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Student Computing

Decrypting BitLocker on a Student Computer

IMPORTANT: BitLocker on workforce computers must be set up by the department or division's Certified IT Group. Do not use student instructions or the computer will not be complying with University Policy and CUMC Information Security Procedures. Instructions for students are provided as a courtesy only.

Instructions below will help if a computer has been encrypted with BitLocker using a level such as AES-128 that does not meet University requirements.
IMPORTANT: make sure you have run a full back up of the computer before decrypting to insure you will not lose important data if a problem occurs.
  1. Make sure the computer is plugged in to a power source rather than running off of the battery. Decryption may take a long time to complete.
    NOTE: While decrypting, any password-protected screensaver lock will be disabled. If the computer stores sensitive or confidential data it should be kept in a physically secure place where others cannot access it.
  2. Login to the computer using an account with Administrative rights.
  3. Enter the Control Panel:
    • Windows 10 and 8.1 - type Control Panel into the search box, or right-click on the Start button in the lower left and select Control Panel from the menu that appears.
    • Windows 7 - click the Start button in the lower left and select the Control Panel link.
  4. Select the BitLocker Drive Encryption link. You may need to select a System and Security link first.
  5. BitLocker link in the Control Panel
  6. The window will show all drives on the computer, with any encrypted drive(s) indicated by a padlock. Select the Turn Off BitLocker link to the right of the drive you wish to decrypt.
  7. BitLocker menu
  8. In Turn Off BitLocker prompt select the Decrypt Drive (or Turn off BitLocker) button.
  9. Turn Off BitLocker prompt
  10. A Decrypting status window will appear showing its progress and completion.
  11. BitLocker decryption complete message
If you have decrypted the drive to change the BitLocker encryption method to AES-256 please see our full instructions to prepare your computer, set BitLocker to AES-256, then enable BitLocker.

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Last updated 10/10/2018