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

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Updated by Tim to BitLocker Recovery on May 19th, 2021

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 BitLocker recovery key upon PC boot up during a normal startup. Under some curcumstances, Windows might ask for 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 bypass BitLocker recovery screen asking for BitLocker recovery key?

Follow below methods to stop BitLocker recovery screen or BitLocker recovery loop:

Fix 1: Suspend BitLocker protection and resume it

1. Start your Windows computer or Surface.

2. Enter the BitLocker recovery key when seeing BitLocker recovery screen.

If you have saved the 48-digit BitLocker recovery key in Microsoft account, visit the site: https://account.microsoft.com/devices/recoverykey, sign in with your Microsoft account and then you will see the BitLocker recovery key.

If BitLocker recovery key is not accepted, go to method 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.

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

4. 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

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

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

7. Click Change password to reset the invalid BitLocker password.

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

Fix 2: Remove the protectors from the boot drive

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

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

BitLocker recovery screen -press Esc

2. Select Skip this drive at the right corner.

BitLocker recovery screen -skip this drive

3. On the next screen, select Troubleshoot.

4. On the Troubleshoot screen, select Advanced options.

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

6. 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 with the correct recovery password, download iBoysoft Data Recovery WinPE edition and create iBoysoft Data Recovery WinPE boot disk to save your data.

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.

Fix 3: Enable the secure boot

1. On the BitLocker recovery screen asking for recovery key, press Esc for more BitLocker recovery options and then select Skip this drive.

2. On the next screen, select Troubleshoot.

3. On the Troubleshoot screen, select Advanced options.

4. On the Advanced options screen, select UEFI Firmware Settings and then select Restart.

5. Your computer will be started to UEFI, select the Security section.

6. Click Change Configuration under Secure Boot.

7. Select Microsoft Only and click OK.

8. Select Exit and then Restart to reboot the device.

Fix 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.

Fix 5: Disable the 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.

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

2. Select Skip this drive at the right corner.

3. On the next screen, select Troubleshoot.

4. On the Troubleshoot screen, select Advanced options.

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

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

Fix 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.

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

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

Run cmd as Administrator

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

Fix 7: 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.

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

2. Click Update & Security.

3. Select View your update history.

4. Click Uninstall updates.

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

6. Restart your computer.

7. After removing the updates you need to temporarily suspend BitLocker protection in Control Panel.

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

9. Resume BitLocker protection in Control Panel.

Fix 8: 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.

Fix 9: Format the C: drive and reinstall OS

If you don't care data loss, reformatting the boot drive will easily and quickly solve this problem.

Toturial to format the C: drive and reinstall OS

Step 1: On the BitLocker recovery screen asking for recovery key, press Esc for more BitLocker recovery options and then 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, type the commad: list disk and press Enter.

List disk with diskpart command

Step 6: Type select disk X command and press Enter.

Select disk with diskpart command

Step 7: Type list volume command and press Enter.

List volume with diskpart command

Step 8: Type select volume X command and press Enter (Replace X with the volume number of your OS drive).

Select volume with diskpart command

Step 9: Type format fs=ntfs label=volume label quick and press Enter to execute the format.

Step 10: Reinstall Windows 10 from a USB drive or an external installer.

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

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

iBoysoft BitLocker Recovery can recover lost data from failed, corrupted, inaccessible BitLocker encrypted drive; recover lost data from formatted BitLocker encrypted 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 recover data from BitLocker encrypted OS drive:

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

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

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

iBoysoft BitLocker Recovery

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

Enter the password or recovery key in iBoysoft BitLocker Recovery

Step 5: iBoysoft BitLocker Recovery is decryptiong data from BitLocker encrypted drive.

Data recovery from stuck BitLocker encrypted drive

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

Recover lost data from BitLocker encrypted drive