Bitlocker asking for recovery key, instead of the password

When I mount and double click the drive, BitLocker wants me to enter a 48-digit recovery key and doesn't ask for a password. Why is that so and how can I enter a password instead?

In this situation, password was erased in Bitlocker metadata, Bitlocker encrypted drive is corrupted or Bitlocker metadata is corrupted. This article will introduce two solutions to solve 'Bitlocker asking for recovery key, instead of the password' issue.

Solution 1: Enter a 48-digit recovery key

48-digit recovery key is stored in a .BEK file as same as following sample:

Bitlocker recovery key

To verify that this is the correct 48-digit Bitlocker recovery key, compare the start of the above identifier with the identifier value displayed on your Bitlocker encrypted volume.

How/Where can I find my lost 48-digit Bitlocker recovery key?

How to get the lost 48-digit Bitlocker recovery key depends on how your PC is set up, there are different ways to get your 48-digit recovery key:

1. If you are a domain user, contact your administrator to get your recovery key. Check how to recover Bitlocker recovery password/key from Active Directory.

2. If you are not a domain user, there are several locations in which your BitLocker recovery key might have been saved. Here are some places to check:

  • Your Microsoft account online: This option is only available on non-domain-joined PCs. To get your recovery key, go to Microsoft account and get BitLocker Recovery Key.
  • A saved copy of the recovery key: You might have saved a copy of the BitLocker recovery key to a file, a USB flash drive, or printed a hard copy.

If Bitlocker doesn't accept correct 48-digit recovery key, please go to solution 2.

Solution 2: Bitlocker data recovery software

M3 Bitlocker Recovery is a professional Bitlocker data recovery software which can recover data from formatted, corrupted, failed, inaccessible, unknown, deleted or lost Bitlocker encrypted partition, recover data after Bitlocker drive encryption/decryption failed, stuck, froze, interrupted, hung, etc. as long as we provide the password or 48-digit Bitlocker recovery key.

Recover data from corrupted Bitlocker encrypted drive with M3 Bitlocker Recovery

Step 1: Download, install and launch M3 Bitlocker Recovery on your computer.

Step 2: Select the corrupted Bitlocker encrypted drive and click Next to continue.

Bitlocker data recovery software - M3 Bitlocker Recovery

Step 3: Enter the password or 48-digit recovery key.

Decrypt data from corrupted Bitlocker encrypted drive

Tips: If M3 Bitlocker Recovery doesn't accept correct password or 48-digit recovery key, it means Bitlocker metadata has been completely erased so that there is no way to unlock Bitlocker encrypted drive or decrypt data from Bitlocker encrypted drive.

Step 4: Scan the lost data from corrupted Bitlocker encrypted drive.

Recover data from corrupted Bitlocker encrypted drive

Step 5: After the lost data is found, please select them and click "Recover" to save.