How to recover deleted or lost files from BitLocker-encrypted drive?

Updated by Tim to BitLocker Recovery on April 14th, 2021

I have a Bitlocker(Windows 7 version) encrypted drive with a lot of data. Accidently I deleted a few files in it. I really want it back and there is no other copy. I tried normal recovery software and they wont work on BitLocker encrypted drive. Is there any way to recover deleted files from BitLocker encrypted drive?

The answer is Yes. This post will teach you how to recover deleted or lost files from BitLocker-encrypted drive.

How to recover files lost from BitLocker encrypted drive?

Data recovery is a complicated case and time-consuming job, so we list the common deleted files data loss cases so that you can find the correct solution to recover your data quickly and easily.

1. Restore deleted files from Recycle Bin

If you simply deleted files by moving them to the Recycle Bin and didn't execute "Empty Recycle Bin" operation, you can restore deleted files with ease.

Step 1: Open the Recycle Bin on your desktop.

Step 2: Locate and right-click the files you want to restore and choose "Restore", the deleted files will be restored to their original location.

Recover deleted files from Recycle Bin

If you have emptied the Recycle Bin, the recovery work is not easy.

When a file is deleted from your computer and emptied from Recycle Bin, Windows just deletes file entry and marks the disk space as being available for new files writing. If the deleted files are not overwritten, you can restore them with a file recovery software, but the BitLocker data recovery process varies, depending on the specific data loss environments.

2. Recover deleted files from C: drive encrypted by BitLocker

C: is the operating system drive. Since you start your computer, the C drive will be written with new data. So the deleted file recovery results depend on whether these lost files have been overwritten or not. Once they are overwritten, the recovered files will be corrupted and you cannot open them.

Tutorial to recover lost files from C: drive with M3 Data Recovery:

Step 1: To avoid ovewritting the lost files on C: drive, first download and install M3 Data Recovery on another drive.

Step 2: Launch M3 Data Recovery and choose "Data Recovery" module on the main interface.

Step 3: Select the C: drive and click Next to scan the lost files.

Scan deleted or lost files from unlocked BitLocker encrypted drive

Step 4: After your deleted files are found, preview the documents, photos and play the videos, audios to see if your lost files are recoverable.

File preview of M3 Data Recovery

Step 5: Choose the files you need and then click Recover to start recovery.

3. Recover deleted files from BitLocker-encrypted data drive

Data drive is different from C: drive where installed the operating system. Generally speaking, the deleted files won't be ovewritten until you write the new files. So you need to start data recovery job ASAP after realizing some files were mistakely deleted.

Tutorial to recover deleted files from BitLocker encrypted drive:

Step 1: Download and install M3 Data Recovery on your computer.

Step 2: Launch M3 Data Recovery and choose BitLocker Recovery module.

Free data recovery software

Step 3: Select BitLocker encrypted drive and click Next to continue.

Select BitLocker encrypted drive in M3 Data Recovery

Step 4: Enter the password or 48-digit recovery key and click Ok to scan the deleted files.

Enter the password for BitLocker encrypted drive

Step 5: After all your files are found, preview the documents, photos and play the videos, audios to see if your lost files are recoverable.

File preview of M3 Data Recovery

Step 6: Choose the files you need and then click Recover to start recovery.

4. Recover deleted files from SSD encrypted by BitLocker

Most laptaps installed a built-in solid-state drive (SSD) for fast read and write speed. However, we think you don't know the fact is as below:

Windows 7 and later version are set to automatically enable TRIM on SSD. When TRIM is enabled, Windows will send an instruction to your solid-state drive every time you delete a file. The solid-state drive can then automatically erase that file's contents so that they cannot be recovered by a data recovery software.

How to check if TRIM is enabled for your SSD:

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 fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify and then press Enter.

Step 4: You'll see one of two results: DisableDeleteNotify = 0, TRIM is enabled; DisableDeleteNotify = 1, TRIM is disabled.