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.
- 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.
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.