Remove BitLocker Encryption from a drive via Windows 10/11 Home Edition

BitLocker is a full-volume encryption feature included with Microsoft Windows. Unfortunately, windows Home Editions don’t have BitLocker Drive Encryption (BDE). However, suppose you have an external drive that’s already encrypted using BDE. In that case, Windows 11/10 Home Edition can use the drive if the user has the 48-digit BitLocker recovery password or the recovery key.

The “Manage BitLocker” Control Panel applet doesn’t exist in Windows 10/11 Home Edition. Still, you can unlock that drive and disable BDE on a device running any edition, including Windows 10 Home using the command-line tool named manage-bde.exe.

remove bitlocker encryption in home edition

This article tells how to unlock a BDE-encrypted drive and remove the BitLocker Drive Encryption from a drive using Windows 11/10 Home Edition. Of course, this assumes that you have the BDE encryption key/48-digit recovery password.

Remove BitLocker Encryption from a drive via Windows 10/11 Home Edition

Let’s say you have a local or external drive that’s encrypted with BitLocker using a Windows 10 Pro (or higher) computer. When you use it on another device, you’ll be asked to type the 48-digit recovery password to unlock the drive.

remove bitlocker encryption in home edition

Though Windows Home Edition doesn’t have the BDE GUI in the Control Panel, you can unlock and disable BDE using manage-bde.exe command-line. Run the command manage-bde.exe /? for more information.

The “manage-bde -status” command from an admin Command Prompt window tells which drives are encrypted using BDE and the encryption method used.

remove bitlocker encryption in home edition

To unlock the drive and turn off BitLocker Drive Encryption for that drive (e.g., D:\ in this case), follow these steps:

From an admin Command Prompt window, type the following command:

manage-bde -unlock d: -RecoveryPassword [your 48-digit recovery password]

(or)

manage-bde -unlock d: -rp [your 48-digit recovery password]

remove bitlocker encryption in home edition



This unlocks the volume. Your volume will show up with a lock symbol (unlocked icon) in File Explorer. At this point, you’ll be able to access the data on this drive fully.

remove bitlocker encryption in home edition

Next, to turn off BitLocker Drive Encryption on the drive, run the following command:

manage-bde -off D:

remove bitlocker encryption in home edition

remove bitlocker encryption in home edition

Note that you can’t enable BDE using manage-bde.exe -on command-line argument in Home Edition. Doing so would cause the error:

[Data Volume]
ERROR: An error occurred (code 0x8031005a):
This version of Windows does not support this feature of BitLocker Drive Encryption. To use this feature, upgrade the operating system.

The BitLocker Drive Encryption is turned off for that drive.


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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded Winhelponline.com in 2005.

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