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BitLocker Recovery

Because BitLocker uses custom passwords for encrypting external storage devices (thumb drives or USB hard drives), you might need to recover a forgotten password some day. You are welcome to call the IT Service Desk; however, this article describes how you can recover a BitLocker password through the self-service web site,

A general overview of BitLocker is provided in the main BitLocker article.

Instructions with Screenshots

  1. Connect the BitLocker-encrypted USB device to your computer.

    Screenshot 01

  2. When prompted to type the password to unlock the drive, click the "I forgot my password" link.

    Screenshot 02

  3. Take note of the eight-character recovery key ID, and keep the window open.
  4. Use Internet Explorer or Google Chrome to visit the web site site is not compatible with other web browsers.)
  5. Read the notice, click the checkbox acknowledging your understanding, then click the "Continue" button.

    Screenshot 03

  6. Enter the eight-character recovery key ID you found earlier.
  7. Select the most relevant option from the Reason drop-down box, then click the "Get Key" button.

    Screenshot 04

  8. Look for the 48-character BitLocker Recovery Key.  If you get an error message and a key does not appear, you will need to contact the IT Service Desk (859) 622-3000.
  9. You may highlight the key to copy it (recommended). Copy the highlighted key by right-clicking and choosing Copy or by pressing Ctrl+C.
  10. Return to the original window showing the eight-character key ID, then click "Type the recovery key."

    Screenshot 02 again

  11. Enter the 48-digit BitLocker Recovery Key.  If you copied the key earlier (recommended), you may paste it by right-clicking and choosing Paste or by pressing Ctrl+V.  Click Next.

    Screenshot 05

  12. Click the "Manage BitLocker" button.

    Screenshot 06

  13. Click the first option, "Change password to unlock the drive."

    Screenshot 07

  14. Enter a new password, enter it again to confirm, then click Next.  Remember that passwords must be at least 8 characters long.

    Screenshot 08

  15. Click "OK" on the password changed prompt.  Click "Close" on the previous window.