Bitlocker Data Recovery | How to Recover Encrypted Hard Drives

Do you know how to recover encrypted hard drive? If you need to perform Bitlocker data recovery, this tutorial will be worth reading with feasible methods.


By Lora / Updated on May 22, 2023

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Can an encrypted hard drive be recovered?

Nowadays, with the growth of data and privacy security awareness and techs, people are willing to use passwords to protect their data and personal info.

Windows PC is built with encryption protection as well. Since Windows Vista, Windows machines are embedded with the Bitlocker encryption feature.

It’s a full-disk encryption function used to settle the threats of data/privacy loss or exposure.

The encrypted hard drive data will be extremely safe; however, sometimes, it may go too far, preventing the user from accessing the files.


Windows 11 encrypted my drive automatically; how can I recover my files?


I found that my C: & D: drive were Bitlocker encrypted when upgrading Windows 10 to 11, though I never turned on it before. Microsoft encrypted my drives without notifying me! There was an issue, and I needed to recover files from the drive; now, I don’t know what to do!


- Question from ElevenForum


The user in the case found the hard drive was automatically encrypted without consent, and now the users need to find the Windows 11 Bitlocker recovery key.

It will be more upsetting if some users cannot get the key, and naturally, they wonder if it is possible to perform Bitlocker data recovery without the key.


Is it possible to recover files from encrypted hard drives without passwords?

No. Without the password or the encryption recovery key, none can access the Bitlocker encrypted hard drive.

When the Bitlocker encryption feature was built/installed on a new machine, Windows automatically creates the partitions required by BitLocker. If this space or these sectors were damaged/corrupted, its data would be inaccessible and gone for good.

Therefore, the Bitlocker data recovery requires careful operation and the recovery key. Don’t worry; this article will guide you to recover encrypted hard drive with detailed info and steps.

In case the hard drive may get corrupted and force you to lose the data, it is a good idea to back up encrypted hard drive before making operations to it.


How to recover encrypted hard drive data?

When will the system demand you to provide the recovery key? Generally, it is when the system detects threats/attacks, or you perform some critical operations, like changing the boot order, the NTFS partition table, resizing the primary partitions, etc.

Encryption can stop others from accessing your system and files. When you need Bitlocker encryption data recovery, first, find the key and then follow the steps below to restore your precious data.

Preparation: find the encryption key

Windows offers four ways to back up your recovery key when enabling Bitlocker drive encryption. Thus, we can start with these places.


1. Navigate to your Microsoft account

>> Go to the Microsoft website > sign in to your Microsoft account > click Device > choose the encrypted device > info & support > Manage recovery keys.


Then copy or save the keys.


2. Check the recovery key file

If you have generated a recovery key txt, you could directly copy the keys from this file. Check where you may have put this file: the Document folder, OneDrive, external storage devices, like USB flash drive, SD card, etc.


3. Contact the work/school account support

Some users may have associated with a work or school account, especially those who need to work/study from home. Their keys might be stored in the organization’s Azure AD account. Contact the IT support apartment to access your keys and unlock the drive.

4. See if you have printed the recovery key file

When activating the Bitlocker encryption, you may have printed the key; check the printout to access your keys.

Efficient recovery process using MyRecover

Using a reliable data recovery app for Windows is a sagacious choice when you need to recover encrypted hard drive data. MyRecover will be a firm helper when you are bothered by data loss due to deletion, disk formatting, system crashes, virus attack, etc.

MyRecover is specially designed for Windows users, available for all Windows 11/10/8/7/Server users, even without any expertise. With the help of its advanced techs and valuable features, you can locate your files in a breeze:

Recover lost or deleted data from internal/external healthy/formatted HDD, SSD, USB drive, SD card, etc. 
Recover 200+ more file formats, including mpg/mp4/avi/mov/asf/wmv/flv movies. 
Recover erased information while preserving its original location, filename, and format. 
Enjoy simple data recovery from NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, and ReFS on Windows 11/10/8/7 SP1.
Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
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Its free version allows all to restore 20 MB of files for free every time. For those who need to restore a large amount of data, the Pro & Tech versions are ready to help. Just upgrade MyRecover to enjoy.

Step 1. Download & install MyRecover > choose the Bitlocker encrypted hard drive > Start Scan.

Choose the Unlocked Bitlocker Drive Start Scan

You can also use it to recover data from encrypted SD card. The steps are exactly the same as recovering data from encrypted hard drive.
Tip: Before you choose the unlocked decrypted SD card to start scan, you need to unlock it in advance.

Please Unlock the Bitlocker Drive

Step 2. It supports previewing, sorting, filtering, or directly choosing the files to recover during the scanning process.

Scanning Bitlocker Drive

Step 3. Check the Deleted files > choose the files from the original location. Also, you could check the Other missing files to retrieve files selectively > click Recover x files.

Choose Files from Bitlocker Drive to Restore

You could also recover Ransome encrypted files with the help of this app.

Bonus tips: How to decrypt hard drives?

After data recovery, if you think the Bitlocker encryption is inconvenient, you can turn it off. There are two methods to do so.

Method 1. Via Control Panel

Firstly, we could decrypt it via Control Panel.

Step 1. Start Control Panel > System and Security > Bitlocker Drive Encryption.


Step 2. Find the encrypted hard drive > Turn off Bitlocker.


Step 3. Decrypt Drive.


Method 2. Use Certificate Manager

Certificate Manager is also an in-built tool in Windows PC that can help you import EFS certificates.

Step 1. Press Windows+R to start the Run window > input certmgr.msc > OK.


Step 2. Right-click the Personal folder > All Tasks > Import.


Step 3. Click Next > follow the instructions.



This article gathers methods and info to help users recover encrypted hard drives. Those who need to perform Bitlocker data recovery could refer to this tutorial and find suitable methods.

In addition, more info is ready in the questions and answers.

Lora · Editor
Lora is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is also a tester and editor of AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. -- "Keep testing, write the most useful tutorials for helping people recover the lost data for Windows and phones" is the most meaningful thing for her. Dedicated to creating helpful tutorials, she hopes her tutorial can assist users to effortlessly solve data loss problems on their personal computers and mobile phones.