Solved: Windows 10 Disk Recovery BitLocker Boot Error Message

Are you troubled by the Windows 10 disk recovery BitLocker boot error message? This article will tell you why Windows 10 keeps booting to BitLocker recovery and provide you with the corresponding solutions.


By Yuka Updated on November 1, 2022

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User Case: BitLocker Keeps Asking for Recovery Key

"Hi guys, I have a user that this has happened to twice. The computer states that it needs the recovery key because something has changed. I know for a fact that this user isn't changing anything. Any thoughts on this? Maybe try decryption and re-encrypting?"

Windows 10 Disk Recovery BitLocker Boot Error Message

BitLocker is a full volume encryption feature for Microsoft Windows systems. In general, it is very easy to encrypt and decrypt a drive with BitLocker. However, every time you start Windows 10, BitLocker keeps asking for a recovery key at startup, which is very frustrating. In this article, we'll tell you what a BitLocker recovery key is, why it keeps asking for a recovery key, and how to fix it with some simple methods.

What Is BitLocker Recovery Key?

BitLocker is a built-in encryption feature that has been included in all versions of Windows since Vista. It is designed to protect your files and data from unauthorized access by encrypting your entire hard drive. An encrypted drive can only be accessed using the password or smart card you set when you turned on BitLocker Drive Encryption on the drive. If someone tries to access your encrypted drive without proper authentication, access will be denied.

However, if you forget your password/PIN or lose your smart card, you can use the BitLocker recovery key to access BitLocker-encrypted drives. A BitLocker recovery key is a unique 48-bit code that is automatically generated when you turn on BitLocker Drive Encryption on a drive.

What Causes Windows 10 Disk Recovery BitLocker Boot Error Message?

Encryption doesn't mean that every time you start Windows, BitLocker pops up a message to enter your recovery key. There are several reasons why windows 10 keeps booting to BitLocker recovery.

  • Outdated driver.
  • Malware attack.
  • Hardware, software and firmware changes.
  • Authentication errors, such as entering wrong PIN, etc.
  • Boot/BIOS changes. For example, changing the Master Boot Record (MBR) on the disk.
  • Auto-unlock key enabled in BitLocker settings.

These are the possible reasons why BitLocker keeps asking for recovery key at startup in Windows 10. Now let's see how to solve this problem.

3 Ways to Fix BitLocker Keeps Asking for Recovery Key

We offer you 3 ways to easily fix this frustrating problem. You can try one by one according to your actual situation. Don't waste any more time, let's get started!

Way 1. Suspend Protection of BitLocker Drives

When your Windows BitLocker keeps asking for a recovery key, you can get rid of it by suspending and resuming BitLocker. Here, we will describe how to suspend and resume Windows BitLocker. Check out the steps below:

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run window. Type control and press OK. It will open the Control Panel window.
  2. From here, navigate to System and Security -> BitLocker Drive Encryption.

BitLocker Drive Encryption

  1. Click Suspend protection option next to the C drive (Or click Turn off BitLocker to disable BitLocker drive encryption on C drive).

Suspend Protection

  1. A dialog box window will open asking "Do you want to suspend BitLocker protection?", please press the Yes button to confirm.
  2. Then, it's time to reboot the computer. Once you have done the reboot, open BitLocker Drive Encryption to make sure that it is resumed. If it is not resumed, select Resume protection and exit the Control Panel. It will resolve the Windows 10 disk recovery BitLocker boot error.

Way 2. Turn Off Auto-lock for BitLocker

Typically, BitLocker keeps asking for a recovery key when the automatic unlock option in Windows 10 is enabled. So you can try turning it off to avoid this problem.

  1. Go to BitLocker Drive Encryption as above.
  2. Select the BitLocker Encrypting drive and then click the Turn off auto-unlock option.

Turn Off Auto-unlock

  1. After turning auto-unlock off, reboot your computer.

Way 3. Remove the Protector from the Boot Drive

Sometimes, after a crash, you may not be able to successfully boot the operating system because the recovery screen repeatedly prompts you to enter the recovery key. If you've entered the correct BitLocker recovery key multiple times, and are still unable to continue past the initial recovery screen, follow these steps to break out of the loop.

  1. On the BitLocker recovery screen, press Esc for more BitLocker recovery options.

Press Esc for More BitLocker Recovery Options

  1. Select Skip this drive at the right corner.
  2. On the next screen, select Troubleshoot -> Advanced options -> Command prompt.
  3. From the WinRE command prompt, manually type the command and press Enter to unlock your drive:
  • manage-bde.exe -unlock C: -rp
  1. Suspend operating system drive protection:
  • manage-bde.exe -protectors -disable C:
  1. Once the last command is run, you can safely exit the command prompt and continue to boot into your operating system.

Create Bootable Media for Any Future Boot Issues

In our daily use, the computer may have problems without any warning, causing it to fail to start normally. Windows 10 disk recovery BitLocker boot error message is one of the common errors. The solution is different based on the situation of each user. If there are other startup problems, you need to find the corresponding solution, which is very troublesome.

Therefore, we provide you with a general solution for solving computer startup problems. You can use free bootable rescue media creator - AOMEI Backupper Standard to create bootable media and system backup on your own computer ahead of accidents or on another computer after accidents.

This bootable media contains a lightweight version of Windows (called Windows PE) or a Linux system and includes the AOMEI Backupper. You can use it to restore the system backup created by AOMEI Backupper especially when your windows system has crashed and cannot boot up correctly.

Next I will show you how to use this free software to create a bootable media.

  1. Download AOMEI Backupper on your computer and launch it.
Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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  1. Insert an empty USB stick into your PC.
  2. On the blue interface of AOMEI Backupper, navigate to Tools -> Create Bootable Media.

Create Bootable Media

Note📝: If you want to perform system restore and other operations after entering AOMEI Backupper through this bootable media, you need to use it to create a backup first.

  1. Select bootable disc type from Linux based or Windows PE based, and click Next. Linux based bootable media only allows you to use basic functions of AOMEI Backupper, while Windows PE allows you to access full functions.

Windows PE

  1. Then you can select USB Boot Device to create this Windows 10 bootable recovery media and then click Next to run this process.

Select USB Drive

  1. When the operation is done, just click Finish to exit the interface.


  • If you haven't made any system backup before the failure, you can also create system image on another working computer, and restore it to the problematic one via the Universal Restore feature.
  • If you don't have any CD/DVD or USB drive, you can simply enable the AOMEI recovery environment to achieve the same effect as recovery disk.


If you receive a Windows 10 disk recovery BitLocker boot error message, you can refer to this article for help. After solving the problem, it is recommended that you use AOMEI Backupper to create a bootable media and a system backup.

This way, you can use this tool to perform a system restore and restore your computer to a working state if you encounter any boot problems or system problems in the future. The premium version of this also allows you to encrypt backups, just like BitLocker. Try this powerful software for yourself.

Yuka · Editor
Yuka, our dedicated editor at AOMEI Technology, is committed to bringing you valuable insights and guidance in data protection. Her mission is to empower everyone with her knowledge in computer backup and recovery, disk cloning, file synchronization, and more. Yuka's goal is to do her best to make complex tech tasks simple and ensure that your digital world remains safe and secure.