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How to find your BitLocker recovery key

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Intuit QuickBooks

BitLocker is a useful security feature for modern Windows installations that helps protect your files and data from prying eyes. But if you made major changes to your PC, or an administrator has triggered a security event, you may need to input your BitLocker recovery key to get into Windows. Don't have it at hand? Don't worry. Here's how to find your recovery key so you can log in again.

Difficulty

Easy

Duration

15 minutes

What You Need

  • Microsoft account login details

  • Desktop PC, laptop, or smart device with internet access

Did you write it down?

If you never recorded your BitLocker recovery key information anywhere physical, then you can skip this step. However, it's always worth checking if you wrote your recovery key down somewhere or, if you're on a network, asking the administrator to see if they have a note of the key.

If you can find that piece of paper, on a pen-drive, digital note, or other written form of BitLocker recovery key, it can save you some hassle by just grabbing that note and inputting it from there.

Azure AD recovery ID.
Jon Martindale / DigitalTrends

Is it a school or work device?

If you are trying to recover the BItlocker key for a device provided to you by your work or school, there's a chance that your BitLocker key is stored in the organizations Azure AD account. Try accessing the Azure AD recovery page yourself, and if possible, select Get BitLocker keys to find your keys.

If you can't access it directly, try asking your network or organization administrator to do it for you.

Recover your key from your Microsoft Account

The most straightforward way to find your BitLocker recovery key is to get it from your Microsoft account. All BitLocker keys associated with your account are stored there, and you can access them by logging in to the recovery site.

Step 1: Navigate to the Microsoft Bitlocker recovery page.

Step 2: Log in and, if necessary, verify your account details.

Step 3: Once logged in, you should see any relevant BitLocker keys attached to your account, with the name of the relevant device next to them.

If you don't have any relevant BitLocker keys related to that Microsoft account, you'll instead be greeted with the message:

"You don't have any BitLocker recovery keys uploaded to your Microsoft account.

Note: If someone else helped you set up your PC, the BitLocker keys you're looking for might be on their account."

You could try signing into another Microsoft account if you know the details.

Once you've recovered your PC, if you want to improve security further or supplant BitLocker with something else, here are some security tweaks you can do to make Windows more secure. Some Windows 11 security settings do reduce gaming performance, though. Check out our guide on how to boost gaming performance by changing Windows settings.

Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
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