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Force BitLocker Protection To Suspend & Resume

On supported Windows 10 editions, there's a native encryption utility named BitLocker Drive Encryption. Once It's applied, It prevents unauthorized access to your files that're stored on the operating system drive, as well as partitions and fixed & removable data drives. Sometimes, there Is the need to suspend the BitLocker protection, however the option Is not always available. In this tutorial, I will show you how to force BitLocker protection to suspend & resume.

Before I begin, here's what I'm referring to. When BitLocker Is turned on, the Suspend protection option Is available for the Operating system drive, as per the Image below.

However, for Removable data drives Inclusive of partitions, Suspend protection Is missing. This setting Is when accessing BitLocker via Control Panel.

The need to suspend BitLocker protection, Is necessary when updating the BIOS, changing hardware or when Installing new software that, otherwise, BitLocker may block. So how do you suspend It on removable data drives & partitions? It's a very simple process, by using the Windows built-In Command Prompt. So without further delay, let's get this tutorial started.

Step One:

For the purpose of this tutorial, I will be referencing my partition that's already encrypted with BitLocker. Upon navigating to Control Panel and viewing the BitLocker settings, as you can see In the Image below, Suspend protection Is not available.

Step Two:

To confirm that It Is In fact a partition and not a fixed or removable data drive, I've opened Disk Management, and It's clearly marked as a Partition.

Step Three:

It's now time to force my BitLocker partition to suspend, by using the Command Prompt with elevated privileges. To do this, enter cmd In the search box, right-click the entry at the top and select Run as administrator.

Step Four:

The Command Prompt will now open, so enter the following command.
manage-bde -protectors -disable E:

Leave the manage-bde -protectors -disable as Is, and replace E: with the drive letter of your partition or removable data drive. When done, hit the Enter key on your keyboard.

Step Five:

A message of Key protectors are disabled for volume (drive letter) will be returned, hence the BitLocker partition has been suspended. Let's make sure It's taken effect In the next couple of steps.

Step Six:

I've navigated back to Control Panel, and as expected, my BitLocker partition has been suspended.

Step Seven:

The same can be seen, when viewing the volume Icon In File Explorer, namely the triangle warning sign.

Step Eight:

Head over to Control Panel, and you will now see Resume protection. This was not available prior to executing the command In the Command Prompt. Obviously this protects the BitLocker drive, so let's click It to make sure It's functional.

Last Step:

When viewing my BitLocker partition In File Explorer, the protection has resumed and Is enabled once again. Perfect!

Final Thoughts:

The good thing about this, Is It's overall simplicity. All that's required to suspend a given BitLocker partition or removable data drive, Is to execute the command as per Step Four above. Of course, resuming the protection Is as simple as a click of the mouse via Control Panel. Do remember to execute the command with admin rights.


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