background and the window goes away. This is not the finished state. – LPChip Aug 29 '19 at 21:21
  • @LPChip - Are you sure? The drive isn’t configured to be automatically unlocked. Presumably only they know the password to the drive. My experience with BitLocker makes me believe that, if the author were to logout, another user would have to unlock the drive. – Ramhound Aug 29 '19 at 21:52
  • I'm almost sure that windows will automatically unlock the drive for that user upon login, unless specifically specified that it shouldn't. But it might be that flashdrives behave differently than internal harddisks. I only have experience with internal harddisks. – LPChip Aug 30 '19 at 7:13

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