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How to Unlock an OS Drive Encrypted by BitLocker in Windows 10

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BitLocker Drive Encryption is a data protection feature that integrates with the operating system and addresses the threats of data theft or exposure from lost, stolen, or inappropriately decommissioned computers.

When you turn on BitLocker for an OS drive, you can choose to unlock the drive at startup with a password, USB flash drive, PIN (with TPM), or automatically unlock.

If you chose to unlock the OS drive with a password, PIN, or USB flash drive and forgot or lost them, then you can still unlock the OS drive with its BitLocker recovery key.

This tutorial will show you different ways on how to unlock an operating system (OS) drive encrypted by BitLocker in Windows 10.

CONTENTS:
  • Option One: Unlock BitLocker OS Drive at Startup with USB Flash Drive
  • Option Two: Unlock BitLocker OS Drive at Startup with Password
  • Option Three: Unlock BitLocker OS Drive at Startup with PIN
  • Option Four: Unlock BitLocker OS Drive at Startup with Recovery Key





Unlock OS Drive Encrypted by BitLocker in Windows 10 OPTION ONE Unlock OS Drive Encrypted by BitLocker in Windows 10
Unlock BitLocker OS Drive at Startup with USB Flash Drive

1. Boot the PC.

2. If you don't already have the USB flash drive with the BitLocker startup key on it connected, then connect the USB, and press Enter to reboot and try again. (see screenshot below)

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3. If successfully unlocked, you will now be able to sign in to Windows 10. (see screenshots below)

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Unlock OS Drive Encrypted by BitLocker in Windows 10 OPTION TWO Unlock OS Drive Encrypted by BitLocker in Windows 10
Unlock BitLocker OS Drive at Startup with Password

1. Boot the PC.

2. Enter the password to unlock this OS drive, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

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3. If successfully unlocked, you will now be able to sign in to Windows 10. (see screenshots below)

Name:  sign-in-1.jpg
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Unlock OS Drive Encrypted by BitLocker in Windows 10 OPTION THREE Unlock OS Drive Encrypted by BitLocker in Windows 10
Unlock BitLocker OS Drive at Startup with PIN

1. Boot the PC.

2. Enter the PIN to unlock this OS drive, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

Name:  Unlock_BitLocker_OS_drive_with_PIN.jpg
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3. If successfully unlocked, you will now be able to sign in to Windows 10. (see screenshots below)

Name:  sign-in-1.jpg
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Unlock OS Drive Encrypted by BitLocker in Windows 10 OPTION FOUR Unlock OS Drive Encrypted by BitLocker in Windows 10
Unlock BitLocker OS Drive at Startup with Recovery Key

1. Boot the PC.

2. Press the Esc key when you see the BitLocker screen. (see screenshot below)

Name:  Unlock_BitLocker_OS_drive_with_recovery_key-1.jpg
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3. Make note of the first section of numbers (ex: "19A6196C") for the Recovery key ID to help ID the recovery key for this OS drive. (see screenshot below)

Name:  Unlock_BitLocker_OS_drive_with_recovery_key-2.jpg
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4. Go to where you backed up the BitLocker recovery key for this OS drive. Look for the 48-digit recovery key for this OS drive that matches its key ID (ex: "19A6196C") from step 3 above. (see screenshot below)

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5. Enter the 48-digit recovery key for this drive from step 4 above, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

Name:  Unlock_BitLocker_OS_drive_with_recovery_key-4.jpg
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6. If successfully unlocked, you will now be able to sign in to Windows 10. (see screenshots below)

Name:  sign-in-1.jpg
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That's it,
Shawn