BitLocker: How to deploy on Windows Server 2012 and later
Applies to: Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019
This topic for the IT professional explains how to deploy BitLocker on Windows Server 2012 and later. For all Windows Server editions, BitLocker can be installed using Server Manager or Windows PowerShell cmdlets. BitLocker requires administrator privileges on the server to install.
- Open Server Manager by selecting the Server Manager icon or running servermanager.exe.
- Select Manage from the Server Manager Navigation bar and select Add Roles and Features to start the Add Roles and Features Wizard.
- With the Add Roles and Features Wizard open, select Next at the Before you begin pane (if shown).
- Select Role-based or feature-based installation on the Installation type pane of the Add Roles and Features Wizard pane and select Next to continue.
- Select the Select a server from the server pool option in the Server Selection pane and confirm the server for the BitLocker feature install.
- Server roles and features install using the same wizard in Server Manager. Select Next on the Server Roles pane of the Add Roles and Features wizard to proceed to the Features pane.
Select the check box next to BitLocker Drive Encryption within the Features pane of the Add Roles and Features Wizard. The wizard will show the additional management features available for BitLocker. If you do not want to install these features, deselect the Include management tools option and select Add Features. Once optional features selection is complete, select Next to proceed in the wizard.
Note: The Enhanced Storage feature is a required feature for enabling BitLocker. This feature enables support for Encrypted Hard Drives on capable systems.
Select Install on the Confirmation pane of the Add Roles and Features Wizard to begin BitLocker feature installation. The BitLocker feature requires a restart to complete. Selecting the Restart the destination server automatically if required option in the Confirmation pane will force a restart of the computer after installation is complete.
- If the Restart the destination server automatically if required check box is not selected, the Results pane of the Add Roles and Features Wizard will display the success or failure of the BitLocker feature installation. If required, a notification of additional action necessary to complete the feature installation, such as the restart of the computer, will be displayed in the results text.
Windows PowerShell offers administrators another option for BitLocker feature installation. Windows PowerShell installs features using the
dism module; however, the
dism modules do not always share feature name parity. Because of this, it is advisable to confirm the feature or role name prior to installation.
Note: You must restart the server to complete the installation of BitLocker.
Using the servermanager module to install BitLocker
servermanager Windows PowerShell module can use either the
Add-WindowsFeature to install the BitLocker feature. The
Add-WindowsFeature cmdlet is merely a stub to the
Install-WindowsFeature. This example uses the
Install-WindowsFeature cmdlet. The feature name for BitLocker in the
servermanager module is
BitLocker. This can be determined using the
Get-WindowsFeature cmdlet with a query such as:
The results of this command displays a table of all of the feature names beginning with “Bit” as their prefix. This allows you to confirm that the feature name is
BitLocker for the BitLocker feature.
By default, installation of features in Windows PowerShell does not include optional sub-features or management tools as part of the install process. This can be seen using the
-WhatIf option in Windows PowerShell.
Install-WindowsFeature BitLocker -WhatIf
The results of this command show that only the BitLocker Drive Encryption feature installs using this command.
To see what would be installed with the BitLocker feature including all available management tools and sub-features, use the following command:
Install-WindowsFeature BitLocker -IncludeAllSubFeature -IncludeManagementTools -WhatIf | fl
The result of this command displays the following list of all the administration tools for BitLocker that would be installed along with the feature, including tools for use with Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) and Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS).
- BitLocker Drive Encryption
- BitLocker Drive Encryption Tools
- BitLocker Drive Encryption Administration Utilities
- BitLocker Recovery Password Viewer
- AD DS Snap-Ins and Command-Line Tools
- AD DS Tools
- AD DS and AD LDS Tools
The command to complete a full installation of the BitLocker feature with all available features and then rebooting the server at completion is:
Install-WindowsFeature BitLocker -IncludeAllSubFeature -IncludeManagementTools -Restart
Important: Installing the BitLocker feature using Windows PowerShell does not install the Enhanced Storage feature. Administrators wishing to support Encrypted Hard Drives in their environment will need to install the Enhanced Storage feature separately.
Using the dism module to install BitLocker
dism Windows PowerShell module uses the
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature cmdlet to install features. The BitLocker feature name for BitLocker is
dism module does not support wildcards when searching for feature names. To list feature names for the
dism module, use the
Get-WindowsOptionalFeatures cmdlet. The following command will list all of the optional features in an online (running) operating system.
Get-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online | ft
From this output, we can see that there are three BitLocker related optional feature names: BitLocker, BitLocker-Utilities and BitLocker-NetworkUnlock. To install the BitLocker feature, the BitLocker and BitLocker-Utilities features are the only required items.
To install BitLocker using the
dism module, use the following command:
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName BitLocker -All
This command will prompt the user for a reboot. The Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature cmdlet does not offer support for forcing a reboot of the computer. This command does not include installation of the management tools for BitLocker. For a complete installation of BitLocker and all available management tools, use the following command:
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName BitLocker, BitLocker-Utilities -All
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