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How to Unlock/Format BitLocker Encrypted Drive, USB or SD Card

Posted on Jan 08, 2018 by Daisy to Partition Master

Summary:
This page tells you how to format BitLocker encrypted drive after decrypting it. Try this guide to open or unlock a BitLocker encrypted hard drive, USB or SD Card with ease.

Can a BitLocker locked drive be formatted?

"Several months ago, I enabled BitLocker on my external hard disk drive. And now, I want to remove BitLocker to decrypted the hard drive. Can I just wipe the whole drive to make it usable again? Is there a way to format BitLocker encrypted drive?"

When you enable BitLocker on a hard disk drive, a USB flash drive or SD card, Microsoft Windows encodes the files and folders stored on the device so that only permitted users can access the data. But sometimes, you might need to remove BitLocker to access or open the encrypted drive for certain reasons. To do this, you have to erase or format the encrypted hard drive. Then here you have two things to do: decrypt BitLocker encrypted hard drive disk and then format BitLocker encrypted drive. For most people, it is not an easy task.So, here we will show you how to do it step by step. 

How to decrypt BitLocker encrypted hard drive, USB or SD card

If you wipe hard drive without disabling the BitLocker encryption and then install an operating system to the drive that doesn't support or recognize BitLocker, the drive will be locked. So, to prepare the disk for formatting, you should decrypt it in advance via Control Panel. 

1. Point to the top right edge of the screen and select "Search" when the Charms bar appears
2. Type "BitLocker" into the search field, and then click the "Settings" tab.
3. Choose "BitLocker Drive Encryption" from the results and click "Turn Off BitLocker."
4. Enter an administrative password, if prompted, and then click "Turn Off BitLocker" again to decrypt the hard drive, USB flash drive or SD card.

How to format BitLocker encrypted hard drive, flash drive or SD card

After decrypting BitLocker encrypted hard drive, USB flash drive or SD card you can format it using Disk management utility or EaseUS partition tool. 

How to format BitLocker encrypted drive using Disk management

1. Type Control Panel in the search box. And click Control Panel.
2. Click Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Disk Management.
3. Right-click on the drive or partition and click on Format.
4. Select the file system and set the cluster size.
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 format tool that you can try to format the hard drive, USB flash drive, SD card etc to various file system format 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 tool, right-click the drive you want to format and choose "Format partition".

Choose Format partition option to format BitLocker encrypted drive

Step 2. A mini window pops out, on which you can edit the drive label and choose a file system such as FAT/FAT32, NTFS, EXT2/EXT3.

Choose file system to format BitLocker encrypted drive

Step 3. Click "Apply" to format the format BitLocker encrypted the hard drive, USB flash drive or SD card with ease.

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 Windows 10 is supported