Home News Unlocking Speed: Rectifying Windows 11’s SSD Slowdown Dilemma

Unlocking Speed: Rectifying Windows 11’s SSD Slowdown Dilemma

In a bid to enhance security, a default feature in Windows 11 Pro significantly throttles SSD performance, which users may find alarming. The built-in software encryption tool, BitLocker, when activated, has been found to reduce SSD speeds by up to 45%, a consequence that stems from the continuous encryption and decryption processes handled by the system’s processor during read and write operations​​.

Key Highlights:

  • Windows 11 Pro’s default BitLocker encryption hampers SSD speed by up to 45%.
  • Users can verify the impact on their SSDs via the BitLocker Drive Encryption tool.
  • Deactivating BitLocker or switching to hardware encryption can mitigate the issue.
  • Users demanding encryption might require a Windows reinstallation for hardware encryption activation.

Windows 11 August 2023 Update 1

The root of the problem lies in the default activation of software-based BitLocker encryption during the installation of Windows 11 Pro, irrespective of whether the SSD supports hardware-based encryption or not. This default setting puts a strain on the processor, impacting the system’s performance notably​.

Identifying the Issue:

Users can ascertain if their SSDs are hampered by this issue by accessing the Windows 11 Pro command line with administrative privileges and entering the command manage-bde -status. This action triggers the “BitLocker Drive Encryption: Configuration Tool” which evaluates the encryption status of all drives in the computer. The “Conversion Status” and “Encryption Method” fields indicate whether software encryption is active on the SSD​​.

Remedying the Slowdown:

For those whose SSD performance is bogged down and seek a remedy, disabling BitLocker is a straightforward solution. This can be done by entering manage-bde -off C: in the command line, replacing “C:” with the relevant drive letter if necessary. The changes take effect post a system restart​​.

Switching to Hardware Encryption:

A more complex resolution entails transitioning from software to hardware BitLocker encryption. This necessitates a complete reinstallation of Windows 11 Pro, provided the SSD supports hardware encryption. For a detailed walkthrough on activating hardware encryption, users can refer to external resources for instructions, exemplified by a guide using the Samsung 980 Pro SSD​.

The encryption feature aimed at bolstering security in Windows 11 Pro inadvertently curtails SSD performance. While awaiting a potential patch from Microsoft, users have the option to either disable BitLocker or switch to hardware encryption, albeit the latter requiring a more intricate process involving a system reinstallation.

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Carl Jobs is an esteemed technology news writer who brings a fresh perspective to his writing. Known for his attention to detail and compelling storytelling, Carl covers a wide range of topics, including consumer electronics, software development, internet trends, and gadget reviews.