How to Recover Data from Encrypted Hard Drive

Some users may wonder if they can recover data from encrypted hard drive or not. In this post, you can learn how to decrypt a locked hard drive and how to recover data from it.


By Lucas / Updated on October 27, 2023

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Now, data security is paramount. Many individuals and organizations use encryption to protect their sensitive information from prying eyes. While this is an excellent practice for safeguarding your data, it can sometimes lead to unexpected consequences. For instance, what do you do if you forget the password to your encrypted hard drive, or if a colleague leaves, taking the access credentials with them?

How to decrypt locked hard drive

The first step to recover data from an encrypted hard drive is to unlock it. Windows offers robust full disk encryption utilizing Cipher Block Chaining and AES encryption. If you possess the 128/256-bit encryption key, accessing your encrypted hard drive is straightforward. However, even if you've misplaced the key, it's still possible to decrypt your drive.

Before we delve into the data recovery methods from encrypted hard drives, it's essential to ensure that you are logged into your system as an administrator. Please note that these techniques are exclusively effective when accessed with administrator privileges. You need to enter admin account to perform both ways.

Method 1. Using Control Panel to unlock encrypted hard drive

The Control Panel is a useful tool for managing various aspects of your computer, including hard drive encryption. To recover data from an encrypted hard drive, follow these steps:

Step 1. Access Control Panel

Begin by clicking the "Start" button and typing "Control Panel" in the search bar. Hit "Enter" to open the Control Panel.

Step 2. Navigate to BitLocker drive encryption.

In the Control Panel, click on "System and Security," and then select "BitLocker Drive Encryption."

Step 3. Select the encrypted drive

Under the "BitLocker Drive Encryption" section, you'll see a list of drives on your computer. Locate the encrypted drive you want to decrypt.

Turn off BitLocker

Step 4. Turn off BitLocker

Click on the drive, and you'll see an option to "Turn off BitLocker." Click this option and follow the on-screen instructions to decrypt the drive.


Method 2. Using Certificate Manager to decrypted locked hard drive

This is yet another straightforward way to recover data from an encrypted hard disk. Windows has a program for importing EFS File Encryption Keys to the place of your choice. 

Step 1. Access Certificate Manager.

Press the Windows key and 'R' simultaneously to open the Run dialog. Type "certmgr.msc" and press "Enter" to open the Certificate Manager.


Step 2. Locate the Certificate.

From the left panel, you can view different categories of certificates, navigate to "Personal" and then "Certificates." Here, you'll find the certificate associated with the encrypted drive.


Step 3. Launch a new window of Certificate Import Wizard.

Right-click it and go to the All Tasks > Import button. You can also go to the "Action" tab on the menu and select All Task > Import.

Simply provide the on-screen instructions and bypass the authorization process to import the encryption keys to the location of your choice.

Certification import wizard

Recover data from encrypted hard drive

If the previously mentioned techniques prove unsuccessful in recovering data from an encrypted hard drive, there's no need to fret – an alternative solution is at your disposal. With the aid of the data recovery function of AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, you can effortlessly reclaim your lost, deleted, locked, or inaccessible content. Featuring an intuitive and user-friendly interface, this tool ensures a seamless recovery process. Moreover, it boasts a 100% reliability rate and guarantees no harm to your system during operation.

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Step 1. Install and enter "Recover Data" function.

Launch AOMEI software and click "Recover" > "Recover Data" on the taskbar.


Step 2. Select the target drives.

Then, the Recover Windows Data tool will pop up. Select the partition from which you want to recover the data and click "Start Scan".


Step 3. Select scan results and recover.

Once the scan is completed, all the deleted files, recycle bin, and other missing files will be listed. Please select the file you would like to recover and then click "Recover".


Step 4. Select storage path.

Then, select a folder path for your recovered files and wait patiently for it finishes.



In this article, we've shown you how to recover data from encrypted hard drive. We explored two methods for decrypting your encrypted hard drive – the Control Panel and Certificate Manager. Additionally, we've introduced you to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, a powerful data recovery tool that can help you retrieve your lost files with ease. With the information provided here, you can confidently recover your data and maintain the security of your encrypted hard drive. 

In addition, The ease of use, compatibility with various storage devices, and robust data recovery capabilities make AOMEI Partition Assistant a reliable choice for both individuals and businesses for computer and disk management. Besides data recovery, you can also clone disk, extend drive space, move installed apps, clean junk files, etc. And there is 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.