BitLocker Waiting for Activation? How to Turn off?

Have you ever encountered the “BitLocker waiting for activation” issue? What does waiting for activation mean if it shows up on your drive? How can you fix it? Now, let’s explore the answers on this page.


By Hedy / Updated on February 21, 2024

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Why does BitLocker say waiting for activation?

BitLocker is a disk encryption feature available in versions of Microsoft Windows, such as Windows 10 Pro, Windows 11 Pro, and Enterprise, that protects data from unauthorized access if a device is lost, stolen, or compromised. It uses advanced encryption technology to encrypt the entire disk or selected disks to enhance data security. Accessing an encrypted drive requires a password, PIN, USB key, or other authentication method.

Encountering a "BitLocker Waiting for Activation" error indicates a failure to activate or complete the encryption process. Users trying to activate BitLocker may encounter this error when the activation process stalls and fails to continue as expected.


Here are a few common reasons why BitLocker might be waiting for activation:

Drive Encryption Not Started: The encryption process may not have started yet. You might need to manually initiate the encryption process.

System Restart Required: BitLocker often requires a system restart to begin the encryption process. If you haven't restarted your computer after enabling BitLocker, try restarting it.

TPM (Trusted Platform Module) Issues: BitLocker might be waiting for activation if there are issues with the TPM. Ensure that TPM is enabled in the BIOS/UEFI settings and is compatible with BitLocker.

Group Policy Settings: Group Policy settings can affect BitLocker activation. Check the local or domain Group Policy settings to ensure they are configured correctly.

Administrator Privileges: Ensure that you have the necessary administrative privileges to activate BitLocker.

Drive Configuration Changes: If there have been recent changes to the drive, such as resizing or partitioning, BitLocker may need to adjust before activation.

How fix BitLocker waiting for activation error on Windows?

Restart your computer to resolve BitLocker activation pending issues. Make sure your Windows operating system is up to date by installing the latest updates. Then, follow the below methods.

Fix 1. Check Group Policy settings

To resolve BitLocker activation delays, check BitLocker's Group Policy settings to ensure they are configured correctly. Incorrect settings may be a factor that causes the BitLocker activation pending error to occur. In this order:

Step 1. Press Windows Key + R to open the Run dialog box.

Step 2. Type gpedit.msc and press Enter.

Step 3. In Group Policy Editor, navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > BitLocker Drive Encryption.

Step 4. In this section, you will find a series of policy settings; adjust them according to your requirements.


Fix 2. Check System Date & Time

Ensure accurate date and time settings, as misconfiguration may cause delays in BitLocker activation. Follow these steps to confirm that your account's date and time settings are configured correctly:

Step 1. Press Windows + I to access Settings.

Step 2. Go to Time & Language > Date & Time.

Step 3. Activate the Set time automatically and Set time zone automatically options.


Fix 3. Update System Drivers

Resolve the problem by updating the problematic driver. Use DriverFix for automated scanning to identify and correct missing or outdated device drivers. Alternatively, update the driver manually by following these steps:

Step 1. Open settings. Navigate to Update & Security and select Windows Update.

Step 2. Click the Check for Updates button, and then select View optional updates.

Step 3. Access the Driver Updates tab. Select the driver that needs to be updated.

Step 4. Execute the download and install commands.


Fix 4. Reset your BIOS

If the problem persists, consider resetting the BIOS to correct the error. This requires restoring the system firmware to its default settings to resolve potential hardware-related issues or eliminate any customizations that caused the break.

In this order:

Step 1. Start the computer and immediately press the designated key to access BIOS setup.

Step 2. When prompted, press the appropriate keys to enter BIOS setup.

Step 3. In the BIOS setup, find the option to load setup defaults (usually F9).

Step 4. Select Start to restore default settings.

Step 5. A blue screen will prompt the question: Load settings default values? Select "Yes" to confirm and continue restoring default BIOS settings.


Step 6. If necessary, navigate to the Exit option or Save Changes menu in the BIOS setup.

Step 7. Restart the computer and make sure it is running as expected with the default BIOS settings.

Fix 5. Disable and Re-enable BitLocker

If previous steps prove ineffective, attempt resolving the issue by temporarily disabling and then re-enabling BitLocker on your device. This process can effectively address transient bugs and errors. Follow these steps:

Step 1. Open an elevated Command Prompt.

Step 2. To disable BitLocker, input the following command and press Enter:

manage-bde -off C:

Step 3. Subsequently, enable BitLocker by executing the following command:

manage-bde -on C:

Note: Replace C with the actual drive letter that you want to disable and re-enable BitLocker for.

How to turn on/off BitLocker safely and smoothly?

Aside from enabling BitLocker with Windows built-in utility, resorting to a third-party BitLocker tool is also a good option. Among all the encryption tools on the market, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is extremely popular because of its simple operation, all-in-one features and high system compatibility.

Whether you are running on Home, Pro, or Enterprise Edition of Windows 11/10/8/7 systems, you can scroll down to see how to turn on or off BitLocker encryption on drives without encountering "BitLocker waiting for activation disable" problems.

Download Pro DemoWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant. Click the "Tools" main tab and select "BitLocker".


Step 2. All drives on the system will be displayed, including operating system drives, fixed data drives, and removable drives. Please find the partition you would like to encrypt BitLocker and click the "Turn on BitLocker" option. (Here, we take the drive D: as an example.)

Note: It only supports encrypting NTFS partitions. Other partition file systems, for example, FAT or FAT32 cannot be encrypted.


Step 3. Please set and confirm a password to encrypt the drive and click "Next".


Step 4. Select a way to back up your recovery key. You can either select "Save to a file" or "Print the recovery key".


Step 5. If you select "Save to a file", please choose a location on your PC to save the recovery key.


Then, please click the "Next" button to start the encryption process.

Step 6. The encryption process might take time to encrypt the drive. Before the process is finished, please do not terminate the program, remove the drive, or turn off the power. Once the encryption process is finished, please click "Completed". Finally, the drive is BitLocker encrypted.


To turn off BitLocker encryption, here are steps:

Step 1. Find the encrypted drive you would like to decrypt and click the option "Turn off BitLocker".


Step 2. There are 2 ways to decrypt the drive: Use password to decrypt the drive and Use recovery key to decrypt the drive. Please select either way as per your need.

If you select "Use a password to decrypt the drive", please enter the right password and then click the "Decrypt" button.


If you select "Use a recovery key to decrypt the drive", please enter the recovery key saved in the TXT file or printed when you encrypted the drive, and then click the "Decrypt" button.


Step 3. Then, the decryption process will start and it might take time to decrypt the drive. Once the decryption process is finished, please click "Completed". Finally, the BitLocker on the drive is decrypted.



The BitLocker Waiting for Activation error is caused by errors in the encryption process, which indicates that despite volume encryption, data accessibility is still compromised. You can correct this issue by applying the fixes mentioned in this article.

Besides, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional would be a good helper in managing partitions and disks of all conditions. For example, it supports resizing/moving partitions, formatting/deleting partitions, cloning disks, etc.

Hedy · Staff Editor
Hedy is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is very good at solving problems of partition management, and she wants to share all the problems she had already solved to users who met the same questions.