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How to Backup BitLocker Recovery Key for Drive in Windows 10

information   Information
A BitLocker recovery key is a special key that you can create when you turn on Bitlocker Drive Encryption for the first time on each drive that you encrypt. You can use the recovery key to gain access to your computer if the operating system drive (drive that Windows is installed on) is encrypted using BitLocker Drive Encryption and BitLocker detects a condition that prevents it from unlocking the drive when the computer is starting up. A recovery key can also be used to gain access to your files and folders on a fixed data drive (internal hard drive) or removable data drive (such as an external hard drive or USB flash drive) that is encrypted by BitLocker, if for some reason you forget the password or your computer cannot access the drive.

You can back up the BitLocker recovery key for an encrypted drive by printing it, saving it to your Microsoft account, saving it to a USB flash drive, and/or saving it to a file where you like. It is recommended to store the recovery key separate from your computer, and make additional copies to be safe and have available if ever needed to recover the encrypted drive with.

If you lose the BitLocker recovery key for an encrypted drive, you will lose all your data on the drive if you get locked out of it and have to format the drive.

This tutorial will show you how to back up the recovery key of a drive encrypted by BitLocker in Windows 10.
Note   Note
If your PC is connected to a domain (usually a work or school computer), ask a system administrator for your recovery key.

CONTENTS:
  • Option One: To Back up BitLocker Recovery Key for Drive in Control Panel
  • Option Two: To Back up BitLocker Recovery Key for Drive in Command Prompt
  • Option Three: To Back up BitLocker Recovery Key for Drive in PowerShell





Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10 OPTION ONE Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10
To Back up BitLocker Recovery Key for Drive in Control Panel

1. Open the Control Panel (icons view), and click/tap on the BitLocker Drive Encryption icon.

2. Expand open the drive you want to back up your BitLocker recovery key for, and click/tap on the Back up your recovery key link. (see screenshot below)

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3. Select how (Microsoft account, USB, file, and/or print) you want to back up your BitLocker recovery key for this drive. (see screenshot below)

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Note   Note
Microsoft account = This option is only available when you are signed in to Windows 10 with a Microsoft account. It will save the BitLocker recovery key online to your OneDrive for your Microsoft account at Microsoft services.

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USB flash drive = This option will save the BitLocker recovery key .TXT file to a selected USB flash drive. You will not have this option available for removable data drives.

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File = This option will save the BitLocker recovery key .TXT file to a location you select.

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Print = This option will print the BitLocker recovery key to the selected printer.

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4. Click/tap on Finish when you have finished backing up your recovery key. (see screenshot below)

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Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10 OPTION TWO Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10
To Back up BitLocker Recovery Key for Drive in Command Prompt

1. Open an elevated command prompt.

2. Type the command below into the elevated command prompt, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

manage-bde -protectors - get <drive letter>: > %UserProfile%\Desktop\BitLocker_Recovery_Key.txt

Note   Note
Substitute <drive letter> in the command above with the actual drive letter of the encrypted drive you want to back up your recovery key for.

For example: manage-bde -protectors - get F: > %UserProfile%\Desktop\BitLocker_Recovery_Key.txt

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3. Your BitLocker recovery key for the drive will now be saved to a BitLocker_Recover_Key.txt file created on your desktop. You can move this file to where you like for safe keeping. (see screenshot below)

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Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10 OPTION THREE Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10
To Back up BitLocker Recovery Key for Drive in PowerShell

1. Open an elevated PowerShell.

2. Type the command below into the elevated PowerShell, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

(Get-BitLockerVolume -MountPoint <drive letter>).KeyProtector > $env:UserProfile\Desktop\BitLocker_Recovery_Key.txt

Note   Note
Substitute <drive letter> in the command above with the actual drive letter of the encrypted drive you want to back up your recovery key for.

For example:

(Get-BitLockerVolume -MountPoint F).KeyProtector > $env:UserProfile\Desktop\BitLocker_Recovery_Key.txt

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3. Your BitLocker recovery key for the drive will now be saved to a BitLocker_Recover_Key.txt file created on your desktop. You can move this file to where you like for safe keeping. (see screenshot below)

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That's it,
Shawn