In May 2014, the development of the popular hard drive encryption tool “TrueCrypt” came to an end. Many rumors link it to the terminated support for Windows XP by Microsoft. Windows Vista/7/8 and Windows 10 come with inbuilt hard drive encryption tool, and thus there is no need of using any third party hard drive encryption software. Windows XP was the only Windows operating system that had no inbuilt encryption tool, and thus users were dependable on a tool like TrueCrypt.
Why the Software Got Discontinued?
However, when Microsoft ended its support for XP, it was obvious that the number of XP users will decline considerably as all will upgrade their OS versions. Since, users of Windows Vista/7/8 and Windows 10 won’t require any third party encryption tool, perhaps that’s why TrueCrypt’s authors discontinued the tool. However, it’s just one of the many assumptions surrounding the mysterious end of this immensely popular encryption tool.
However, the original authors of the software didn’t confirm the reason for the abrupt closure. But they did confirm that that the tool may have some unfixed security issues. The developers of the tool published a warning message on their official website and warned the users that this software may not be secure enough and hence shouldn’t be used to get data encrypted. In the same warning message, they even recommended the users to switch to other hard disk encryption tool like BitLocker.
What Should You Do?
If you are a TrueCrpyt’s user, then most likely by now you must have switched to BitLocker. But if you are still using the tool, then you should make no delay in switching to BitLocker (the inbuilt Windows disk encryption software) or another alternative to TrueCrypt. Apart from BitLocker, there are many other options available such as VeraCrypt, CipherShed, etc. For the encryption security of your sensitive data, you must choose an alternative to TrueCrypt because this encryption software is not receiving any security updates. Using a software program that is not receiving security updates is highly risky.
Thus, it is advisable that users must start using other encryption software. However, for most of the Windows users, BitLocker is the preferred option as it is the inbuilt hard drive encryption software of Windows.
In this blog, you will learn how to migrate from TrueCrypt to BitLocker:
- Open ‘System’ menu in TrueCrypt.
- Disable ‘Trusted Platform Module.’ (Here, you need not to decrypt the drive now as before decrypting the TrueCrypt’s data you will be encrypting the data by BitLocker).
- Now, open the ‘Windows Explorer.’
- Then, using the right mouse button, click the drive that you had encrypted.
- The right-click menu will open, here select ‘Turn on BitLocker.’
- Remember, your data is still encrypted by TrueCrypt, and now you need to decrypt it.
- For that again open TrueCrypt’s ‘System’ menu.
- Then, select ‘Permanently Decrypt System Drive.’
- Here, you will require proving your TrueCrypt’s password.
Now, the TrueCrypt’s data will get decrypted automatically, and you can get that same data encrypted by BitLocker.
The Difficulty You May Face
As you can see that migrating the TrueCrypt’s encrypted data to BitLocker is fairly simple. It is neither a long process nor a very complicated process. However, while attempting to perform this process, the user might experience some issues such as not able to see ‘Turn on BitLocker’ option. In that scenario, you can search ‘BitLocker’ in the ‘Start’ menu. If you still can’t see the ‘Turn on BitLocker’option then, perform the following options:
- Open the ‘System Control Panel.’
- Then, select ‘Get more features with a new edition of Windows’ link.
- Here, you need to change the Windows product key (If you are not upgrading the Windows Operating system).
- However, if you want to upgrade your Windows Operating System, then instead of changing the Windows product key, you also need to reinstall the Windows.
If you want to provide encryption security to your sensitive data, then using TrueCrypt is no more advisable. Although it was a highly popular and one of the best hard drive encryption software programs till last year, but now it is a discontinued tool that is not officially owned by anyone, and thus not receiving any security updates. Using a software program that is not under maintenance is risky to use as it may have minor to major security loopholes. Thus, it is better for users to look for an alternative to TrueCrypt. VeraCrypt and CipherShed are two other free and open source encryption tools that you can use. Apart from that you can use the BitLocker, the inbuilt encryption software of Windows computers.