Tips & Tricks

How to Open a BitLocker Encrypted Drive in Windows 10 and Mac

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It is a wise way to protect the data of the USB flash drive or any removable devices with the BitLocker encryption in Windows 10 computer. With the strong protection, others are unable to open and read the drive contents without the password or recovery key, which is the same to you. Here we are going to discuss the methods on opening a BitLocker encrypted drive in Windows 10 and Mac computer.

Open a BitLocker Encrypted Drive in Windows 10 and Mac

How to access BitLocker encrypted drive in Windows 10

Way 1: Directly open BitLocker drive with the password or recovery key

First of all, you should connect the BitLocker encrypted drive with your Windows 10 computer. If you can get the notification telling that the drive is BitLocker-protected, you can click to get the unlock option. If not, go to open File Explorer and hit This PC, you would find there is a USB or another removable drive connected with the computer.

Double-click the BitLocker drive

Double-click the BitLocker drive and you will be led to an interface with the unlock options. Here, you will get the password option at first, which you just need to input the right password and click the Unlock button to open the drive. As for the More options, you can click it to gain the recovery key option, which you need to enter the 48-digits recovery key. It will be difficult for those who do not save a copy of the recovery file before.

unlock-bitlocker drive option in windows 10

Way 2: Unlock the BitLocker drive with Command Prompt

After your BitLocker drive is inserted into the computer, you can tap Windows + X and choose Command Prompt (Admin) to run the command prompt as an administrator. Here, you need to prepare the recovery key in advance.

Next, execute the following command: manage-bde-unlock F: -RecoveryPassword YOUR-BITLOCKER-RECOVERY-KEY. Notice: you should replace YOUR-BITLOCKER-RECOVERY-KEY with the 48-digits. After minutes, you can get the BitLocker drive unlocked and reach the encrypted contents.

unlock bitlocker drive with command prompt in windows 10

How to open a BitLocker encrypted drive on macOS and Mac OSX

In fact, when you insert the BitLocker drive into macOS or Mac OSX computer, you would get the notification saying that the drive is unreadable by this computer. So here comes the question: how can we make BitLocker encrypted drive readable on Mac? There is no way to open BitLocker encrypted drive if you do not resort to any third-party tool. As for the BitLocker unlock tool for Mac, iSunshare BitLocker Genius will be the reliable choice, which allows you to open, read and write the BitLocker encrypted drive with password or recovery file in minutes.

  1. Download and install the software on Mac.
  2. Open the software and get registered as advanced users. Meanwhile, plug the BitLocker-protected devices into Mac and click Ignore when you get the prompt “The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer”.

bitlocker disk error in mac

  1. Simple click your BitLocker-protected drive and hit the Unlock button. When you get into a new interface, you will see there are two choices to unlock the drive. It is up to you to mount the drive with password or recovery key file. When you choose the password, it is necessary for you to enter the right password and click the Mount button. For the recovery file choice, you need to click Use key file box and the Open button to get your recovery key file added and then click the Mount button.

unlock bitlocker drive option in mac

  1. After minutes, you can see there is an unlocked drive on the software main interface. Also, this unlocked drive can be easily found on the desktop. You can open, read and write it with ease. For the data security, if you want to end the usage of the drive, it is better to click the Eject button on the software toolbar instead of moving it away directly. After all, it is a BitLocker encrypted drive, which attaches emphasis on the privacy of the contents.

bitlocker drive accessible on mac

How to use BitLocker drive without the password and the recovery key

If you have a USB flash drive with BitLocker protection and it is in no use for long time, how can you use such BitLocker drive? The only way to do it is to format it at the cost of all data.

For Windows users, they can run the command prompt as administrator and run these commands one by one: diskpart, list disk, select disk n, clean. Here, n means the disk number. Please make sure that you choose the right disk to format. Otherwise, you will format the wrong disk and lose all the data.

format bitlocker drive in windows

There is one more thing worth mentioning that you need to create a new volume after the drive is formatted. You should open This PC > Manage > Storage > Disk Management. Next, right-click the unallocated volume and choose New Simple Volume to finish the process.

create new volume for formatted bitlocker drive

For Mac users, it will be simpler to format the BitLocker drive. Firstly, you need to access Disk Utility and choose your BitLocker drive. Next, click Erase button and choose MS-DOS (FAT) format to delete all the data.

erase bitlocker drive on mac


It should be though highly that the password and recovery key is essential for the BitLocker encrypted drive no matter you are going to open it on Windows or Mac computer. If you did forget the password and lose the recovery key file, it is highly recommend formatting the BitLocker drive on Mac for reuse.

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