Windows 11 Pro BitLocker Feature Slows Down SSDs up to 45% by Default

BitLocker encryption will slow down your SSD, here is how to fix it.

Nothing is more frustrating than spending your hard-earned money on the latest and greatest computer hardware, only for it to be slowed down by software. Unfortunately, this is the case for Windows 11 Pro users running a default Windows 11 installation. One of these default features is BitLocker encryption. BitLocker Drive Encryption or BitLocker is an encryption software developed and introduced by Microsoft to protect user data. BitLocker uses either 128-bit or 256-bit AES encryption.

Because BitLocker encryption is software based, it could rob as much as 45% of the speed from your SSD as it forces your processor to encrypt and decrypt everything. According to tests, random writes and reads – which are most important for the performance of your system – are hurt the most, with even large sequential reads and writes being affected.

Although many SSDs today come with hardware level encryption, Microsoft still forces BitLocker on by default as Windows does not have full control over hardware level encryption. With vulnerabilities found in the past with SSD hardware encryption, it is understandable why Microsoft prefers forcing BitLocker. If you are running a default installation of Windows 11 Pro – it is likely BitLocker is enabled already, as Microsoft does not give the option to disable BitLocker during installation. For those with Windows 11 Home – it is not enabled in most cases (although some laptops might still turn it on).

A straightforward way to check if BitLocker is enabled is to search encryption in windows start, if you do not find any options you likely don’t have access to BitLocker. If you do have an option appear, you will be able to check the status of and enable or disable BitLocker.

User who put a lot of strain on their SSDs and have BitLocker enabled will notice a slowdown in their system compared to BitLocker being disabled. If that is something you do not like the sound of – you can also ask yourself if you need it enabled and if not, simply disable it. Sometimes your workplace or organization will have BitLocker as a requirement in which case you are simply out of luck. If you know you do not have sensitive data on your system, there is not really any reason to have BitLocker enabled.

If you do enable BitLocker, be sure to take careful note of the BitLocker recovery key. The BitLocker recovery key is the only way to revert a BitLocked drive and access your information again.

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