How to find BitLocker recovery key and do BitLocker recovery?

If you have suffered data loss from BitLocker encrypted drive, free download M3 BitLocker Recovery to recover data now.

Updated by Tim to BitLocker Recovery on May 8th, 2021

Table of Content

What is BitLocker

BitLocker is a full disk encryption feature included with selected editions of Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10. It is designed to protect data by providing encryption for the entire volume.

What is BitLocker recovery key?

A BitLocker recovery key, aka Microsoft recovery key or Windows recovery key, it is a special key that was automatically generated when setting up BitLocker drive encryption on the specific drive.

BitLocker recovery key is stored in a .BEK file named like BitLocker Recovery Key 444C8E16-45E7-4F23-96CE-3B3FA04D2189.BEK as below:

BitLocker recovery key

BitLocker recovery key format: 419595-387156-44334-315590-197472-399399-320562-361383

BitLocker recovery key is used to unlock your BitLocker encrypted drive when you forget the BitLocker password or BitLocker password is not working.

Where and how to find BitLocker recovery key?

Microsoft's BitLocker drive encryption always forces you to save a BitLocker recovery key when you set it up. You may have stored it online with a Microsoft account, saved it to a USB drive, saved it to a file or printed that recovery key, etc., so you can find the recovery key in these ways:

Option 1: In your Microsoft account

To retrieve the recovery key that was stored to onedrive, visit the site:https://account.microsoft.com/devices/recoverykey (The previous page is http://windows.microsoft.com/recoverykey), sign in with your Microsoft account and then you will see the recovery key.

Option 2: Find BitLocker recovery key on a USB flash drive

To find the BitLockerrecovery key, insert that USB flash drive into your computer and view it.

BitLocker recovery key on a USB drive

Option 3: Find the BitLocker recovery key in a txt file

BitLocker recovery key may be saved as a txt file in your computer. If you have not deleted it, search BitLocker Recovery Key.txt in your computer.

BitLocker recovery key

If you have deleted that BitLocker Recovery Key.txt file, download free data recovery software: M3 Data Recovery to scan your computer now.

Option 4: Find the BitLocker recovery key in a document

If you printed BitLocker recovery key by "Microsoft Print to PDF", search for pdf file on your computer.

Print BitLocker recovery key

If you have not found that pdf file by Windows search, download free data recovery software: M3 Data Recovery to scan your computer now.

Option 5: Find the BitLocker recovery key in Active Directory

If you are a domain user, the BitLocker recovery key may be saved to Active Directory (AD), contact your administrator to get it.

BitLocker Recovery Password Viewer can locate and view BitLocker recovery key that is stored in Active Directory (AD).

Tutorial to view BitLocker recovery key in Active Directory:

In Active Directory Users and Computers, locate and then click the container in which the computer is located. For example, click the Computers container.

Right-click the computer object, and then click Properties.

In the ComputerName Properties dialog box, click the BitLocker Recovery tab to view the BitLocker recovery keys that are associated with the particular computer.

Option 6: In your Azure Active Directory account

For work PCs where you sign in with an Azure Active Directory account, see the device info for your Microsoft Azure account and get the recovery key.

Cannot find BitLocker recovery key, what to do?

If you cannot get BitLocker recovery key with the above methods, read our article: How to unlock BitLocker encrypted drive without password and recovery key.

How to verify if the BitLocker recovery key is correct?

To verify if BitLocker recovery key is correct, compare the start of the full BitLocker recovery key identifier with recovery key ID value. See below example:

BitLocker recovery key ID

BitLocker recovery key ID is a BitLocker recovery key identifier. If BitLocker recovery key ID matches the one displayed on your drive, you can unlock that drive. If BitLocker recovery key ID doesn't match the one displayed on your drive, BitLocker recovery key doesn't match this drive and the drive cannot be unlocked. In that case, you need to find the correct BitLocker recovery key.

How to find BitLocker recovery key ID value?

For the BitLocker encrypted operating system volume, BitLocker recovery key ID is displayed on the BitLocker recovery screen.

BitLocker recovery screen

For BitLocker encrypted data drive, BitLocker recovery key ID is displayed when users click on "More options" and then on Enter recovery key in the wizard to unlock a BitLocker encrypted drive.

BitLocker recovery key ID

How to use BitLocker recovery key ID to unlock the drive?

BitLocker recovery key ID is just a BitLocker recovery key identifier, it cannot unlock BitLocker encrypted drive. In this case, you still need to find BitLocker recovery key according to key ID.

How to get BitLocker recovery key with key ID?

If you can find BitLocker recovery key txt file or saved the BitLocker recovery key in your Microsoft account, AD, Azure AD, you can find the correct BitLocker recovery key according to key ID. Otherwise, there is no way to get BitLocker recovery key.

What is BitLocker recovery?

BitLocker recovery is the process by which you can restore access to a BitLocker encrypted drive in the event that you cannot unlock that BitLocker encrypted drive normally.

If it is a BitLocker encrypted operating system drive, free download BitLocker recovery boot disk to recover your data.

How to do BitLocker recovery?

Unlike common data recovery, BitLocker data recovery requires the intact BitLocker metadata and password or BitLocker recovery key to decrypt data.

BitLocker recovery software free download

Sometimes, the password and BitLocker recovery key won't unlock BitLocker encrypted drive. In this situation,, a professional BitLocker recovery software is required.

M3 BitLocker Recovery is a professional BitLocker data recovery software. It can recover data from failed, corrupted, lost or deleted BitLocker-encrypted partition, etc. after supplying the password or recovery key.

Tutorial to recover data from BitLocker encrypted drive:

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

M3 BitLocker Recovery

Step 2: Select BitLocker encrypted drive and click Next to continue.

Step 3: Enter the password or 48-digit BitLocker recovery key to decrypt data from BitLocker encrypted drive.

M3 BitLocker Recovery - Enter the password or 48-digit BitLocker recovery key

Step 4: M3 BitLocker Recovery is scanning and decrypting the data from the specific BitLocker encrypted drive.

Scan data from 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 BitLocker Recovery

Step 6: Select the needed files and click "Recover" to start the recovery.

If you find some recovered files cannot be opened, check "Revert decryption" option under Help menu and recover them again.

BitLocker recovery key FAQ

Q: How to get BitLocker recovery key with the recovery key ID?

A: If you are a domain user, contact your administrator to get BitLocker recovery key according to the recovery key ID.

Q: BitLocker encrypted drive doesn't accept the password and recovery key, how to unlock it?

A: In this situation, BitLocker encrypted drive has been corrupted, try M3 BitLocker Recovery to recover lost data.

Q: Why does BitLocker recovery screen prompt for recovery key every boot Windows 10/8/7?

A: You may encounter an issue so that BitLocker asks for a recovery key every boot, for example, BitLocker sees a new device in the boot list or an attached external storage device, it will prompt for the recovery key for the security reasons.

Q: What causes BitLocker to ask for recovery key?

A: Boot order is changed. The hardware has been changed. The password information has been completely erased from the BitLocker metadata due to accidental unplugging, virus attack, etc.

Q: Is there a BitLocker recovery key generator ?

A: No, every BitLocker encrypted drive has its own unique BitLocker recovery key.