Staff Encryption

Encryption protects the contents of your laptop from unauthorized access by converting it into unreadable code that cannot be deciphered easily. It is a much stronger level of protection than typical security features, such as logging into an operating system with your password or protecting individual files with passwords.

Windows 10 Professional machines should use Windows built-in native encryption called Bit-locker.

Staff machines with Apple OS should use  FileVault full disk encryption (FileVault 2) which is the native encryption program included free with specific versions of Apple OS.

Staff wanting to encrypt a Windows 7 device should upgrade to Windows 10 Professional if their machine is compatible.  Information on Windows 10 Pro in UCD can be found here.

These comprehensive encryption options provide the best possible security should the laptop be lost or stolen.


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Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption is the native encryption for Windows 10 laptop/desktops. By enabling Bitlocker on your machine it will make your data unreadable by unauthorised users.


Prerequisite to enabling Bitlocker

Please make sure your Windows Password is at least 8 characters long and includes upper and lower case letters and some numbers. Your devices and Information is not protected if machine has a weak easily guessable password.


Quick Encryption guide

  1. Sign in to Windows with an administrator account.
  2. Go to Search , enter encryption, and select Manage BitLocker the list of results.
  3. Select Turn on BitLocker, and then follow the instructions.
  4. It is very important that you store your Encryption Key in a safe accessible location away from your laptop such as an Email.*

Full Instructions

  1. Go to Search , enter encryption, and select Manage BitLocker the list of results.
  2. Turn on Bit-Locker and follow the instructions
  3. Should you encounter the following Trust Platform Module message then please stop everything and complete the encryption request form to arrange assistance otherwise continue to step 4.

    Starting BitLocker
    This device cannot use a Trusted Platform Module. Your administrator must set the “Allow BitLocker without a compatible TPM” option in the “Require additional authentication at start-up” policy for OS volumes

  4. You will be presented with the options on how to unlock your drive at start-up.  Select Enter Password.
  5. Use a complex password with at least 8 mixed case alphanumerical characters. Enter the password twice and select next.
  6. You are presented with four options on how to back up your recovery key.

    *We recommend that you save your recovery key to a file on a USB device and  email it to your UCD Email account immediately for safe keeping.  You must keep the recovery key safe and accessible but not with your laptop.  This recovery key is the only way you can access your laptop if your device encounters an issue otherwise it will need a rebuild and you will lose any information stored on your device.  

  7. Next, Select the option to “Encrypt used disk space only (faster and best for new PC’s and drives)” and Select Next
  8. Select the option “New encryption mode (best for fixed drives on this device)” and Select Next
  9. Confirm that the tick box is checked  - “Run BitLocker system check” Select Continue
  10. Restart the machine when prompted in order for encryption to begin
  11. The BitLocker login screen appears, enter the password that was created in step 6. Press Enter to continue
  12. Check the encryption status by going to Manage BitLocker as outlined in step 1.

If you encounter any issues or require any assistance, please complete the encryption request form to arrange for a member of staff to encypt your machine. Alternatively contact the IT Helpdesk on ext 2700 or email 


FileVault full disk encryption (FileVault 2) is the native encryption program included free with specific versions of Apple OS and, once turned on, runs on the computer. You can find more details at Apple.

Whether you want to store sensitive data on a USB drive, securely email it, or just add an additional layer of security on your hard drive, there are a variety of ways to protect your files by encrypting it.

File Encryption Options
Microsoft Office 2010 and 2013 allows you to apply encryption to documents, securing them with a password. Instructions on how to encrypt and add a password to files can be found in Office 2016 Word Encryption ‌.

WinZip allows you to compress and encrypt your documents, securing them with a password. Instructions on how to use WinZip compress and encrypt documents can be found in WinZip encryption.


You can contact our IT Helpdesk at 2700 or by emailing Alternatively, you can drop into one of our IT Centres.