A Quicker Way To Encrypt a File or Folder with Bitlocker

[infopane color=”4″ icon=”0049.png”]NOTE: Bitlocker encryption is available only in following desktop Windows versions: Vista Ultimate, Vista Enterprise, 7 Ultimate, 7 Enterprise, 8 Professional, and 8 Enterprise.[/infopane]

If you encrypt files or folders then this tip is for you!
Windows Vista, 7, and 8 allow you to encrypt files or folders but the process is a little long-winded. For those who don’t know, what you have to do is:

1) Right click on the file or folder.
2) Select Properties.
3) Click on the Advanced tab.
4) Check Encrypt Contents To Secure Data.
5) Click OK
6) Click OK again

That is SIX clicks of the mouse!

Now for a simpler solution.
This tip involves editing the registry, before proceeding it is advisable to create a registry backup and/or a system restore point.

  • Open your registry editor by clicking on the Start orb and typing regedit into the search box and pressing Enter.
  • Navigate your way to:  HKey_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
  • In the right hand pane, right click on an empty area and select ‘New’ then DWORD (32bit).


  • Name the new Dword key EncryptionContextMenu and press Enter.
  • Double click on the new Dword and in the box that opens, change the value from 0 to 1 then press OK.

Close the registry editor and now to test the difference.

1) Right click on the file or folder.
2) Select Encrypt.

3) Check the default setting is right for you and click OK.

That’s just half of the number of clicks!
I think you will agree it’s not only faster but easier as well.

About the Author

Alan Wade

Alan is a semi-retired geek from England, who has lived in Sweden with his wife and family since 2001. His interest in computers began in the mid 1980’s with the introduction of the Commodore Vic 20 where he learned to hack game code so he could force his name to appear as the high scorer. Alan made his way through the horde of console computers in the late 80’s and early 90’s before settling on Windows with the release of Windows 3.1. He has worked in the broadband industry on both the technical and installation side. In his off time he enjoys building computers for family and friends as well as digging into the guts of the OS to customize and tweak the OS.


  1. Will this method of Encryptation applicable to Win – Vista and Seven Home Premium. The normal Encryptation is possible only in the case for Win-Vista and Seven Professional and upwards. Please clarify
    Raju CM

  2. I’m sorry, David, Bitlocker drive encryption is not supported in the Home editions. I’ve updated the article to clarify that point.

  3. I have Windows 7 Home Premium and the message I get is “The request is not supported”. Does it matter that I use 64 bit?