EaseUS Partition Master

Fixed: The Drive Protected by BitLocker Is Already Unlocked

Are you getting The Drive Protected by BitLocker Is Already Unlocked Error when trying to access the driver protected by BitLocker? Here is how you can regain access to it.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

Content

Page Table of Contents

Updated by

Roxanne

Updated on May 16, 2024

Bitlocker is a disk encryption feature available in specific versions of Windows. Encrypting the entire drive or disk can help prevent unauthorized data access, improving system and data security. However, users may encounter the "The Drive Protected by BitLocker Is Already Unlocked" error. EaseUS can help us understand all the possible causes of the error and the steps that can be undertaken to resolve them.

How to Fix The Drive Protected by BitLocker Is Already Unlocked Error

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Restart the Computer A very basic step that can be tried to resolve the error involves restarting the system...Full steps
Fix 2. Check the Bitlocker Encrypted Drive The drive's lock status can be checked using the command-line tool or the EaseUS Partition Master...Full steps
Fix 3. Re-able the Bitlocker Auto-lock Configuration or system file corruptions can lead to a loss of communication or disconnect in synchronization...Full steps
Fix 4. Clear the Caches in File Explorer Clearing the file explorer cache can help reset any undesired configuration or settings changes...Full steps
4 More Fixes Set Unlock Drive as the default option instead of Open...Full steps

This section provides all possible and effective steps that can help in resolving the said error by following the below-mentioned processes:

Before You Do:

Before troubleshooting the Drive Protected by BitLocker Is Already Unlocked error, we can check the encryption status of the drive first. To check the Bitlocker status of the storage drive:

  • Open Windows Explorer by pressing the Windows+E key simultaneously.
  • On the Explorer's left pane, click This PC.
  • Select the drive for which the status needs to be checked ( C:, D:, etc ).
  • Click the View Tab after selecting the drive and click on the Details section to check the Bitlocker status for the particular drive.

explorer-encrypted-drive

Way 1. Restart the Computer

A very basic step that can be tried to resolve the error involves restarting the system before starting any core troubleshooting process. Restarting a system can help clear any temporary configuration or settings error that might cause access issues for a drive encrypted through Bitlocker, even though it is configured to be unlocked automatically.

Way 2. Check the Bitlocker Encrypted Drive

If restarting the system doesn't resolve the issue, the next step is to check if the drive is unlocked. The drive's lock status can be checked using the command-line tool or the EaseUS Partition Master. The EaseUS Partition Master makes it easy to check the status of your hard disks. Simply right-click the disk on its "Partition Manager" section.

Format and Disable Bitlocker via EaseUS Partition Master - Free

EaseUS Partition Master Free simplifies formatting BitLocker encrypted drives, including hard drives, USB flash drives, and SD cards. It supports converting them to file systems like FAT32, NTFS, and FAT. This user-friendly software is suitable for all Windows users, allowing them to manage partitions on internal and external storage devices.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

Step 1. Install and launch EaseUS Partition Master on your computer.

Step 2. On Partition Manager, right-click on a FAT32 partition and click "Advanced", select "NTFS to FAT".

convert FAT32 to NTFS

Step 3. Click "Proceed" on the pop-up dialog box to continue.

convert FAT32 to NTFS

Step 4. Click "Apply" to start the converting process. Wait until the operation process is finished.

convert FAT32 to NTFS

Other Related Features of EaseUS Partition Master

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

Using Command-Line Tool to Check the Bitlocker Status

The encryption status can also be checked from the Windows Terminal prompt using the manage-bde -status command:

Step 1: Open the Windows Terminal as an Administrator

Step 2: Enter the below command on the Terminal prompt to check the Bitlocker status of drives

manage-bde -status

manage-bde-status-commandline

PowerShell can also check the Bitlocker status for a specific drive. For example, if we need to check the encryption status of C, we can enter the following:

check-bitlocker-status-for-drive

Way 3. Re-enable the Bitlocker Auto-unlock

At times, configuration or system file corruptions can lead to a loss of communication or disconnect in synchronization between the Bitlocker and the File Explorers. Re-enabling the auto-unlock option allows Bitlocker and Explorer to reinitialize or re-establish the lost communication or synchronization, thereby resolving the error. Additionally, disabling and then again enabling the Auto-unlock feature can clear the drive cache and then reinitialize it with fresh details, allowing the drive to display its unlock status correctly. To do so,

Step 1: Search for the Manage Bitlocker option on the Desktop Search Bar.

Step 2: Select Expand the drive showing the error, and then click on Turn Off auto-unlock to disable it.

Step 3: Once disabled, click Turn On auto-unlock to re-enable it and check if the problem is resolved.

bitlockr-auto-unlock

Way 4. Clear Caches in File Explorer

Clearing the file explorer cache can help reset any undesired configuration or settings changes that may lead to the error. To clear the cache,

Step 1: Open the Run dialogue box after holding the Windows + R key

Step 2: Enter the command,

shell: cache

and press Enter to open the cache window of the Explorer

Step 3: Select the files under the said folder and delete them to clear the cache.

Way 5. Change the Unlock Drive Option to Open

There may be situations wherein File Explorer sets Unlock Drive as the default option instead of Open for the encrypted drives, which may lead to the error. Additionally, since the error relates to Bitlocker's failure to detect the encryption status of the drive correctly, the unlock drive option can force Bitlocker to recheck or re-evaluate the encryption status and correct any configuration-related issue that may be causing the inaccuracy.

To do so, right-click the Bitlocker drive and select the Open option to check if it shows the files and folders inside the drive.

change-drive-status-to-open

Way 6. Disable Launch Folder Windows in a Separate Process

Under Folder Options in Windows Explorer, if the Launch folder windows are enabled in a separate process option, a new Explorer window opens up every time we click on any folder or option in Windows Explorer. This may lead to conflicts with the Bitlocker's drive mechanism as multiple new processes are initiated with each new window. Disabling the option can avoid any such conflicts, thereby resolving the error at times. To disable the option,

Step 1: Open Folder Options on your computer.

Step 2: Click/tap on the View tab.

Step 3: Uncheck the Launch folder windows in a separate process option.

launch-folder-options-explorer-1

Way 7. Format Bitlocker Hard Drive

If the above solutions can't eliminate the "The BitLocker encrypted drive is already unlocked but not accessible" issue, you can try to format the encrypted drive. So, make sure you have a backup or recover them in advance.

Option 1. Using EaseUS Partition Manager

If you are uncomfortable using command-line tools, use the EaseUS Partition Master, which allows even a novice user to manage drives connected to Windows.

This software lets you format BitLocker-protected hard drives, USB drives, and SD cards to FAT32, NTFS, or FAT file systems. It's perfect for all Windows users who are managing partitions on internal or external storage. Go ahead and give this tool a try! You may also interested in this post with further information:

Option 2. Format Bitlocker Hard Drive via CMD

Step 1: Open the Run dialog box as usual. Type diskpart in it, and press Enter. Then click on Yes to confirm.

Step 2: Type the following commands in order and press Enter to format the drive.

  • list disk
  • select disk x (replace x with the disk number that contains the encrypted volume)
  • list partition
  • select partition x (replace x with the encrypted drive number)
  • format fs=fat32 quick​ OR format fs=ntfs quick​

Way 8. Update Windows

Ensuring that the Windows version installed on the system is up-to-date with the latest updates and patches can also help resolve the error, as these updates contain bug and error fixes for all Windows components. Now, share this tutorial for more Windows users:

 

Why The Drive Protected by BitLocker Is Already Unlocked

  • System Errors or Software Conflicts: Software conflicts or incorrect settings can be a primary reason for the above error. Software problems or conflicts may sometimes cause the OS not to recognize the drive's encryption or Bitlocker status. Such situations can, therefore, lead to incorrect indications or error messages regarding the drive status.
  • System interruptions or Power Loss: Sudden loss of power or improper shutdowns can lead to system interruptions while the Bitlocker-protected drive is in use. Such situations can leave the drive where it may appear unlocked, even though that's false. Mismatching status like this can lead to errors like The Drive Protected by BitLocker Is Already Unlocked while we try to access the drives.
  • Improper Bitlocker Configuration: Undue changes made in Bitlocker configuration or settings can also be a leading cause of the error discussed. These changes can lead to problems when detecting drive status, wherein the system reports that the drive is unlocked even though it's still encrypted.

Conclusion

To conclude, this article on The Drive Protected by BitLocker Is Already Unlocked error explains in detail the possible causes of the error message and discusses the best possible solutions that can help quickly resolve the problem. However, we need to remember that since the error affects internal or external storage devices, data protection remains a crucial aspect in such situations.

EaseUS Partition Master is a viable application for resolving errors and protecting data on affected drives. Its user-friendly interface, along with the wide range of features and options, makes it one of the best options to explore when resolving encryption-related errors or any other issues involving disk partitions.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

FAQs AboutThe Drive Protected by BitLocker Is Already Unlocked Error

If you are facing challenges with Bitlocker similar to the error message discussed above, the information below can help resolve them quickly and effectively.

1. How do I remove BitLocker unlock?

To remove Bitlocker unlock, the below command can be entered and executed on the Windows Terminal prompt:

manage-bde -off 

where can be replaced by C: /D: etc.

2. How can I unlock the drive that is locked by BitLocker Drive Encryption with no password?

If you do not have the BitLocker drive's password or recovery key, the only option is to format it.

3. How do I turn off auto unlock on the  BitLocker?

The auto-unlock in Bitlocker can be turned off by running the below-mentioned command from the Windows Terminal prompt:

Disable-BitLockerAutoUnlock -MountPoint 

where can be replaced by C: /D: etc.

How Can We Help You

About the Author

Updated by Roxanne

Roxanne is one of the main contributors to EaseUS and has created over 200 posts that help users solve multiple issues and failures on digital devices like PCs, Mobile phones, tablets, and Macs. She loves to share ideas with people of the same interests.

Read full bio

Product Reviews

Product Reviews

TrustScore 4.7 | 49 reviews
  • I love that the changes you make with EaseUS Partition Master Free aren't immediately applied to the disks. It makes it way easier to play out what will happen after you've made all the changes. I also think the overall look and feel of EaseUS Partition Master Free makes whatever you're doing with your computer's partitions easy.

    Read More
  • Partition Master Free can Resize, Move, Merge, Migrate, and Copy disks or partitions; convert to local, change label, defragment, check and explore partition; and much more. A premium upgrade adds free tech support and the ability to resize dynamic volumes.

    Read More
  • It won't hot image your drives or align them, but since it's coupled with a partition manager, it allows you do perform many tasks at once, instead of just cloning drives. You can move partitions around, resize them, defragment, and more, along with the other tools you'd expect from a cloning tool.

    Read More

EaseUS Partition Master

Manage partitions and optimize disks efficiently

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

Get EaseUS Partition Master

Your best companion for disk partitioning, MBR to GPT/GPT to MBR conversion,even OS migration

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure