BitLockerÂ Drive Encryption is a data protection feature that integrates with the operating system and addresses the threats of data theft or exposure from lost, stolen, or inappropriately decommissioned drives and computers.
BitLocker is the Windows encryption technology that protects your data from unauthorized access by encrypting your drive and requiring one or more factors of authentication before it will unlock it.
Windows will require a BitLocker recovery key when it detects a possible unauthorized attempt to access the data. This extra step is a security precaution intended to keep your data safe and secure. This can also happen if you make changes in hardware, firmware, or software which BitLocker cannot distinguish from a possible attack. In these cases, BitLocker may require the extra security of the recovery key even if the user is an authorized owner of the device. This is to be certain that the person trying to unlock the data really is authorized.
Your BitLocker recovery key is a unique 48-digit numerical password that can be used to unlock your system if BitLocker is otherwise unable to confirm for certain that the attempt to access the system drive is authorized.
This tutorial will show you how to back up the BitLocker recovery key for a drive in Windows 10 and Windows 11.