How to bypass BitLocker recovery screen on startup?

Updated by Tim to BitLocker Recovery Tips on September 17th, 2020

Some users have reported in forum posts that they are prompted to enter a BitLocker recovery key when starting Windows 10, 8, 7 or Surface every time.

BitLocker recovery screen asks for BitLocker recovery key

BitLocker drive encryption software usually should not ask for the BitLocker recovery key upon PC boot up during a normal startup. Under some curcumstances, it might ask for the BitLocker recovery key after motherboard hardware changes, a crash or if the program believes the data might be under attack, but it should not happen continuously.

How to solve BitLocker recovery screen asking for recovery key on startup?

Follow below steps to pass BitLocker recovery screen or BitLocker recovery loop:

Solution 1: Suspend BitLocker protection and resume it

Step 1: Start your Windows computer or Surface.

Step 2: Enter BitLocker recovery key (How/Where to find BitLocker recovery key?) when seeing BitLocker recovery screen.

If BitLocker recovery key is not accepted, go to solution 2.

If you cannot find BitLocker recovery key, refer to how to extract recovery key from TPM, but this solution is very difficult to operate in our life.

Step 3: Once Windows OS is started, go to Start -> Control Panel -> BitLocker Drive Encryption.

Step 4: Click "Suspend protection" option next to the C drive (Or click "Turn off BitLocker" to disable BitLocker drive encryption on C drive).

Step 5: A dialog box window will open asking "Do you want to suspend BitLocker protection?", press the Yes button to confirm.

Step 6: Wait a few minutes after suspending protection and then click the "Resume protection" option to update BitLocker TPM.

Step 7: Click "Change password" to reset the invalid password.

Step 8: Restart your computer and check if BitLocker recovery screen persists.

Solution 2: Use manage-bde

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

Step 1: On the BitLocker recovery screen, don't enter your recovery key. Instead, select "Skip this drive".

Step 2: On the next screen, select Troubleshoot.

Step 3: On the Troubleshoot screen, select Advanced options.

Step 4: On the Advanced options screen, select Command prompt.

Step 5: From the WinRE command prompt, manually type the commad: manage-bde -unlock C: -rp recoverypassword to unlock the drive and press Enter.

If manage-bde failed to unlock this BitLocker volume, download M3 Data Recovery WinPE edition and create M3 Data Recovery WinPE boot disk to rescue data.

Step 6: Type the command: manage-bde -protectors -disable C: to suspend the BitLocker protection.

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

Solution 3: 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.

How to rescue data after BitLocker recovery screen doesn't accept BitLocker recovery key?

M3 BitLocker Recovery is a BitLocker data recovery software which can recover data from BitLocker drive on Windows 10/8/7 and Windows Server 2016/2012/2008/2003.

M3 BitLocker Recovery can recover lost data from failed, corrupted, inaccessible BitLocker drive; recover lost data from formatted BitLocker drive; recover lost data from deleted or lost BitLocker encrypted partition, recover lost data after BitLocker drive encryption failed, interrupted, etc. after supplying the password or BitLocker recovery key.

Tutorial to rescue data from BitLocker encrypted OS drive:

Step 1: Connect the hard drive to another computer as an external hard drive. If not, please download M3 Data Recovery WinPE edition and create M3 Data Recovery WinPE boot disk to rescue your data.

Step 2: Download, install and launch M3 BitLocker Recovery software on your computer.

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

M3 BitLocker Recovery

Step 4: Enter the password or 48-digit BitLocker recovery key and click Ok.

Enter the password or recovery key in M3 BitLocker Recovery

Step 5: M3 BitLocker Recovery is decryptiong data from BitLocker drive.

Data recovery from stuck BitLocker drive

Step 6: After the scan completes, select the files you need and click Recover to start recovery.

Recover lost data from BitLocker drive

If you find some recovered files cannot be opened, check "Revert decryption" option to recover them again.

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