Will I lose my files? Will Windows keep booting?

I'm running Windows 10 without TPM enabled. My system supports TPM 2.0, but it's currently disabled, and since it seems that the new Windows 11 will need that feature, I wonder if I can be enabled now to be ready.


2 Answers 2


By itself the TPM does nothing. It does not magically encrypt your disk, nor does it prevent your system booting.

The TPM is simply a secure enclave that provides security facilities.

It is where operating system programs such as Bitlocker can store keys.

If you have encrypted your disk then upon booting the (unencrypted) Bitlocker bootloader queries the key from the TPM and proceeds to transparently decrypt the disk. If the hard drive bitlocker booted from is removed from that PC and put in another then it will fail to find a key in the TPM, and will therefore be unable to decrypt the disk.

The TPM cannot do anything without your operating system or programs doing work with it. Just "enabling" the TPM will do absolutely nothing and will not by itself make files inaccessible.

  • 3
    If you have the "recovery key" which bitlocker usually ask to store in your Microsoft account then you should be able to unlock the disk that way.
    – Mokubai
    Jun 25, 2021 at 5:56
  • 4
    Then the question is whether simply "enabling" it will cause Windows to use it automatically.
    – user253751
    Jun 25, 2021 at 9:37
  • 2
    @E_Blue you can go online and, I believe, write down or print out your recovery key on a piece of paper. support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/… "Your BitLocker recovery key is a unique 48-digit numerical password that can be used to unlock your system" you do have to have printed off the recovery key beforehand or have access to the account to get the key somehow.
    – Mokubai
    Jun 25, 2021 at 12:00
  • 2
    Bitlocker will need to be disabled so that your installer for the alternative OS can see and resize the disk partitions, after that you can re-enable bitlocker for the partitions as required. itsfoss.com/dual-boot-ubuntu-windows-bitlocker
    – Mokubai
    Jun 25, 2021 at 13:27
  • 2
    Yes. Bitlocker is a volume (partition) encryption system, not 100% disk encryption. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BitLocker#Operation Your system is secure because under normal circumstances your swap and all other potential "leak" paths, such as your swap file, are on your system partition. You could potentially leak data by putting your swap file or other sensitive documents on unencrypted partitions on the same disk. From Disk Management, the UEFI boot partition and recovery partitions are unencrypted while the "system" partition is encrypted: i.stack.imgur.com/jfkk2.png
    – Mokubai
    Jun 25, 2021 at 14:54

Will I lose my files?

You absolutely will not lose your files. You don't have to even download drivers. Unless you use software that loads a key into your TPM, the functionality will simply be enabled, waiting to be used by the software.

The only software that I am aware of that even uses it on Windows would be BitLocker.

I wonder if I can be enabled now to be ready.

I enabled it on my personal machine without an issue.

Will Windows will keep booting?

It absolutely will keep booting.

  • 4
    TPM's a tool stuff uses - unless you set up bitlocker your disk won't get encrypted as do other tools. I just turned on the embedded TPM on my system and... nothing happened
    – Journeyman Geek
    Jun 25, 2021 at 6:27

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .