BitLocker, Microsoft’s encryption software for SSDs, has faced various challenges since its debut. The upcoming Windows 11 version 24H2 update, also known as the 2024 update, may introduce a new concern for users: BitLocker could be enabled by default during the installation process for all editions of Windows, including the Home edition. This information comes from a report by the German news outlet Deskmodder, which was subsequently covered by Neowin. Enabling BitLocker by default is seen as problematic for several reasons outlined below.

Firstly, enabling BitLocker, which encrypts and decrypts data continuously on your SSD, can significantly decrease your PC’s performance. Specifically, it could slow down system performance by up to 45% in Windows Pro, with similar impacts likely on other versions of the operating system.

Secondly, there is a risk for users who are not familiar with encryption. They might end up encrypting their data unintentionally during installation and could face difficulties decrypting it later if they misplace or fail to save the necessary decryption key. This could render both the CPU and the SSD inaccessible.

A third concern highlighted involves security vulnerabilities in BitLocker. According to YouTuber Stacksmashing, BitLocker’s encryption can be easily breached. They demonstrate that with a modest investment in a $10 Raspberry Pi Pico and physical access to the machine, encrypted data on a system with an external Trusted Platform Module (TPM) can be decrypted.

However, there is a straightforward remedy for this automatic encryption: users can disable Device Encryption in the Privacy & security section of the Settings menu. While this option exists, many Windows 11 users, particularly those with the Home version, may not be aware of it or know how to manage these settings.

If these reports are accurate, it would be prudent for Microsoft to reconsider the default auto-encryption feature before releasing the update. Such a feature seems to introduce more problems than it resolves.

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