Laptop, Windows, BitLocker keeps asking for recovery key

If you have the correct recovery key, free download iBoysoft Data Recovery WinPE bootable media to recover data from BitLocker encrypted OS drive now.

Updated by Tim to BitLocker Recovery on April 26th, 2021

What causes BitLocker asking for recovery key?

There are several reasons caused laptop keeps asking for recovery key on every boot Windows 10:

Malware attack
Authentication errors, such as entering incorrect PIN
Boot/BIOS changes. For example, changes to the master boot record (MBR) on the disk
Hardware, software and firmware changes. For example, Windows update causes bitlocker recovery
Learn more reasons...

As long as there is somthing that effects the Windows startup routine and causes the hash to be changed and not match what Bitlocker expects, Windows 10 boots into BitLocker recovery screen and asks for recovery key again and again.

How to stop Windows asking for recovery key?

Some users have reported in forum posts that they saw BitLocker recovery screen asking for recovery key at startup Windows 10 from Dell, Hp, Lenovo, Samsung, ASUS laptops, etc.

BitLocker recovery screen asks for BitLocker recovery key

After experiencing computer keeps asking for recovery key, how to stop it?

Method 1: Suspend BitLocker protection

Entering the recovery key is a quick way to bypass BitLocker recovery screen when BitLocker recovery key keeps prompting at boot Windows 10.

Step 1: Enter the recovery key on BitLocker recovery screen.

If you log into your computer using a Microsoft account, the encryption starts automatically and the recovery key is backed up to your Microsoft account.

Use another computer or mobile device, go to the site: https://account.microsoft.com/devices/recoverykey, follow the on-screen instructions to log into your Microsoft account and find the recovery key that looks like this:
BitLocker recovery keys
Username you have chosen
Key ID: 5634AB5C
Recovery key: 597795-347886-541236-789456-456789-124567-543216-894567

Step 2: Once Windows OS is started, please go to Start -> Control Panel -> BitLocker Drive Encryption.

Step 3: Click "Suspend protection" option next to the C drive (Or click "Turn off BitLocker" to disable BitLocker drive encryption on C drive).

Suspend BitLocker protection

Step 4: A dialog box window will open asking "Do you want to suspend BitLocker protection?", please press the Yes button to confirm.

Step 5: Wait a few minutes after suspending protection and then click the "Resume protection" option to update BitLocker TPM.

Method 2: Remove the protectors from the boot drive

If you've entered the correct BitLocker recovery key multiple times, and are still unable to continue past the BitLocker recovery screen, follow these steps to break out of the BitLocker recovery screen.

Step 1: On the BitLocker recovery screen, press Esc for more BitLocker recovery options.

BitLocker recovery screen -press Esc

Step 2: Select Skip this drive at the right corner.

BitLocker recovery screen -skip this drive

Step 3: On the next screen, select Troubleshoot.

Step 4: On the Troubleshoot screen, select Advanced options.

Step 5: On the Advanced options screen, select Command prompt.

Step 6: From the WinRE command prompt, manually type the commad: manage-bde -unlock C: -rp recoverykey and press Enter.

If manage-bde failed to unlock this BitLocker volume, go to solution 3 and recover data with iBoysoft Data Recovery WinPE edition.

Step 7: Type the command: manage-bde -protectors -disable C: to remove the protectors from the boot drive.

Once the last command is run, you can safely exit the command prompt and continue to boot into your operating system.

Step 8: Restart your computer and enter the recovery key.

Method 3: Enable secure boot

Step 1: On the BitLocker recovery screen, press Esc for more BitLocker recovery options.

Step 2: Select Skip this drive at the right corner.

Step 3: On the next screen, select "Troubleshoot".

Step 4: On the Troubleshoot screen, select "Advanced options".

Step 5: On the Advanced options screen, select "UEFI Firmware Settings", and then select Restart.

Step 6: Your computer will be started to UEFI, select the "Security" section.

Step 7: Click Change Configuration under "Secure Boot".

Step 8: Select "Microsoft Only" and click OK.

Step 9: Select "Exit", and then Restart to reboot the device.

Method 4: Update your BIOS

If you're experiencing Bitlocker password prompt screen problem, the problem might be your BIOS.

To update your BIOS to the latest version, be sure to check your motherboard manual for step-by-step instructions.

Method 5: Disable secure boot

If updating your BIOS has failed to solve BitLocker password screen problem, we suggest you to disable your Secure Boot feature in your BIOS options.

Step 1: On the BitLocker recovery screen, press Esc for more BitLocker recovery options.

Step 2: Select Skip this drive at the right corner.

Step 3: On the next screen, select "Troubleshoot".

Step 4: On the Troubleshoot screen, select "Advanced options".

Step 5: On the Advanced options screen, select "UEFI Firmware Settings", and then select Restart.

Step 6: Your computer will be started to UEFI, find the Secure Boot setting and set it to Disabled.

Method 6: Use legacy boot

Windows 10 uses a new graphical boot menu, and sometimes the boot menu can cause BitLocker password prompt screen. So switching back to legacy boot can solve this problem.

Step 1: Type "cmd" in the search bar of Windows Taskbar.

Step 2: Right click on cmd.exe and choose "Run as Administrator" to run the command prompt.

Run cmd as Administrator

Step 3: After seeing Command Prompt window, type "bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy" and then press Enter.

Method 7: Turn off auto-unlock option

Generally, when the Auto-unlock option in Windows 10 is enabled, BitLocker keeps asking for a recovery key. So, you can try turning it off to avoid the issue.

Step 1: After Windows OS is started, go to Start -> Control Panel -> BitLocker Drive Encryption.

Step 2: Click "Turn off auto-unlock" option next to the C drive.

Step 3: After turning off auto-unlock option, restart your computer. Hopefully, your issue will be resolved after the reboot.

Method 8: Update Windows OS

Another common reason why BitLocker keeps asking for recovery key in Windows 10 is that you have an outdated system. Therefore, it is essential to install the latest updates from time to time to avoid this issue.

Step 1: Click Start and then type Update in the search bar.

Step 2: Click on "Check for updates".

Step 3: You will see the available updates, click "Download" or "Download and install" to download and install the updates.

Method 9: Uninstall and reinstall the problematic update

Keeping your system up to date is surely a winning strategy. However some certain updates can cause this problem, and in order to fix this problem you should uninstall the problematic update and reinstall it.

Step 1: Press the Windows logo key and the I key to open the Settings app.

Step 2: Click Update & Security.

Step 3: Select View your update history.

Step 4: Click Uninstall updates.

Step 5: Locate the problematic update and double-click it to uninstall it.

Step 6: Restart your computer.

Step 7: After removing the update you need to temporarily suspend BitLocker in Control Panel.

Step 8: Reinstall the update. Simply go to Windows Update section in the Settings app and check for updates to automatically download the missing update.

Step 9: Resume BitLocker protection in Control Panel.

Method 10: Uninstall the newly installed hardware

If you have installed new hardware, it may create issues with the BitLocker. What you need to do is make sure no unnecessary external devices are connected to your computer when booting.

Method 11: Recover data from BitLocker encrypted OS drive

If you are unable to pass the BitLocker recovery prompt screen with the above solutions, try to recover data from the corrupted BitLocker encrypted OS drive with a professional data recovery software.

iBoysoft Data Recovery is a professional data recovery software which can recover deleted files, recover lost data from formatted drive, recvoer data from RAW, inaccessible, corrupted drive, recover lost data from deleted/lost partition, recover lost data from BitLocker encrypted drive on Windows 10/8/7/XP and Windows Server 2016/2012/2008/2003.

iBoysoft Data Recovery also provides a WinPE boot disk which can recover data from BitLocker encrypted drive after computer crashed or failed.

Step 1: Download iBoysoft Data Recovery WinPE edition: iboysoftdatarecovery.iso.

Step 2: Burn iBoysoft Data Recovery WinPE edition: iboysoftdatarecovery.iso file to a USB drive with the burning tool.

Step 3: Set the computer to be booted from iBoysoft Data Recovery WinPE boot disk.

Step 4: Boot your computer from iBoysoft Data Recovery WinPE boot disk.

Step 5: Once iBoysoft Data Recovery is loaded, choose BitLocker Recovery module.

Choose BitLocker Recovery module in iBoysoft Data Recovery

Step 6: Select BitLocker encrypted OS drive.

Step 7: Enter 48-digit BitLocker recovery key and then click OK to to decrypt data from BitLocker encrypted OS drive.

Enter the password or 48-digit BitLocker recovery key

The 48-digit recovery key is the only way to decrypt data from BitLocker encrypted OS drive due to TPM. If you don't have it, there is no way to recover lost data with iBoysoft Data Recovery.

Step 8: iBoysoft Data Recovery is scanning the data from BitLocker encrypted OS drive.

Scan lost data from BitLocker encrypted drive

Step 9: After the scan completes, select the files and click Recover to start data recovery process.

Recover lost data from BitLocker encrypted drive

Method 12: Format the C: drive and reinstall Windows OS

If you don't care about the data stored on C drive, formatting the C: drive and reinstalling Windows OS is the best choice to solve Windows asking for recovery key problem.