6 Options to Get BitLocker Recovery Key in Windows 10/11

In case you want to know about 48 digit recovery key for BitLocker Windows 10/11, here are its explanations and step-by-step approaches to find it. Please consider AOMEI Partition Assistant to make your BitLocker managing process easier.


By Phoebe / Updated on February 2, 2024

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What is the 48 digit BitLocker recovery key ?

As defined by Microsoft, a BitLocker recovery key is a proprietary 48-digit numeric password used to unlock a system if BitLocker  cannot confirm authorization to access the system's drives. Its form can be "BitLocker Recovery Key5EAD72F4-DOG2-1564-9D77-W48695E2A895".

In short, it is essentially a long and complex password that is not suitable for memorization. This key is provided during BitLocker installation and serves as a backup if the user forgets or misplaces their password.


How to get the 48 digit recovery key for BitLocker Windows 10/11

If you find that you have forgotten the 48-digit recovery key for BitLocker Windows 10/11 computer after a long period of inactivity, several potential locations may contain the recovery key. The exact location depends on the selections made during BitLocker activation. As a result, there are corresponding options to get the recovery key back. Let's delve into the following solutions in detail.

Fix 1. Access your Microsoft Account

To retrieve your recovery key, access your Microsoft account from another device. For modern devices that support automatic device encryption, your recovery key may be stored in your Microsoft account. Here is the guide:

Tip: If another user sets up the device or activates BitLocker protection, the recovery key may reside in that user's Microsoft account.

Step 1. Access the Microsoft account.

Step 2. "Log in" with your information.


Step 3. Go to "Devices" and select "View details" under the "Computer" section.


Step 4. Find the "BitLocker Data Protection" section and click "Manage recovery keys".


Step 5. Your recovery key details will be displayed, allowing you to regain access to Windows using the key provided.


Fix 2. Check the USB flash drive

The 48 digit recovery key for BitLocker drive encryption can also be saved as a backup to your USB flash drive. If you saved the key on a USB flash drive, you can follow the steps below.

Step 1. Insert the USB with the recovery key into your computer.

Step 2. Browse the drive's contents for the BitLocker file.


Step 3. Open the text file containing the key and write it down for future reference to ensure your recovery key in Windows 10/11 is always available.


Fix 3. Search a txt file in File Explorer

Here's how to find your forgot recovery key BitLocker on a file saved on the same computer. If you backed up your recovery key using the "Save to a file" option, it may be saved in a ".txt" or ".bek" file format on the same computer, or it may be saved on a different drive or network drive.

Step 1. Double-click "This PC/My Computer" to open the File Explorer.

Step 2. Type "BitLocker recovery key" in the search bar. Windows will detect this file automatically.


Step 3. Locate a file name starting with "BitLocker Recovery Key" and format in ".txt" or ".bek".

Step 4. Open the file and you can see the actual "Recovery Key".

Fix 4. Check the printout document

If you have stored your Windows 10/11 recovery key BitLocker in a paper document, try to find an area where you might have printed or saved the key. Connect the printer to the PC and search for the paper document containing the key. The key may have been saved as a Microsoft Print to PDF file, which you can search for on your PC's PDF files.


Fix 5. Check Azure Active Directory Account

You might have signed in to your Azure Active Directory (AD) account using an email address associated with an organization you belong to, such as a School or Work account. To retrieve a potentially stored BitLocker key associated with an AD account, follow these steps:

Step 1. Open the "Azure Portal".

Step 2. Go to "Azure Active Directory".

Step 3. Select "Devices" from the left panel.

Step 4. Select "All devices".

Step 5. Identify the device linked to BitLocker.

Step 6. Visit its "Properties" and scroll down to find the recovery key.

Step 7. Click "Show Recovery Key" to access recovery key details.


Fix 6. Run the Command Prompt

If the previous methods fail, the Command Prompt provides alternatives. Please perform the following steps with caution:

Step 1. Press the "Win + R" keys to open the run box.

Step 2. Type "cmd" and press "Ctrl + Shift + Enter" to launch the command prompt as administrator.

Step 3. Click "Yes" to confirm.

Step 4. Type "manage-bde -protectors H: -get" (replace "H" with the letter of the encrypted drive) and press "Enter".


Your 48 digit recovery key for BitLocker Windows 10/11 should appear on the screen immediately. Copy or note it down and keep it safely for future use as needed.

Manage BitLocker with the easiest tool

Managing BitLocker encryption can be challenging for users who are unfamiliar with computer skills as it requires many operations even the command lines. What is more, this feature doesn't support Windows 10/11 Home editions.

Fortunately, there is a user-friendly solution that simplifies encryption tasks on all Windows systems: AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

★Here's why it's worth noting::
Supports almost all Windows systems, including Windows 11/10 Home Edition, catering to Home Edition users.
Provides various features such as recovery key backup, password modification, drive lock/unlock and BitLocker turning off/on - all accessible through a unified interface.
Tailored for users of different proficiency levels, especially suitable for beginners to ensure a worry-free experience.
Uses an AES encryption algorithm and meets Microsoft BitLocker's strict security standards.
Free DownloadWin 11/10/8.1/8/7
Secure Download

Here is a comprehensive instruction manual on managing BitLocker with PA:

1. Enable/disable BitLocker

To activate or deactivate BitLocker, identify the target drive and choose "Turn on BitLocker" or "Turn off BitLocker" within the software. Identification can be performed utilizing both a password and a recovery key.



 2. Back up your BitLocker recovery key

If you misplace or lose your keys, gaining them again can be challenging. PA permits you to back up the key via exporting it to a file or printing it.


3. Change BitLocker password

Regularly modify or update your BitLocker password to guarantee data security. PA enables you to modify your password by employing the present password or the recovery key.


4. Lock/unlock the drive

Locking a drive prohibits access to secured data on a BitLocker volume. To regain ownership of sensitive information, unlock the drive with a password or recovery key.



AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional facilitates BitLocker preservation and encryption, and it delivers an easily accessible alternative that is particularly helpful for Windows 10 and 11 home users. Do not hesitate to get it downloaded to discover its capabilities!

Bonus tip: How to verify if the BitLocker recovery key is correct?

To ensure that the recovery key is correct, compare the beginning of the full key identifier to the recovery key ID value. For example, if the BitLocker recovery key ID matches the ID shown on the drive, it indicates compatibility to unlock the drive.


However, if the BitLocker recovery key ID does not match the ID shown on the drive, then there is an inconsistency between the recovery key and the drive. Therefore, the drive remains inaccessible. In this case, it is necessary to find the accurate recovery key.

Bottom line

This complete article explains what is 48 digit recovery key for BitLocker Windows 10/11, offers 6 pragmatic solutions for finding the unique recovery key, and explains how to verify its correctness.

Windows 10/11 Home edition users without BitLocker, can resort to the easiest yet most effective BitLocker manager - AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional to protect their crucial files. Users installing other Windows versions or editions can utilize this tool as well if you are interested.

PA includes various features in addition to BitLocker encryption. These include cloning HDD to SSD without reinstalling, converting to GPT disk without data loss, and allocating free space to the C drive to extend its capacity. For Windows servers, consider exploring the Server Edition for extended functionality.

Phoebe · Staff Editor
Phoebe, an editor at AOMEI Technology, is dedicated to offering optimal solutions for Windows-related concerns, specializing in partition management, disk upgrades, data recovery, and more. During her free time, she enjoys indulging in reading, watching movies, and exploring her passion for cooking.