By Teresa / Last update June 27, 2022

BitLocker – encryption for your drive

BitLocker Drive Encryption also referred to as BitLocker, is an integral feature in Windows operating systems. It is designed to protect your drive from unauthorized access and protect your data, even in the event someone physically removes your drive and attempts to access it from another computer. 

Unfortunately, if you want to clone BitLocker encrypted disk, as your drive is encrypted, regular disk cloning software may be unable to copy the drive as it can’t access the data. 

Can I clone BitLocker encrypted drive with Clonezilla?

In order to clone your encrypted drive, you will require disk cloning software. Clonezilla, a well-known piece of open source cloning and imaging software, is widely used among Windows PC users. Many users have attempted to clone their BitLocker encrypted partitions using Clonezilla. Unfortunately, this fails as Clonezilla is unable to recognize or unlock the BitLocker encrypted partitions and clone the drive. 

So, if you want to use Clonezilla to clone a disk with BitLocker, then you are out of luck!

Free cloning software to clone an encrypted hard drive

Luckily, AOMEI Backupper Standard Edition, a specialist tool from AOMEI, can help you easily clone a BitLocker drive. It is free hard drive cloning software that allows you to clone any encrypted drive without unlocking it.

Normally, we would use Intelligent Sector Clone to clone larger hard drives to smaller SSDs. However, with encrypted BitLocker partitions, we use the Sector by Sector Clone tool.

  • Sector by Sector clone requires the destination drive to have at least the same capacity as the source disk. If your system drive is encrypted on the source disk (the disk you want to clone), you will be able to successfully boot from the cloned drive without needing to decrypt it first.

  • If you have a smaller destination drive, then you will need to decrypt the source hard drive before you begin the cloning process. If you have lost the decryption password for your drive, you will need to find your BitLocker Recovery Key. If your computer is connected to a Domain, you will be able to ask the administrator for the recovery key. If you aren’t connected to a Domain, you may be able to find your recovery key online or you may have made a backup of the key on a USB drive. 

How to clone BitLocker encrypted drive to SSD or HDD

💙 Preparations:

  • Connect the destination drive (the drive you want to clone to) to your PC either through the second drive bay or via a SATA-to-USB adapter.
  • Please be aware that all of the data on the destination disk will be deleted when the cloning process starts. Therefore, backup files that matter to you first.
  • Download and install AOMEI Backupper on your PC.
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💙 To clone a BitLocker encrypted drive:

Step 1. Run this free hard drive cloning software. Click on Disk Clone under the Clone tab on the left-hand side. 

Disk Clone

Helpful Tip: 
This version only supports cloning system disk from MBR to MBR. If you want to clone system disk from GPT to GPT, GPT to MBR, or MBR to GPT, you should consider upgrading to AOMEI Backupper Professional.
To check your partition style (MBR/GPT), you can search for "Disk Management" to open it, right-click on the disk, choose "Properties" and go to "Volumes" tab.

Step 2. Select the BitLocker Encrypted drive as the Source disk by clicking on it, then click Next.

Select Source Disk

Step 3. Select a different disk as the Destination Disk (which will receive the cloned data), and then click Next. As we mentioned before, this tool will clone the encrypted disk on a ‘sector by sector’ basis, so the destination disk has to be equal to or larger than the original disk.

Select Destination Disk

Step 4. In the Operation Summary screen, tick Sector by sector clone, click Start Clone to start cloning the encrypted hard drive.

Start Clone

◑ The sector-by-sector method may take a little longer than a traditional hard drive clone as it will also clone any unused space. AOMEI Backupper lets you still use your drive during the cloning process, so nothing will interrupt your work or studies.
◑ If you want to clone encrypted hard drive to SSD, then use the SSD Alignment option to optimize your SSD performance.

Besides cloning encrypted hard drive to SSD/HDD, this software also applies to clone HDD to Samsung SSD, clone HDD to Seagate SSHD, clone hard drive to WD SSD, clone NVMe to larger NVMe, etc.


As you can see, cloning a BitLocker encrypted drive with AOMEI Backupper is as easy as pie. AOMEI Backupper isn’t just limited to its clone function, it has an entire range of useful features and tools. Most backup software available on the market can’t handle encrypted drives, yet AOMEI Backupper easily provides comprehensive disk backup features for encrypted hard drives! 

AOMEI Backupper is also able to assist you with backing up your encrypted system, partitions, and files. Why not download it now and give it a go?