Install BitLocker on Windows Server

For all Windows Server editions, BitLocker isn't installed by default, but it can be installed using Server Manager or Windows PowerShell cmdlets. This article explains how to install BitLocker on Windows Server.


To install BitLocker you must have administrator privileges.

Install BitLocker with Server Manager

  1. Open Server Manager by selecting the icon or running servermanager.exe
  2. Select Manage from the Server Manager Navigation bar and select Add Roles and Features
  3. Select Next at the Before you begin pane (if shown)
  4. Under Installation type, select Role-based or feature-based installation and select Next
  5. Under Server Selection, select the Select a server from the server pool pane and confirm the server on which you want to install the BitLocker feature and Next
  6. Under Server Roles select Next
  7. Under Features, select the box next to BitLocker Drive Encryption. The wizard shows the extra management features available for BitLocker. If you don't need the extra management features, deselect Include management tools


    The Enhanced Storage feature is a required feature for enabling BitLocker. This feature enables support for encrypted hard drives on capable systems.

  8. Select Next and under Confirmation select Install

The BitLocker feature requires a restart to complete its installation. Selecting the Restart the destination server automatically if required option in the Confirmation pane forces a restart of the server after installation is complete

Install BitLocker with Windows PowerShell

Windows PowerShell offers administrators another option for BitLocker feature installation. Windows PowerShell installs features using the servermanager or dism.exe module. However, the servermanager and dism.exe modules don't always share feature name parity. Because of this mismatch of feature name parity, it's advisable to confirm the feature or role name prior to installation.


The server must be restarted to complete the installation of BitLocker.

Use the servermanager module to install BitLocker

The servermanager Windows PowerShell module can use either the Install-WindowsFeature or Add-WindowsFeature to install the BitLocker feature. The Add-WindowsFeature cmdlet is a stub to the Install-WindowsFeature. This example uses the Install-WindowsFeature cmdlet. The feature name for BitLocker in the servermanager module is BitLocker.

By default, installation of features in Windows PowerShell doesn't include optional subfeatures or management tools as part of the installation process. What is installed as part of the installation process can be seen using the -WhatIf option in Windows PowerShell.

Install-WindowsFeature BitLocker -WhatIf

The results of this command show that only the BitLocker Drive Encryption feature is installed using this command.

To see what would be installed with the BitLocker feature, including all available management tools and subfeatures, use the following command:

Install-WindowsFeature BitLocker -IncludeAllSubFeature -IncludeManagementTools -WhatIf | fl

The command to complete a full installation of the BitLocker feature with all available subfeatures and then to reboot the server at completion is:

Install-WindowsFeature BitLocker -IncludeAllSubFeature -IncludeManagementTools -Restart


Installing the BitLocker feature using Windows PowerShell does not install the Enhanced Storage feature. Administrators wishing to support Encrypted Hard Drives in their environment will need to install the Enhanced Storage feature separately.

Use the dism module to install BitLocker

The dism.exe Windows PowerShell module uses the Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature cmdlet to install features. The BitLocker feature name for BitLocker is BitLocker. The dism.exe module doesn't support wildcards when searching for feature names. To list feature names for the dism.exe module, use the Get-WindowsOptionalFeatures cmdlet. The following command lists all of the optional features in an online (running) operating system.

Get-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online | ft

From this output, there are three BitLocker-related optional feature names: BitLocker, BitLocker-Utilities and BitLocker-NetworkUnlock. To install the BitLocker feature, the BitLocker and BitLocker-Utilities features are the only required items.

To install BitLocker using the dism.exe module, use the following command:

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName BitLocker -All

The command doesn't include installation of the management tools for BitLocker, but you can do a complete installation of BitLocker and all available management tools with the following command:

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName BitLocker, BitLocker-Utilities -All


When using Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature, the administrator is prompted to reboot the server, as the cmdlet doesn't have support for forcing a reboot.

After the server reboots, you can use BitLocker.