Find your BitLocker Recovery Key
Depending on what BitLocker was activated, your Bitlocker recovery keys may find in multiple places. We have provided several methods to locate your Bitlocker key. BitLocker, a security feature for hard drives that is included in Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10, is called Windows 11.
Many people encounter the blue Bitlocker Recovery Key input screen after an update to their feature systems. This is more common on HP, Lenove, and Dell computers.
What is a BitLocker recovery key?
BitLocker’s recovery key is a 48-digit number password that unlocks your system if BitLocker can’t verify access is authorized. You can save the Bitlocker recovery code in your Microsoft account or print it out. The recovery key usually has 48 characters with dashes between each five characters.
Where do I find my Bitlocker recovery key?
You were given four options for saving your Recovery Key when Bitlocker was activated. These included: Printing it, Saving it to the cloud, Saving it to an a.TXT File, or Saving it to a USB Drive. It is essential to remember which method you used.
You should look at the following locations if your device (e.g., a console or laptop) is asking for your BitLocker Recovery Key:
In your linked Microsoft account:
Visit: https://account.microsoft.com/devices/recoverykey or https://aka.ms/myrecoverykey or https://onedrive.com/recoverykey and sign in to your Microsoft account. The screen will display your recovery key. Copy the Bitlocker Recovery Key screen. TIP: Sign in with any Microsoft account you have ever connected to this computer.
On a printout:
The recovery key can find on the printout you saved after activating BitLocker.
In TXT: Save the key to your computer as a text file. Search your computer for
BitLocker Recover Key.TXT and BitLocker Rescue Key.BEK. Bitlocker doesn’t give you the option to save your key during setup on the drive/computer that you are encrypting. This means you won’t find a TXT file unless you did it independently after setup. The Bitlocker Encryption key will save as a.BEK.
A USB flash drive:
You can save the key as a text file on a USB flash drive and then open the text file with a different computer.
In an Azure AD account:
If your device was used when signing in at work or to a school email account your Bitlocker recovery key could store in that company’s/intitution’s Azure AD account. To access your Bitlocker key, you can either access it directly or contact a system administrator.
Recovery key held by a system administrator:
Ask the system administrator to give you your Bitlocker key if your device is connected with a school or work device.
You will not able to boot your computer or enter Windows if you can’t find the Bitlocker Recovery Key.
If you are have just activated your Bitlocker account, you could also email the recovery key to yourself for storage (not recommended).
How to find forgotten Bitlocker Recovery Key (Windows 10)?
The Bitlocker recovery keys are the only way to unlock your BitLocker encrypted hard drive without a password. If you have lost your key, here’s how to find it:
Step 1: Start the “Command Prompt” in Windows 10 without or with login.
1. Hold the Shift key down and click on Power > Start.
2. Simply click Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt in the Choose an Option window.
3. After logging in, open Command Prompt by pressing Windows + X and then choosing Command Prompt(Admin) from the menu.
4. Search for ‘Command Promt” in Windows Search.
Step 2: In the Command Prompt window execute the following command to obtain a new BitLocker Recovery Key:
manage-bde -protectors G: -get
The 48-digit password, which is the BitLocker Recovery Key, will display. You can then save it and use this recovery key to unlock BitLocker drives.
How to recover my Bitlocker Recovery Key without access to Windows?
This works if you have connected your computer/mobile device to a Microsoft account.
- Open a phone browser and go to https://support.microsfoft.com, https://endpoint.microsoft.com or https://devicemanagement.microsoft.com and log in to your Microsoft account.
- Click on “All Devices” and “Find Device.”
- Click on “Manage” to locate your Bitlocker-protected device/computer.
- Go to the “Monitor” section.
- Click on Recovery Keys.
Bitlocker Recovery Key – Video Guide
Restore your computer to a previous Restore Point.
If you cannot locate a Bitlocker Recovery Key that works, you can restore your Windows computer to the time before Bitlocker was installed.
- Start Windows in BIOS startup mode.
- Click Troubleshoot.
- Then, Click on Advanced Options
- Click on System Restore.
- Restore your computer to the Restore Point you used before Bitlocker was activated.
Https://aka.ms/recoverykeyfaq is Microsoft’s Bitlocker Recovery Key help page. It is available as an option on the Bitlocker Recovery screen. Although it is sparse and doesn’t address the most common issues, it does provide some solutions. This is why we created this help page. For a detailed Microsoft guide for specialists, please see https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security/information-protection/bitlocker/bitlocker-recovery-guide-plan.
Why is Windows asking for my BitLocker recovery key?
BitLocker is Windows encryption software. Windows will request a BitLocker key when it detects an insecure connection or a threat. BitLocker may unable to distinguish between a legitimate software/hardware update and an attack if there are changes in hardware, firmware, software, or both. BitLocker might then request the Bitlocker Recovery Key to verify that BitLocker is authorized to use the device it is trying to unlock.
How was BitLocker installed and activated on my device?
These three ways could BitLocker have activate:
- If your device is modern, the Bitlocker protection will start. After you have saved the BitLocker recovery code to your Microsoft account, the Bitlocker protection will also activate.
- The Administrator started BitLocker protection on your device. The Administrator activated BitLocker protection and chose where to save it. Or, it was reserved automatically for the owners/administrators of the Microsoft account.
- BitLocker protection could have been activated by a school or work organization. This organization should have your BitLocker recovery keys.
What is the BitLocker recovery key ID?
This is the BitLocker Recovery Key ID. It identifies your hard drive and allows you to encrypt/unlock it. If your Bitlocker key ID matches that on your drive, you can open it.
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