Understanding the BitLocker Encryption Options and BitLocker Drive Encryption Items in Control Panel

This topic describes the BitLocker Encryption Options and BitLocker Drive Encryption Control Panel items and explains the following:

  • How these items are created

  • Tasks they enable you to perform

  • Manage BitLocker “right-click” shortcut menu, when it is visible versus hidden, and how to set it to be visible by default

BitLocker Encryption Options and BitLocker Drive Encryption Control Panel items

The following table lists the tasks you can perform from each Control Panel item and describes how these items are created.

BitLocker Encryption Options (MBAM) BitLocker Drive Encryption (Windows)

Tasks you can do

  • Change your PIN or password

  • Check encryption status for a drive

  • Open the TPM Management console

  • Turn on BitLocker

  • Suspend protection for a drive

  • Back up your recovery key

  • Change your PIN

  • Turn off BitLocker for a drive

  • Turn on BitLocker for a drive

  • Open the TPM Management console

  • Decrypt a drive (appears only if the MBAM Client is NOT installed)

How the Control Panel item is created

Created in Control Panel when you install the MBAM Client. This item cannot be hidden.

Note

This item appears in addition to, but does not replace, the default BitLocker Drive Encryption Control Panel item.

Appears by default in Control Panel as part of the Windows operating system, but you can hide it.

To hide it, see Hiding the Default BitLocker Drive Encryption Item in Control Panel.

“Manage BitLocker” shortcut menu

The following table describes how the Manage BitLocker shortcut menu differs depending on whether the MBAM Client is installed. The term “shortcut menu” refers to options that appear when you right-click a drive in Windows Explorer.

When MBAM Client is installed When MBAM Client is not installed

Visibility of shortcut menu

The Manage BitLocker option is hidden.

To make the Manage BitLocker option visible on the shortcut menu, which displays the option to decrypt a drive, delete the following registry key:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\Shell\manage-bde \REG_SZ LegacyDisable

The Manage BitLocker option appears on the shortcut menu.

What users can do

With the shortcut hidden, users can open the BitLocker Drive Encryption Control Panel item, but the option to decrypt a drive is not available.

With the shortcut visible, selecting the Manage BitLocker option opens the BitLocker Drive Encryption Control Panel item, which displays the option to decrypt a drive.

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