How to Bypass BitLocker Recovery Key on Windows 11

In Short
  • When BitLocker is enabled, your PC will ask you to enter the recovery key in case you have changed the hardware.
  • While bypassing the BitLocker recovery key is almost impossible, there are a few ways to recover some data from other drives.
  • We have also added a few methods to find the BitLocker recovery key and decrypt your PC.

On a clean installation of the Windows 11 24H2 build, Microsoft enables BitLocker encryption by default. Lately, many laptop makers have started enabling BitLocker to protect user data in case of theft. Many users are unaware of it, leading to data loss. The system asks the user to enter the BitLocker recovery key on the blue screen. So if you are wondering whether you can bypass the BitLocker Recovery key on Windows 11, you have come to the right place.

Windows 11 doesn’t let you bypass BitLocker encryption without the recovery key. Since BitLocker encryption is attested and stored on the hardware TPM chip, it’s not easy to tamper it. Nevertheless, there are some ways you can use to unlock your computer and move past the BitLocker recovery key screen. These methods can help you retrieve some or all of the data from your Windows PC.

Method 1: Look For the Recovery Key in Your Microsoft Account

You might not be aware, but if you are signed in with a Microsoft account on your Windows PC, your BitLocker key is automatically saved to your Microsoft account. Here are the steps to locate it.

  1. Head over to account.microsoft.com/devices/recoverykey (visit) and sign in with the Microsoft account that was logged into your PC.
  2. Here, you will find the 48-digit BitLocker recovery key. Note it down.
find bitlocker recovery in microsoft account
  1. Now, move to the BitLocker blue screen and enter the recovery key and hit Continue. Once you do that, it will decrypt the drive, and you can log in to your PC without any issues.
enter bitlocker recovery key
  1. Now, go ahead and turn off BitLocker on your PC using our dedicated Disable BitLocker in Windows guide.
disable bitlocker on windows 11

Method 2: Locate the BitLocker Recovery Key on Other Drives

BitLocker encryption also allows users to save the recovery key on other drives or an external USB flash drive. You might have saved it on your PC or a thumb drive, you just have to look for it. Here are the steps to follow.

  1. On the BitLocker blue screen where you are asked to enter the recovery key, press the Esc key.
  2. If it asks you to enter the recovery key again, press the Esc key again.
  3. Now, click on the Skip this drive option at the bottom right.
enter bitlocker recovery key
  1. Here, click on Troubleshoot.
troubleshoot bitlocker encryption
  1. After that, navigate to Advanced options > Command Prompt.
open command prompt in windows recovery
  1. In the Command Prompt window, type “notepad” and hit Enter.
  2. In the Notepad window, go to File > Open.
open notepad via windows recovery menu
  1. Next, go to This PC and select a drive to open. The encrypted C drive won’t be accessible, but you can open other drives.
How to Bypass BitLocker Recovery Key on Windows 11
  1. Now, look for the recovery key. It should be a text file and the filename starts with “BitLocker Recovery Key …”
How to Bypass BitLocker Recovery Key on Windows 11
  1. Open it, and you will find the 48-digit recovery key. Note it down, restart your PC, and enter the recovery key. You can now access your PC right away.
note down bitlocker recovery key
  1. Apart from that, look for the BitLocker Recovery Key text file on your external thumb drives as well.

Method 3: Recover Data From Other Drives

If you have not been able to find the BitLocker recovery key from your Microsoft account or other drives, you can, at least, recover data from other drives. BitLocker usually encrypts the C drive, so other drives are accessible through the recovery menu. Follow the instructions below.

  1. Firstly, follow the above method and open the Command Prompt window in the Recovery screen.
  2. Next, type “notepad” and hit Enter.
  3. Here, go to File > Open.
open notepad via windows recovery menu
  1. After that, click on This PC and then open other drives. You will be able to access them. Now, connect an external USB drive to your PC.
How to Bypass BitLocker Recovery Key on Windows 11
  1. Now, simply copy the files and paste them to your external USB drive. This way, you can copy and recover files from other unencrypted drives.
How to Bypass BitLocker Recovery Key on Windows 11

Method 4: Reinstall Windows 11

If none of the methods worked, and you have recovered some of the data from other drives, you have no other options, but to reinstall Windows 11. Sadly, this means all your data will be lost. You can read our detailed Perform a clean Windows 11 install guide to learn more.

reinstall windows 11

While there is no easy way to tamper with the TPM chip, stacksmashing on YouTube, a security researcher has demonstrated a way to hack the TPM chip and intercept the recovery key. It requires advanced security knowledge, hardware understanding, and a purpose-made Raspberry Pi Pico to intercept the recovery key between the TPM chip and the CPU during the boot process.

Again, if the TPM chip is incorporated inside the CPU (called fTPM) then you can’t intercept it. Anyway, those who are interested in this solution, can go through it. Finally, if you have any questions, let us know in the comments below.

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