Share this post on:


This document describes what to do if on starting your computer you get a blue screen message stating: “BitLocker recovery Enter the recovery key for this drive.”

BitLocker is a Microsoft encryption system that keeps computers and data secure. Because it requires a very long rarely used code, people may find it to be an inconvenience if they get locked out of their own computer. The code would initially be displayed on screen when bit locker was setup, and there is also an option to have it saved and recoverable through your Microsoft account.

STEP #1 — Get Recovery Key

Use this link to go to the appropriate page on the Microsoft website:

Note that the actual website address you will arrive at has a longer address. The above shortcut will redirect you to this page

Here’s what you will need for this step:

  • You will need a working computer or other device to access the Internet
  • You will need to know your Microsoft login for the Microsoft account used on the device with the BitLocker blue screen message.
  • You will probably be asked to provide secondary authentication when you login. This could be in the form of a login code sent to a recovery email or phone number you have on file with the Microsoft account.
  • You will need to know the login for your recovery email account which is different than your Microsoft email. Or, you may need to have access to a phone that can receive a short numeric code by text message.

STEP #2 — Enter Your Recovery Key

From Step #1, you should now have displayed on screen the long BitLocker recovery key.

Enter the long recovery key on the blue screen notification page.

Once you’ve entered the number, and reviewed it to make sure it is entered correctly, press the Enter (or Return) key on the keyboard.

NOTE: If you have more than one computer using BitLocker, the Recovery Key for each computer will be listed separately. The computers have a Device Name listed, but this is not likely a name you are familiar with. It is a name that Windows uses to uniquely identify devices on a network.

You can more easily identify computers by going to the Devices listing in your Microsoft account found on this page

The computer name as assigned by Windows will be listed with the computer model number. Click the See Details link to view serial number and other information to help identify each device.

STEP #3 — Update PIN

Depending on the circumstances and reasons for the BitLocker notification, you may be asked to create a new PIN for your computer upon logging in.

You might see a notification stating: “Your PIN is no longer available due to a change to the security settings on this device. Click to set up your PIN again.”

You can use the same familiar PIN that you used in the past, or provide a new one.

Questions, Comments, Feedback

If you have any questions or suggestions for improving this page, feel free to use the Contact page. Thanks!