How to Fix BitLocker Keeps Asking for Recovery Key at Startup in Windows 11

Why Bitlocker keeps asking for recovery key in Windows 11? How can the problem be resolved? In this post, you can see various solutions for this issue.


By Lucas / Updated on February 19, 2024

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BitLocker is an integral part of Windows that provides encryption and enhances the security of your hard drive, can encounter a vexing issue—frequent prompts for the recovery key during the Windows 11/10 boot process.

This problem appears to be prevalent in PCs equipped with USB Type-C and Thunderbolt 3 (TBT) ports. Fear not, we've compiled insights into the reasons behind BitLocker's persistent requests and offer some effective solutions to resolve this inconvenience.

Why is BitLocker asking for a recovery key?

Several factors may contribute to the recurrence of the "BitLocker keeps asking for recovery key" problem. These include:

Malware attack
Multiple incorrect PIN entries
Changes in boot/BIOS settings
Updates to TPM (Trusted Platform Module) and ROM firmware
Hardware connections or removals
Installation of problematic updates
Configuration of BitLocker on the PC
TPM device not detected

While other factors may contribute, these are the common culprits. Fortunately, we have the expertise to guide you through resolving this issue.

How to solve BitLocker keeps asking for recovery key at startup Windows 11

If any of those reasons lead your PC to BitLocker asking for a recovery key at startup, in this part, we'll show you some solutions to fix it.

Method 1: Use Command Prompt to unlock BitLocker

Unlock BitLocker with Command Prompt:

Step 1. Open BitLocker, press "Esc" for More options, and select "Skip this drive."

Step 2. Navigate to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Command Prompt.

Step 3. Enter the command: manage-bde-unlock C: -rp recovery key and press Enter.

Disable protectors: manage-bde-protectors-disable C.

CMD unlock BitLocker

Restart and enter the recovery key.

Method 2: Turn off BitLocker encryption

You can follow the steps to disable BitLocker temporarily.

Step 1. Open BitLocker and enter your recovery key from

Step 2. Go to "Control Panel," select "BitLocker Drive Encryption."

Step 3. Click "Suspend Protection" to turn off BitLocker encryption.

Confirm the changes and wait for it to turn off. Re-enable to update TPM.

Method 3: Disable Auto-Unlock option

Turn off auto-unlock to avoid frequent recovery key entries:

Step 1. Press the Windows key and open "Control Panel."

Step 2. Select "Device Encryption" under "Control Panel" to access BitLocker settings.

Step 3. Click "Turn off auto-unlock" and restart your computer.

Turn off auto-lock

Method 4: Enable Secure Boot

Configure Secure Boot settings:

Step 1. Open BitLocker, press "Esc," and choose "Skip this drive."

Step 2. Select "Troubleshoot" > "Advanced Options."

Step 3. Navigate to "UEFI Firmware Settings" and restart.

Step 4. In UEFI, click "Security" > "Secure Boot" > "Change Configuration."

Step 5. Choose "Microsoft Only" and click "OK." Exit and restart.

Secure boot

Method 5: Update BIOS

Ensure your BIOS is up-to-date:

Step 1. Press the Windows + R keys, type msinfo32, and check Baseboard products and manufacturers.

OS information

Step 2. Visit the manufacturer's website for BIOS updates.

Method 6: Use Legacy Boot

You can switch to Legacy Boot to have a try.

Step 1. Search for "cmd" and select "Run as administrator."

Step 2. Type bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy and press Enter.

bootmenupolicy legacy

Method 7: Update Windows OS

Keeping your Windows updated is also a nice option to avoid Bitlocker keeps asking for recovery key in Windows 11.

Step 1. Click "Start" and search for "Windows Updates."

Step 2. Check for updates and install them.

Check update

Method 8: Uninstall and reinstall problematic updates

Address update-related issues:

Step 1. Open "Settings," go to "Windows Update," and click "Update history."

Check history

Step 2. Select "Uninstall updates" and remove problematic updates.

Step 3. Restart your PC and suspend BitLocker in Control Panel.

Check for updates and install the latest.

Further tips: Try third-party BitLocker encryption manager

Using a third-party BitLocker encryption manager is also recommended to manage your BitLocker encrypted drives.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is a practical disk and partition management tool for Windows users. All Windows PC users can employ it as a reliable partner to assist users in easily and safely adjusting their devices. The "BitLocker" function in this tool can help users encrypt and decrypt the target drive, and the Professional edition of this tool even supports Windows Home users to protect their privacy via BitLocker encryption.

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant. Click the "Tools" main tab and select "BitLocker". Or, right-click the partition you want to encrypt and click the "BitLocker"->"Turn on BitLocker" option in the Context Menu.


Step 2. All drives on the system will be displayed, including operating system drives, fixed data drives, and removable drives. Please find the partition you would like to encrypt BitLocker and click the "Turn on BitLocker" option. (Here, we take the drive D: as an example.)

Turn on Bitlocker

Step 3. Please set and confirm a password to encrypt the drive and click "Next".

Set password

Step 4. Select a way to back up your recovery key. You can either select "Save to a file" or "Print the recovery key". If you select "Save to a file", please choose a location on your PC to save the recovery key.

Save recovery key

Then, please click the "Next" button to start the encryption process.

Step 5. The encryption process might take time to encrypt the drive. Before the process is finished, please do not terminate the program, remove the drive, or turn off the power.


To sum up

BitLocker is a formidable tool for safeguarding your data that can encounter issues. By following these solutions, you can effectively eliminate the recurrent recovery key prompts and enjoy a seamless and secure computing experience. Encrypt with confidence, knowing you have the knowledge to troubleshoot BitLocker's unexpected challenges.

AOMEI Partition Assistant can also offer help when your Windows computer needs help. In addition, this tool also has the Server edition for Windows Server users.

Lucas · Staff Editor
I prefer peaceful and quiet life during vacation,but sometimes I watch football match if my favorite club performs brilliantly in that season. And I love reading, painting and calligraphy, thus I send my friends festival handwriting cards every year.