How to Format BitLocker Encrypted Hard Drive/USB/SD Card Without Password

Daisy updated on Nov 14, 2019 to Partition Master | How-to Articles

Q: Can I format a BitLocker encrypted hard drive without the password?

"Several days ago, I got a Bitlocker encrypted external hard drive. I want to remove BitLocker to decrypt the hard drive, but the problem is that I don't know the password nor recovery key. Can I wipe the whole drive to make it usable again? Is there any way to format a BitLocker encrypted hard drive?"

When enabling BitLocker on a hard disk, USB flash drive, or SD card on your computer, Microsoft Windows encodes the files and folders stored on the device so that only the permitted users can access the data. But sometimes, you might need to remove BitLocker to access or open the encrypted drive for specific reasons. How to remove Bitlocker from hard drive? Read on to get answers. 

How to Remove BitLocker from Hard Drive/USB/SD Card

If you have turned on Bitlocker for a drive on your computer, you can normally write data to and read data from it. But when you want to install Windows, you will see "Windows cannot be installed to this hard disk space. Bitlocker drive encryption is enabled.". If you don't need to encrypt your hard drive any longer, you can turn off Bitlocker by following the steps below. 

Step 1: Go to Control Panel on your computer. Click on "BitLocker Drive Encryption".

Step 2: Find the Bitlocker encrypted drive and choose "Turn Off BitLocker" to decrypt the hard drive, USB flash drive, or SD card. Wait for the decrypting to finish. 

format Bitlocker drive - turn off Bitlocker

If you want to remove Bitlocker from another drive that is not encrypted on your computer, or in the vice versa, you should input the password to unlock at first, and then, you can disable Bitlocker for it. While If you can't decrypt the Bitlocker protected hard drive but want to reuse it, you can choose to deleted partitions or format hard drive. 

Notice:
What you should know is that both solutions will result in data loss. If you mistakenly delete a Bitlocker encrypted partition, you can use a professional partition recovery software to restore lost partition and data on it. However, for formatted Bitlocker encrypted hard drive, there is no way to get data back. 

How to Format BitLocker Encrypted Hard Drive/USB/SD Card

This part shows you how to format the Bitlocker encrypted hard drive using the Disk Management or EaseUS partition tool without the password. 

How to Format BitLocker Encrypted Drive Using Disk Management

Step 1: Type Control Panel in the search box. And click "Control Panel".

Step 2: Click "Administrative Tools" > "Computer Management" > "Disk Management".

Step 3: Right-click on the drive or partition and click on "Format".

Step 4: Select the file system and set the cluster size.

Step 5: Click "OK" to format the BitLocker encrypted disk, USB flash drive or SD card.

How to Format BitLocker Encrypted Drive Using EaseUS Partition Tool

EaseUS partition tool is the best disk formatting tool that you can try to format the hard drive, USB flash drive, SD card, and more to various file systems like FAT32, NTFS, FAT, etc. It is helpful even the drive, or memory card is encrypted with BitLocker. Now, let's see how to do it. 

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 Windows 10 is supported

 

Step 1: Launch EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the partition on your external hard drive/USB/SD card which you want to format and choose the "Format" option.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 1

Step 2: Assign a new partition label, file system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3), and cluster size to the selected partition, then click "OK".

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 2

Step 3: In the Warning window, click "OK" to continue.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 3

Step 4: Click the "Execute Operation" button in the top-left corner to review the changes, then click "Apply" to start formatting your external hard drive/USB/SD card.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 4
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 Windows 10 is supported

How to Recover Files from Formatted BitLocker Encrypted Drive

Currently, there is no third-party software or solution on the market that can recover files from formatted BitLocker encrypted hard drive.

This is because after encrypting the hard drive with BitLocker, Windows will change the file system parameters, directory entries, and other important parameters of the disk. As a result, except for Windows itself, no other software can recognize and access the drive. When formatted, although the password is gone, the drive is not decrypted. However, the relevant parameters of the disk are still modified, and the data recovery software still cannot identify the disk, let alone restore the data. So, don't believe all the hype out there about recovering data from formatted BitLocker encrypted hard drive.

But you can recover files from a formatted hard drive that is not encrypted with a data recovery software, like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. This top-notch file recovery tool enables you to recover lost and deleted, even permanently deleted files from HDD, SSD, USB flash drive, pen drive, SD card, and external hard drives without effort.

 
 

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Will it cause any data loss after resizing the partition in EaseUS Partition Master?

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On the partition that is going to be operated, there might be some files being occupied by other programs. To ensure a successful operation, we suggest that you close all the unnecessary software before resizing that partition. Otherwise, EaseUS Partition Master will detect the partition being locked by the other software and require a reboot to resize the partition under boot mode.

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