How to Set a Password for an External Hard Drive:
Your phone and computer may be PIN, password or Biometric authentication, right? It is also good practice Protect your storage device, Especially if it contains confidential or private files. That way, you can prevent unauthorized access to your files – even when you lose the drive or it is stolen.
You need to secure your hard drive which is your personal computer or laptop. Windows and Mac have built-in encryption tools that allow you to set a password on your storage devices. To learn how to set a password on an external hard drive on your computer, proceed to the sections below.
Encrypt an external drive on windows 10
To encrypt an external storage device on a Windows 10 computer, you must manually select the encryption method, encryption mode, backup recovery key, and create a correct (read: secure) password. This may sound like a lot of work, but it is very easy. We will go through the whole process from beginning to end.
First of all, you need to enable Bitlocker-Windows built-in encryption tool – on your computer. Plug the hard drive into your PC and follow the steps below.
pay attention: You cannot encrypt the drive on a PC running Windows 10 Home Edition because the operating system does not support BitLocker. Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education to use BitLocker.
1. Enable BitLocker
Launch File Explorer, right-click on the external drive and select Turn on bitlocker.
Do not unplug or remove the drive from your PC when Windows starts the BitLocker encryption window.
2. Create a password
“Use a password to unlock the drive” and check the box to enter your preferred password. Re-enter password in the dialog box provided and select next To move forward.
Your password must meet the criteria listed below, otherwise you will get an error message:
- Must be at least 8 characters.
- Must contain at least one capital letter.
- Must contain at least one lowercase letter.
- Must contain at least one number, symbol, or location.
3. Save your recovery key
Windows will automatically generate a recovery key for the external drive. The recovery key is an additional key that unlocks your encrypted drive if you ever forget the password.
The “Print Recovery Key” option will launch a new window where you will be able to print the recovery key on paper. If you choose the “save file” option, Windows will encode the recovery key in a text file. Save the file to your favorite folder / location in your PC and select Save.
When you receive a success message that “Your recovery key has been saved” or “Your recovery key was printed,” select next To move forward.
4. Choose the encryption method
BitLocker has two encryption methods: Disk space encryption used And Full disk encryption.
Select “Encrypt external disk access only” if your external drive is new and has never been used on any other computer. BitLocker will encrypt a sector on the drive such that new data copied to the drive in the future is automatically encrypted. However, if you encrypt an already used drive (even if it is empty) using this method, one can gain access to deleted or transferred data.
This is because the BitLocker encryption engine does not recognize areas with deleted data as disk space. Therefore, it will not encrypt such fields.
If you want to set a password on an external drive that is already in use, select Encrypt entire drive. This will prompt BitLocker to encrypt all areas and data on the drive – even the files you deleted.
Note that the disk space encryption used is typically faster; How much data is on the drive, it takes a few seconds or minutes. Full disk encryption, on the other hand, can last for hours before completion.
5. Choose Encryption Mode
Choose New encryption mode If you are using external drives only on your computer, or on devices running Windows 10 (version 1511 or later).
If you are unsure, or you think you may need to use the drive on devices running an older Windows version, select Compatible mode And move on.
6. Start Encrypting
BitLocker will start the drive’s encryption when you select Start encrypting Button.
As previously mentioned, the operation can run in minutes or hours, it depends on the size and data of the drive.
Do not remove the drive from your PC without stopping encryption. Doing so can cause damage to the drive. If you need to use the drive immediately during the encryption process, select Stoppage And unplug the drive.
Note that your files and drives are not secure until encryption is complete. Wait until you receive an “Encryption Complete” success message below.
When you eject the encrypted drive on your PC or try to access it on another PC, the Bitquaker window prompts you to enter the drive’s password that will appear on the screen.
Encrypt an external drive on MacOS
Setting up passwords on external drives on MacOS is the easiest thing you may ever have to do. Plug the drive into your Mac and follow these steps:
1. Right-click the drive (see Location section) and select Encrypt or Encrypt <ड्राइव का नाम>.
pay attention: If the external drive is not visible on your Mac, or the Encrypt option is missing, you may need to format the drive into a The file system that macOS supports. Refer to it External Hard Drive Troubleshooting Guide to know more.
2. Enter a password, re-enter the password, and type in a password hint.
Pro tip: Click the key icon next to the encryption password dialog box to launch Encryption password assistant. The tool will suggest random passwords or help you create a strong custom password.
3. Select Encrypt disk.
The MacOS encryption engine will initiate encryption on the drive. This operation may take a few seconds or minutes depending on the content and size of the drive.
When encryption is complete, eject the encrypted drive, or plug it into another Mac. A password entry window will pop up on the screen; Enter password and select Unlock Obtaining permission.
What happens when you forget the encryption password
Strong password Are very safe but often easy to forget. If you can’t remember the password to your encrypted drive, you can still access a lot of content. We will show you how it is known on Windows and MacOS.
On Windows: Use Recovery Key
Remember the recovery key that you printed or saved on your PC while encrypting the drive? If you forget the encryption password, you need to access the drive.
Go to the location where you saved the recovery file, double-click the text file to access its contents, and copy the numbers. Recovery Key Section.
Plug the drive into your PC and wait for the BitLocker password entry window to appear on the screen. Choose more options Choose more Enter recovery key.
Finally, paste the recovery key into the dialog box and select Unlock. If you printed a recovery key, retrieve the printout, type the recovery key and select Unlock.
You should now be able to access the drive in File Explorer. If you do not remember the password, you will have to create a new one. Right-click the drive and select Manage BitLocker.
Locate and select the external drive in the “Removable data drive” section Close BitLocker.
Later, encrypt the drive from scratch and use a new password.
On Mac: Disable FileVault
Unlike Windows, you cannot access encrypted drives on macOS with a recovery key. The only workaround is to turn off filevolt — the macOS encryption engine. go towards system Preferences > security and privacy > Filevault Choose more Close FileVault.
This temporarily disables any encryption on all internal and external drives. Launch Finder and you will be able to access the drive without entering a password. But you will not be able to decrypt or create a new encryption password without the old password. Re-enabling the file-vault will re-encrypt the drive with the forgotten password.
Third-party software and hardware alternative
If you are having difficulty using these built-in tools, then resort to a reliable third-party solution Veracrypt. Alternatively, you can purchase a hardware-encrypted storage device or External drive with fingerprint reader. These drives provide an equally secure form of password-free biometric encryption that is easy to use and install.