Particularly if it’s been turned on without your knowledge.
I’m going to assume you’re talking about BitLocker full-drive encryption.
I’ll also assume you understand with Bitlocker turned off anyone who steals your machine can access all the files on it, even without knowing your Windows log-in password.
Turning off BitLocker and decrypting your drive is a snap.
Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!
- Sign in.
- Right-click the drive in Windows File Explorer.
- Click on Manage BitLocker.
- Click on Turn off BitLocker.
- Click on the Turn off BitLocker confirmation button.
- Wait for the operation to complete.
Decrypting a BitLocker drive
Boot your machine and sign in to Windows. Yes, this step is required. If you cannot sign in to Windows you will not be able to decrypt the drive — that’s kinda the point of the security BitLocker provides.
Run Windows File Explorer and right-click on the drive you want to decrypt. In the resulting context menu, click on Manage BitLocker.
In the resulting dialog, click on Turn off BitLocker.
Click on the Turn off BitLocker button in the subsequent confirmation message box.
The system goes to work decrypting your drive.
As the prior message said, decrypting can take a while. How long depends on the speed of your hard disk, the speed of your computer, and the amount of data you have stored on that drive.
After a while, the process completes.
You’re done! BitLocker has been turned off on that drive, and the data decrypted.