How To Rescue Your Data From a BitLocker Encrypted Flash Drive

You've encrypted your flash drive using BitLocker To Go so your data is safe from prying eyes. To anyone without your password, your files will be garbled beyond comprehension. Unfortunately, if you lose your password, your data will remain just as indecipherable to you too. Luckily, if you have the recovery key that you saved during the initial BitLocker configuration, you'll have no trouble unlocking the drive and rescuing your data. Once the drive is unlocked, you can change your password to avoid this issue in the future. This tutorial will explain everything you need to know to work with your drive after losing your password.

NOTE: BitLocker is available in the Enterprise and Ultimate editions of Windows 7, and also in the Pro and Enterprise editions of Windows 8 and 8.1.

How To Unlock Your Bitlocker Drive Using The Recovery Key And Change Your Password In Windows 8.1

Insert your drive into a USB port on your computer. A window will pop up that will ask you for the password. As you don't know it, click or tap on "More options", then select "Enter recovery key".

To unlock your files, enter the recovery key you previously saved.

You can find the recovery key in the text file you saved when you first encrypted the flash drive.

If you chose to save the recovery key in your Microsoft Account, all you have to do is go here, login with your account details and Microsoft will provide the information you need.

Once your recovery key has been accepted, your flash drive will be opened automatically in File Explorer. Without the password though, you will have to repeat this step each time you use the encrypted drive, so it's preferable for you to change the password.

To change the password you forgot, open File Explorer, right click or tap and hold on the drive and select "Manage Bitlocker".

This will open the "Bitlocker Drive Encryption" window which will show you a list of options.You need to select "Change password".

Next you will be asked for the old password before entering a new one. Because you don't know the old password (the reason you are here), you must choose the "Reset a forgotten password" option.

Now all you have to do is to enter the new password and make sure that you don't forget it again.

Once you've entered the password, hit "Finish" and you'll be presented with a window informing that you successfully changed your password.

How To Unlock Your Bitlocker Drive Using the Recovery Key And Change Your Password in Windows 7

Insert your drive into a USB port on your computer. When the password window launches, click "I forgot my password."

BitLocker will now present a window that allows you to unlock your drive using the recovery key. Locate your printed or saved recovery key and click "Type the recovery key."

Enter the recovery key exactly as it appears on your printed image or copy it from your saved text file and click "Next".

Once your key has been accepted, the AutoPlay window will launch granting you access to your drive. Without your password though, you'll have to repeat this procedure the next time you plan to use your drive, so if you want to avoid that, you should also change your password.

After unlocking your drive using the recovery key, launch Windows Explorer. Right click on your encrypted flash drive, and then click "Manage BitLocker".

This will provide you with a list of options that you can use to change your BitLocker settings. Click "Change password to unlock the drive."

Enter your new password in both of the fields provided. It is recommended that you use a complex password that utilizes both upper and lowercase letters as well as numbers and symbols. Be sure to enter the exact same password in both fields.

Click "Next" after entering your password. If you typed your password correctly, you'll be presented with a window informing that you were successful.


Now that you understand how to rescue your data, even if you've forgotten your password, there should be little holding you back from protecting your data with BitLocker To Go. If you keep your recovery key safe, you'll never have any issues getting to your data. Try this helpful feature out and feel free to leave us comments about your experience or to ask questions.