Here’s a nasty surprise: Using BitLocker, the famous encryption tool integrated into Windows 11 Pro, could slow down our SSD drives by up to 45% (depending on the brand and model of SSD you’re using).
Yes, you read that correctly; it’s not a joke. Tom’s Hardware published an edifying report on this subject, and our beloved SSDs seem to suffer.
Let’s start at the beginning: BitLocker, available only on devices equipped with Windows 11 Pro, is activated automatically to protect our cherished data by encrypting it. However, upon closer inspection, the tests carried out showed a significant decrease in the performance of disks encrypted by this software. It’s not great.
So, what to do?
Well, if you are a Windows 11 Pro user, the first thing to do is to check if BitLocker is enabled and if it uses software encryption (XTS-AES). To do this, open the Start menu and enter “cmd.”
Next, choose the “Run as administrator” option to open a Command Prompt window with admin rights. Once in Command Prompt, copy and paste the following command:
Then press “Enter.” This command will then display the status of all your connected volumes. Finally, to find out if BitLocker encryption is enabled or not, look for “Protection Status.”
If encryption is enabled, then check the encryption method used. If you find “XTS-AES,” it means that software encryption is used, and therefore, BitLocker negatively impacts your SSD.
Now you have several choices. You can have fun reformatting your PC and reinstalling Windows 11 Pro, considering activating hardware encryption if your computer and SSD support it. This is really the best option, even if it means deleting everything and redoing everything clean.
You can also disable BitLocker and no longer encrypt anything. It’s not great regarding security, but it’s a choice that only concerns you. To disable Bitlocker, open a terminal again in admin mode and enter the following command indicating the location of your disk (here it is “C:”):
manage-bde off C:
And if you still want to seriously encrypt a hard drive without going through Bitlocker, there is always Veracrypt, which can help you, in particular thanks to its Windows system encryption functionality. Be careful; this type of tool can also impact the performance of certain SSDs, so find out before installing it because you’re not sure it will solve the situation. The same thing goes for good hard drives (HDD), which can also be impacted somewhat.
Good luck! 🙂