How to Put Password on a USB Key
USBs or pendrives are a great way to make our lives very easy. However, if we use them for important or confidential documents, their safety leaves much to be desired. Anyone who finds a USB stick can open it and see what's on it and erase its contents. Is it possible to put any restrictions on this? One of the simplest ways is to password protect your USB key. On OneHowTo.com we tell you how to put password on a USB key.
Windows includes its own system to put passwords on devices such as a USB flash drive, so there is no need to download any extra software. The program is Bitlocker, which encrypts memory units that you specify. To access it, go to Start, in the search box, type "Bitlocker" without quotes. Press Enter.
Four results will appear within the Control panel: BitLocker, BitLocker Manager, Manage file encryption certificates and Protect your computer by encrypting the data on the disk. We want "BitLocker manager" so double click on that option to access it.
On the next screen you will see all the drives on your computer, so you can select the one you want to encrypt. This encryption will make the selected units only be able to be seen and used by authorized users, i.e. users with a password. The last unit appears under the heading "BitLocker Drive Encryption: BitLocker To Go" and refers to removable media. Insert the pendrive if you had not yet done so and click "Enable BitLocker" next to the unit.
The encryption process starts, during which time BitLocker is installed on that USB drive. Be patient, because the process may take a few seconds, do not remove the pendrive from the USB port while it is installing. When finished, it will automatically take you to the next screen.
The next screen is where you select which method you prefer to unlock the drive. Like you want protect the flash drive with a password, enable the Use a password to unlock the drive box. Then enter your password twice in the fields below and click "Next".
We're almost finished. Now to ensure you can still access the drive even if you forget the password, you can set a recovery key. On the next screen, click on "Save the recovery key to a file". The browser opens: enter a file name (try not to put "key") and save it to a folder.
You will return to the recovery key screen. As you've saved the file, click the "Next" button which will take you to the final screen. In it you will be asked if you are ready to start encrypting and they warn that the process can take several minutes. Click on "Start encryption" so that the process starts.
Be patient. If you have many files in the flash drive, the process can take several minutes. When finished, click the "Close" button. To check that everything worked well, remove the USB and reconnect: the system will ask for the password to access the contents of the USB key.
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