How To Password Protect USB Drives In Windows 10 [2021 Guide]

How to password protect a flash drive is a question we have wished to ask someone at least once. Passwords and USB’s both are meant to hold valuable information. If you’re a heavy USB device user, you know the kind of threats that come along.

USBs are portable devices that can be lost if not taken care of. Once lost, it’s gone! Not many people are lucky enough to find it back again. USB drives are used to store and transfer data from one location to other.

But this transferring comes with a lot of security threats. It’s easier to carry around that’s why it’s pretty much commonly carried around by students, as well as professionals. 

USB is an abbreviation of Universal serial bus, which is the user-friendly port to transfer data from one location to another. It supports a data transfer rate of 12Mbps. These devices cover a broad range of peripherals from music players, mice, keyboards to televisions. This is why how to password protect a flash drive becomes an important question.

If you’re not quite familiar with the work process and hub of USB then you’re at the right place. In this article, we’ll let you know how not only you can secure the USB with a password, but the perks alongside.

Before putting a password, many people would like to know why to put one at all! Hence continue reading below to find out:

Why Protect your USB?

Windows 10 comes with many visionary tools. USB can hold quite a good amount of data, which makes it the most convenient device for storing important and secret information. But what if the USB falls into wrong hands? How far will you go to save the information?

The solution to this problem? Setting password! Where? In the USB!

If that sounds surprising to you then you should continue reading the article. In this article, we’ll walk you through steps to password your USB drive so that no one can access or read data stored in it. This would prevent the wrong people from stealing the contents of your USB drive.

And to make that an easy task, Windows 10 introduced a built-in feature that saves the data of your USB drive called BitLocker. Along with that, there are some other ways also available to secure USB drives.

Adding a password to the USB drive saves sensitive information from leaking out. Passwords should meet the complexity standards first, and then it’ll encrypt the contents of the file making it inaccessible to the world.  

People using Windows 10 can enjoy this feature without any hassle.

Ways to protect your USB with Proper steps

Windows 10 comes with an inbuilt feature that makes things super easy and affordable to use. Setting password protection in your flash drive is the easiest way to secure your entire flash drive from the outside threat.

And for this purpose, the best feature ensures no other person can access the file neither it allow any outside program to read the contents inside the file.

Below are a few steps and ways elaborated for your understanding to secure your file extensions from different security threats.

One way is to connect your flash USB drive to the computer and open windows explorer. Next, you can right-click the USB drive. Then you can turn on the Bitlocker, then add and confirm your password.

Once you’re done with adding and saving the password, that’s it! Then click Next and then you can specify how you want to recover your password in case of forgetting them.

The recovery key that you promptly get allows you to access your file in case you even forget your actual password. You can either print or save this recovery key and store it for later references. But you cannot store it in the cloud no matter what.

Also, you can choose how you want to save the encrypted key. Maybe it can be the whole drive you can choose from or the used space only. You’re free to use the type of storage space as per your wishes.

What is BitLocker?

BitLocker is an encryption option of 256-bit XTS for Windows 10. It has advanced and improved algorithms which provide immense algorithm support and integrity.

If your USB drive is corrupted then format it in one go. It’s common in every USB stick, just like any other Digital storage device.   

Another way of encrypting USB is by installing USB drive encryption software. You can use this software as an encryption manager It is considered the best encryption device software. It’s very powerful and it cannot be easily cracked or hacked by the sheer computing power as well.

Such software creates two different stages of encrypting the files: A hidden vault and an outer volume vault. Both the vaults have different passwords to ensure quick and strong passwords.

How to password protect the external hard drive

Just in case if you don’t have Windows 10, or volume and have versions below it. Then you’re requested to buy a security drive with a hardware security handle. It’s of a surprise that there are similar options available in the market.

Some of these USB drives have a casing of physical keys on the outer side but few others have different body parts. While others may require software separate locking to unlock these software physical keys. Also, people can pay excess for storage space to the provider of USB sticks.

password protect usb drive

Steps to install Veracrypt

  1. First, search the application on google, and hit return.
  2. Select Volume
  3. Then select “Encrypt a non-system partition /drive”, and then click next
  4. Select “VeraCrypt volume” and click next
  5. Select a device from the list of devices that appear on your screen and select one.
  6. Click Ok and select Next
  7. Select Encryption in Place and select other options and data on the drives.
  8. Click “Next” to protect an emptying drive, select “Crypted and format it”, and click Next
  9. You can select the convenient encryption method and then hash the algorithm. Select AES and click Next
  10. Then confirm the volume size and click Next
  11. Enter a new password and confirm it
  12. Also before canceling it select whether you want the amount of partition or not.
  13. As Veracrypt begins randomizing your cryptography, the randomness in the keys will help the bar turn green.
  14. Click format
  15. Wait for the command bar to appear for some time.
  16. As the box appears mount the formatted drive and your drive is successfully encrypted and functional.
  17. You are good to go!

These are few steps in which you can enable the veracrypt and begin securing your files from outside security threats.

Enabling encryption in Windows 10:

To encrypt any file, your computer must have the following features:

1) Support Modern standby with Trusted Platform Module of Version 2. 

2) Enable TPM

3) UEFI firmware style


You can follow the following steps to password protect flash drive:

  • Open Start 
  • Search from the start option for System Informatics
  • You can click onto the top-right top result
  • Then run it as administrator option 
  • Click the Left pane from the system summary branch
  • You can check “DES” known as Device encryption support and if it reads the Meet pre-requisites and then includes the support file encryption. 
  • All the above-mentioned steps must be followed and finally, you can end up encrypting the files on your system. 


The other way around to password protect USB drive in windows 10

  • Open settings
  • Click on Update and security
  • Click on Device encryption
  • Click the “Turn On button”.
  • And done, Windows 10 will turn on encryption.

Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQ's)

1) How to disable device encryption?

  • Open settings
  • Click Update and security
  • Click device encryption
  • Click turn off button in device encryption
  • Click on the Turn Off method

2) What are the advantages of protecting the USB external hard drive?

It’s transparent to the user. It’s advanced technology.

3) Why should a business encrypt their business at all?

Businesses today have various user-defined statuses that are very crucial to the company. Encrypting these data at all is very important and these technologies are important to ensure security against breaches.

4) Does Encryption cost money?

Software encryptions might not cost money if you’re not going for advanced versions. Whereas USB sticks might cost you money to store data.

5) How can I know what level of security I should use?

Reflect on the kind of data you’re carrying. If it has something like legal obligations or something then look forward to getting security tightened up.


Overall you can easily find out how to add encryption to protect your flash drive in this article. It has several advantages and saves a lot of time, especially for professionals, students, and enterprises. The above mentioned are the steps, ways, and different capabilities at which the encryption works on computers.

Save your data from being at risk from malware or other suspicious attacks to ensure the overall safety of the data. However, the software keeps on updating from time to time which may be frustrating for some of you, in such cases you can shift to hardware safety encryption as well.

Hardware can be quite expensive depending on the quality it offers. Being said that innovation has reached its peak there’s no problem in adding a USB password, today as compared to other older versions.



My name is Sean and I started this project in 2020. It has been growing ever since. I am a serial tech entrepreneur and a tech geek. My experience in blogging and technology helps me understand what type of content people are looking for and I intend to provide the information in the best possible way.

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