How to Encrypt Your Hard Drive?

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Denis Metev
Written by
Denis Metev

Updated · Oct 07, 2023

Denis Metev
Content Writer | Joined October 2021 | LinkedIn
Denis Metev

A graduated journalist with a passion for football. A horror writer with a black sense of humor. A p... | See full bio

Ivailo Ivanov
Edited by
Ivailo Ivanov


Ivailo Ivanov
Content Writer | Joined October 2021
Ivailo Ivanov

If I was asked to describe myself using just a few words, I’d go with digital marketing expert, ex... | See full bio

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One of the best ways to protect your data is through data encryption. This method won't make you invisible from cybercriminals; however, using encrypted hard drives would make it safer. 

Hard drive encryption protects users' confidential files, preventing outsiders from accessing the data. This shields your hard disk from unauthorized access and creates a more substantial defense barrier against threats from viruses and hackers. 

The organization's hard disk might be more easily secured using encryption to prevent unauthorized access. To learn how to encrypt your hard drive, continue reading the following section. 

Key Takeaway

🔑 Encrypting data will not wholly avoid hacking risk, but it will be guaranteed to add a layer of protection. 

🔑 An encrypted hard drive will be completely inaccessible without a correct passcode. 

🔑 There are 2 types of encryption: “at rest” and “in transit.” 

🔑Although most versions of Windows come with a hard drive encryption program built in, you can still install one, for instance, using Linux. 

🔑 For Apple users, MacOS has a built-in tool for hard drive encryption accessible in Privacy & Security.

🔑 Encrypting data has many advantages, including reducing human errors preserving company data, and time savings.

Encrypting a Hard Drive

Visually Presenting Encrypted Hard Drive

In 2023, the average cost of data breaches worldwide was $4.45 million, an increase of 15% over the previous three years. 

This number shows how crucial hard drive encryption is; encrypting your hard drive would minimize the risk of a data breach. 

When you encrypt your hard drive, the stored data will become unreadable code, and with the correct key and password,  the data stored will be available. 

Types of Encryption 

Encryption at Rest

This type of encryption is for data used when stored or “at rest.” It can be used on hard drives, databases, and cloud storage. 

Encryption in Transit 

Due to its widespread use, data exchanged between two systems via a network is always encrypted; your data will be secure even if someone steals your device. 

Read more on how to do hard drive encryption in Windows. 

Hard Drive Encryption in Windows

Most Windows provides a built-in hard drive encryption tool. Follow these data encryption steps in Windows. 

Step 1: Search for the hard drive you want to encrypt on Windows Explorer. 

Step 2: Right-click your chosen drive.

Step 3: Choose "To turn on BitLocker."

Screenshot of This PC Folders of Devices and Drives

Step 4: If users don’t have the BitLocker tool, you can choose “Properties” and continue to the next step. 

Step 5: Select “How to Enable Your Recovery Key” to still access your drive if you forgot your encrypted password. 

📝 Note:

BitLocker is not available on Windows 10. However, there are still similar features for hard drive encryption. You can use the Advanced button on the Properties settings instead of Bitlocker. 

Step to Encrypt a Hard Drive in Linux

Linux is an operating system for devices like computers that control disks. It is required for applications to function, just like Windows and macOS. 

LUKS (Linux Unified Key Set Up) is required to use this hard drive encryption. To set up your encryption on Linux, follow these steps.   

Step 1: Install “Cryotsetup” to set up the disk encryption. 

Step 2: After installing it, you can configure the LUKS partition. 

✅ Pro Tip:

Ensure you have a backup drive, as the process will delete all your stored data. 

Step  3: You need to format the Linux LUKS partition

Command Prompt Format For Linus LUXS Partition

Step 4: After creating the system, you can mount and use it like the other files. 

✅ Pro Tip:

Remembering your password to continue using the encrypted data is essential. It is advisable to print or save it in a secure place. 

Encrypting a Hard Drive in Mac

There is a built-in tool for hard drive encryption for MacOS. The File Vault uses a 256-bit key to prevent unauthorized access to your hard drive. 

Here are the steps to enable this feature. 

Step 1: Go to the Apple menu.

Step 2: Click “Privacy & Security.”

Step 3: Scroll down to “FileVault.

Step 4: Click “Turn On” next to the FileVault. 

Step 3: Choose what password you will use

If it is an iCloud account, click the “Allow my iCloud account to unlock my disk.” If it is a recovery key, click “Create a recovery key and do not use my iCloud account.”

Benefits of Hard Drive Encryption

Data encryption causes everything on your computer to be unreadable unless you have the key to decrypt it. Without encryption, it would be easier for hackers to steal your files. 

Here are some benefits of having an encrypted hard drive. 

  1. Provides More Security on Your FilesEncryption provides another layer of protection to your device as the data would remain inaccessible without the decryption key.
  2. Protects Businesses' DataHard disk encryption is advantageous for businesses since it protects confidential data on the drives, including client information.
  3. Minimizes the Risk of Human ErrorEncrypting the hard drive would lessen the mistake of human error, unlike manual encryption methods.
  4. Reduce Time-Consuming EffortsThe encryption would remove the time-consuming effort of regularly checking your files to see if it is safe. With this, you will only need the encryption password to be secure.

Best Hard Drive Encryption Software

Users must be familiar with the encryption tool's functionality. Some of the best tools are listed below for your consideration. 




Microsoft Bitlocker

It is the best free tool for Windows

Losing a key can make the data encrypted unrecoverable and the PC unusable. 

Micro Focus

Various Windows, Linux, and macOS operating systems are supported.

Micro Focus can’t manage mobile devices. 

Symantec Endpoint Encryption

This encryption allows fast and flexible integration of encryption options. 

Older devices would perform slower than the average devices. 

Apple FileVault

It can use a password distinct from the user's Apple ID. 

Implementing File Vault incorrectly might damage your files. 

Key Takeaways

Due to the prevalence of hackers today, most businesses use hard disk encryption to safeguard their sensitive data, especially customer information. 

Hard drive encryption is essential for ensuring the privacy of user files. To prevent unauthorized usage, this converts your readable data into unreadable files. 

This secures your hard disk by requiring a password or decryption key. Encrypting a hard disk also minimizes the risk of unwanted malware on your files. 

Despite its time-consuming process, this is an excellent method to add more layers of protection.


How long does BitLocker take to encrypt?

BitLocker often takes 20 minutes to 3 hours to encrypt. 

Does factory reset remove encrypted data?

Factory reset does not remove encrypted data. However, it would only produce the new decrypted key. 

How do self-encrypting drives work?

The self-encrypting drive works as it is written to the disk. It usually does how to encrypt data as it reads from the disk. 


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