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truecrypt13 Encrypt Your USB Thumb Drive to Protect Your Data [How To]

Now, more than ever, we carry more digital information on thumb drives and, in many cases, this information is sensitive and, in the wrong hands, could be used in ways we’d like to avoid. In this guide, I’ll show you how to encrypt your USB drive so that only you can access your data.

This guide covers the following steps:

  1. Install TrueCrypt.
  2. Use TrueCrypt to encrypt your thumb drive.
  3. Access your encrypted data.

Install TrueCrypt

TrueCrypt can be used as a portable app, which is useful if you want to carry TrueCrypt around with you on the same drive with an encrypted container. I find using the containers isn’t the easiest solution so, in this guide, we’re going to install TrueCrypt on your PC and then use it to encrypt your whole thumb drive.

  1. Download TrueCrypt and double click the installer to install it to your PC.
  2. When asked, select Install to install the program files on your local machine.

truecrypt01 Encrypt Your USB Thumb Drive to Protect Your Data [How To]

Use TrueCrypt to Encrypt Your Thumb Drive

Once installed, you should insert your thumb drive into your PC and backup and data on the drive.

1. Open TrueCrypt and click a Create Volume.

truecrypt02 Encrypt Your USB Thumb Drive to Protect Your Data [How To]

2. Select Encrypt a non-system partition/drive and click Next.

truecrypt03 Encrypt Your USB Thumb Drive to Protect Your Data [How To]

3. Select Standard TrueCrypt volume and click Next.

truecrypt04 Encrypt Your USB Thumb Drive to Protect Your Data [How To]

4. Click Select Device…, click your thumb drive, click OK, and click Next.

truecrypt05 Encrypt Your USB Thumb Drive to Protect Your Data [How To]

5. Click Create encrypted volume and format it and click Next.

truecrypt06 Encrypt Your USB Thumb Drive to Protect Your Data [How To]

6. Select your encryption and hashing algorithms and click Next. I used the default options (I’m no encryption expert.) If you’d like to find out more about encryption and hashing algorithms, follow the links below:

truecrypt07 Encrypt Your USB Thumb Drive to Protect Your Data [How To]

7. Click Next.

truecrypt08 Encrypt Your USB Thumb Drive to Protect Your Data [How To]

8. Set a password and click Next.

truecrypt09 Encrypt Your USB Thumb Drive to Protect Your Data [How To]

9. If your thumb drive is less than 4GB select FAT, if it’s over 4GB, select NTFS (the FAT file system doesn’t support files >4GB.) Click Format.

truecrypt10 Encrypt Your USB Thumb Drive to Protect Your Data [How To]

10. Make sure your files are backed up and click Yes.

truecrypt11 Encrypt Your USB Thumb Drive to Protect Your Data [How To]

11. Sit back and wait for your drive to be encrypted. This may take some time if you are on a slower PC and are formatting a drive that is large.

truecrypt12 Encrypt Your USB Thumb Drive to Protect Your Data [How To]

12. Once the encryption is complete, click OK.

truecrypt13 Encrypt Your USB Thumb Drive to Protect Your Data [How To]

Access Your Encrypted Data

Please note: Each time you insert your drive, Windows will ask you to format it–do not do this (Click Cancel.)

truecrypt21 Encrypt Your USB Thumb Drive to Protect Your Data [How To]

1. Insert your encrypted thumb drive, open TrueCrypt and select a drive letter. This drive letter will be used to access your data. Click Select Device.

truecrypt14 Encrypt Your USB Thumb Drive to Protect Your Data [How To]

2. Click your thumb drive and click OK.

truecrypt15 Encrypt Your USB Thumb Drive to Protect Your Data [How To]

3. Click Mount.

truecrypt16 Encrypt Your USB Thumb Drive to Protect Your Data [How To]

4. Type the password you set for the drive and click OK.

truecrypt17 Encrypt Your USB Thumb Drive to Protect Your Data [How To]

5. The drive will show up in the drives list.

truecrypt18 Encrypt Your USB Thumb Drive to Protect Your Data [How To]

6. Open Computer (Winkey+E) and double click the drive letter you just mounted.

truecrypt19 Encrypt Your USB Thumb Drive to Protect Your Data [How To]

Once you’ve finished with your data, go to TrueCrypt and click Dismount.

truecrypt20 Encrypt Your USB Thumb Drive to Protect Your Data [How To]

Download TrueCrypt

download64 Encrypt Your USB Thumb Drive to Protect Your Data [How To]

Download TrueCrypt



 Encrypt Your USB Thumb Drive to Protect Your Data [How To]

About Rich

Rich is the owner and creator of Windows Guides; he spends his time breaking things on his PC so he can write how-to guides to fix the problems he creates.

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Comments

  • Dinaregistr

    Hey!
    I’m using prog ProteMac Logon Key. It creates a usb key from a usual usb. It can be an addition for encryoting usb drive.
    Good soft. Maybe my comment will be helprul for someone!)

  • Ace®

    Can you encrypt a backup hard drive using this software?

    • http://richr.org/ Rich

      Yes, an entire (including external) drive may be encrypted with TrueCrypt.

  • http://twitter.com/WSmarterBlog Robin Henry

    Rich, thank you for this sound advice. I’ve been using this software on and off but found it a bit messy. However, your step through instructions will be a great help.


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