62662: Acronis True Image and BitLocker FAQ

Last update: 24-08-2020


This article provides answers to frequent questions on BitLocker support in Acronis True Image. Read the full article on BitLocker support at https://kb.acronis.com/content/56619

Frequently asked questions

Q: Does Acronis True Image support BitLocker-encrypted disks?
A: Yes

Q: Can I create a full backup of a BitLocker-encrypted disk, including MBR, boot records, system partitions, etc. so that at any time later I could restore everything to the same disk / new disk / same computer / new computer ?
A: Yes. For that, select either “Entire PC” or the disk as backup source when configuring the backup job in Acronis True Image, running in Windows, not under bootable media.

Q: Can I save a disk image of a BitLocker-encrypted disk (like dd utility does on Linux)?
A: Yes. See the answer above.

Q: What do you mean when you say that disks are stored unencrypted in the backup archive? How does Acronis True Image access the disk without asking for BitLocker key/password/special USB thumbdrive?
A: Unlocked state means that the disk is accessible to the operating system and the programs in the current Windows user session without any key/password/USB. It is by design Microsoft Windows behavior that Microsoft Volume Shadow copy service exposes the encrypted disk for backup software and other programs without asking them to enter BitLocker key/password/connect special BitLocker USB key. Acronis True Image reads the disk and saves it into the backup exactly the same way as if BitLocker was not enabled at all.

Q: If Acronis True Image backup saves the disk as unencrypted, how do I protect it from unauthorized access?
A: Enable backup encryption and password-protection in the backup settings. This can be done only at the very first time you configure a backup job. If you already have unencrypted backups and want to protect them, you have to delete the backup (option Delete in the backup context menu) and create a new one (button “Add backup” in the left bottom corner).

Q: How do backup encryption and password protection in Acronis True Image backup options relate to BitLocker?
A: Backup settings on one side, and BitLocker on the other side, are two completely unrelated and independent protection layers. You can choose to have both of them, or just one (any), or none.

Q: How do I make BitLocker protection persist through backup, recovery and cloning?
A: Re-enable BitLocker protection when you log into Windows of the recovered/cloned disk after completing recovery/cloning operations. Re-encrypting the disk will take time, it is not an instant operation.

Q: Can Acronis True Image backup disks that are marked with a golden padlock in Windows File Explorer (which indicates locked state)?
A: No, the whole purpose of the locked state is to not allow any program to access the disk. Acronis does not break or hack BitLocker protection.

Q: Why I am not able to clone/image a BitLocker-encrypted disk offline, using a bootable media?
A: This is expected behavior, current by-design limitation. Create backups/clone disks in Windows (not under bootable media), and restore them either in Windows or in bootable media environment.

Q: Can I create a file/folder-type backup of data on a BitLocker-encrypted disk?
A: Yes. Use Acronis True Image, running in Windows, not under bootable media, for that.