Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10  

    Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10

    Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10

    How to Backup BitLocker Recovery Key for Drive in Windows 10
    Published by
    28 Mar 2022
    Designer Media Ltd



    How to Backup BitLocker Recovery Key for Drive in Windows 10


    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.

    See also: How to Find BitLocker recovery key in Windows 10

    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.

    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






    OPTION ONE

    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)

    Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10-back_up_bitlocker_recovery_key-1.jpg

    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)

    Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10-back_up_bitlocker_recovery_key-2.png

    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 OneDrive BitLocker recovery keys or BitLocker recovery keys.

    Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10-microsoft_account_bitlocker_recovery_key.png

    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.

    Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10-usb_bitlocker_recovery_key.png

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

    Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10-save_bitlocker_recovery_key.png
    Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10-save_bitlocker_recovery_key-2.png
    Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10-bitlocker_recovery_key_file.png

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

    Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10-print_bitlocker_recovery_key.png


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

    Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10-back_up_bitlocker_recovery_key-3.png






    OPTION TWO

    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

    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

    Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10-bitlocker_recovery_key_command-1.png

    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)

    Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10-bitlocker_recovery_key_command-2.png






    OPTION THREE

    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

    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

    Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10-bitlocker_recovery_key_powershell-1.png

    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)

    Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10-bitlocker_recovery_key_powershell-2.png


    That's it,
    Shawn Brink





  1. Posts : 228
    Win 10 Home x64
       #1

    Can you re-upload the key to the M$ account if you delete it accidentally? in Win10 home there's no link to "save to Ms account" when you go to the backup menu. thanks
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 61,533
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter
       #2

    gabgab said:
    Can you re-upload the key to the M$ account if you delete it accidentally? in Win10 home there's no link to "save to Ms account" when you go to the backup menu. thanks
    Hello,

    BitLocker is not available in the Home edition. You would only have Device Encryption instead if supported.

    Just to verify, are you currently signed in to Windows with your Microsoft account when trying to backup the recovery key?
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 228
    Win 10 Home x64
       #3

    Brink said:
    Hello,

    BitLocker is not available in the Home edition. You would only have Device Encryption instead if supported.

    Just to verify, are you currently signed in to Windows with your Microsoft account when trying to backup the recovery key?
    i've managed to do it - turned off encryption, then logged to M$ account, then switched encryption back on and then it uploaded to the account, this time also with the correct date. before it was "invalid". However, if you do delete it, there's no way to click on "save to MS account again", looks like that's available only for bitlocker.
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 9,783
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 21H2
       #4

    Hi @gabgab,

    If your PC is Device Encryption enabled, there is no link to upload it to your Microsoft Account. If you are using your Microsoft Account credentials to login ( as done in the initial setup), the keys are automatically uploaded into your Microsoft Account. (Device encryption gets enabled only if you use Microsoft account login to log in to your system)

    When you "Turn off"" Device Encryption, your disk will be decrypted (All drives in the system disk will be decrypted). Once decryption is completed, you will see the "Turn on" button. When you click on it, the system drive plus all the drives in the system disk will be encrypted and the new recovery keys will automatically get uploaded to your Microsoft account.

    You can manually save the keys to a file or print as shown below.

    Settings > Update & Security > Device Encryption


    Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10-01-03-2022-18-55-53.jpg

    Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10-01-03-2022-19-00-23.jpg

    Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10-01-03-2022-19-12-36.jpg
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 228
    Win 10 Home x64
       #5

    jumanji said:
    Hi @gabgab,

    If your PC is Device Encryption enabled, there is no link to upload it to your Microsoft Account. If you are using your Microsoft Account credentials to login ( as done in the initial setup), the keys are automatically uploaded into your Microsoft Account. (Device encryption gets enabled only if you use Microsoft account login to log in to your system)

    When you "Turn off"" Device Encryption, your disk will be decrypted (All drives in the system disk will be decrypted). Once decryption is completed, you will see the "Turn on" button. When you click on it, the system drive plus all the drives in the system disk will be encrypted and the new recovery keys will automatically get uploaded to your Microsoft account.

    You can manually save the keys to a file or print as shown below.

    Settings > Update & Security > Device Encryption


    Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10-01-03-2022-18-55-53.jpg

    Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10-01-03-2022-19-00-23.jpg

    Backup BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10-01-03-2022-19-12-36.jpg
    yep, thanks that's what i figured ;-)
      My Computer


 

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