BitLocker data recovery: recover deleted/lost files from BitLocker encrypted drives

Summary: This comprehensive guide covers different methods to recover deleted/lost files from BitLocker encrypted drives. The easiest way is to use the best BitLocker data recovery software - iBoysoft Data Recovery, which can get deleted/lost data back within a few clicks.

By Katrina | Posted to Data Recovery, posted on Mar. 29th, 2019 |
Table of contents
1. What is BitLocker?
2. Can you recover data from BitLocker encrypted drive?
3. Requirements for BitLocker data recovery
4. Tips before BitLocker data recovery
5. How to recover deleted/lost files from BitLocker encrypted drives?
6. Common data loss scenarios on BitLocker encrypted drives
7. Conclusion

Looking for solutions to recover deleted/lost data from BitLocker encrypted drives? BitLocker drive encryption makes data recovery difficult, but doesn't prevent it. Read ahead. This post is written for you.

Recover deleted files from BitLocker encrypted drive

What is BitLocker?

Starting with Windows Vista, BitLocker drive encryption is a native data protection feature included with Microsoft Windows Windows 10/8/7. It is used to provide an added layer of security and encryption on a Windows PC or USB flash drive, preventing sensitive files from being theft, lost, stolen or exposed to others. It supports a full disk encryption by implementing the AES algorithm and CBS (Cipher Block Chaining), which requires users to input a 128 or 256 bit key to access it. By using BitLocker encryption, you can set the security permissions and access limitations on all the files as well as folders of your system.

Unfortunately, a BitLocker encrypted hard drive doesn't guarantee you to protect your hard drive from data loss threat and corruption scenarios. Sometimes, you accidentally delete files from a BitLocker-protected drive or get locked out of the drive. Then you may face data loss situations.

Can you recover data from BitLocker encrypted drive?

Yes, you can. The good news is that you can recover data from BitLocker encrypted drives as long as the data hasn't been overwritten, so please stay calm and keep an optimistic attitude. That's because no matter how your data is lost from BitLocker encrypted drives, such as accidental deletion, reformatting or file system corruption, the deleted/lost data still exists on the drive. It’s just the operating system can’t locate the deleted/lost files through the file directory.

Requirements for BitLocker data recovery

Compare with common data recovery, BitLocker data recovery is a little difficult as it requires at least one of the following BitLocker defense elements to decrypt data: the password, the 48-digit recovery key or the system startup key. If the BitLocker metadata has been corrupted, you may fail to recover the desired files which you've lost or deleted.

Tips before BitLocker data recovery

Once data loss disaster strikes, you should stop using the BitLocker encrypted drive and perform BitLocker drive encryption recovery with reliable data recovery software as soon as possible. If the BitLocker encrypted drive is the system drive, you should remove the drive and plug it externally in another computer to recover data. Because the Windows operating system continues to write new files to your BitLocker encrypted drive, which decreases the success rate of data recovery.

Let's see the infographic firstly:

BitLocker data recovery infographic

How to recover deleted/lost files from BitLocker encrypted drives?

Based on different data loss situations, here are some tutorials to recover data from BitLocker encrypted drives.

Case 1: If you can unlock BitLocker encrypted drives with the password or recovery key

If your BitLocker encrypted hard drive works as usual and you can unlock the drive without any problem, any common data recovery software can help you to recover deleted/lost files from BitLocker encrypted drives.

What you need to do is to unlock the BitLocker encrypted drive and then run common data recovery software. If you forget the BitLocker password, click to see how to get BitLocker recovery key.

Case 2: If BitLocker doesn't accept the password or recovery key

If you can't unlock the BitLocker encrypted hard drive with the right password or recovery key, it indicates that the file system of the drive is damaged seriously. Under this situation, you need a professional BitLocker recovery tool. Here iBoysoft Data Recovery is highly recommended. With advanced algorithm, this program can help to decrypt the corrupted BitLocker encrypted drive with the password or recovery key and scan all lost data throughly.

iBoysoft Data Recovery has all the features that assure you to regain complete data from BitLocker encrypted hard drives, USB flash drives, external hard drives, SD cards, memory cards. It is designed to recover deleted files, recover data from formatted, corrupted, RAW, failed BitLocker encrypted drives, recover data from inaccessible BitLocker encrypted drives, recover data from deleted/lost BitLocker partitions.

Moreover, iBoysoft Data Recovery supports recovering photos, audio files, music files, emails, etc. much more effectively, safely and completely. It is compatible with Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP and Windows Server 2016/2012/2008/2003.

Tutorial 1: Recover deleted files from BitLocker encrypted drives

Similar to files deleted on non-encrypted local drives, if some files are accidentally deleted from the local BitLocker encrypted hard disks, these files will be directly sent to the Recycle Bin and will be remained there until you remove them manually. Luckily, you can restore deleted files from the Recycle Bin.

To do that, open the Recycle Bin on your computer by double-clicking its desktop icon, or right-clicking on it and selecting "Open" from the context menu. Then right-click on files you want to recover and choose "Restore" in the context menu. These files will be restored to the place where you have deleted them.

However, if you can't find the deleted files in the Recycle Bin, then you can get them back with the help of iBoysoft Data Recovery. The following are useful steps to recover deleted files from BitLocker encrypted drives:

Step 1: Download, install and launch iBoysoft Data Recovery.

Step 2: You will see all of your connected drives listed on the home window, choose the drive where you have deleted files and click "Next".

Recover deleted files from BitLocker encrypted drive

Step 3: Input the right password or 48-digit recovery key to decrypt the BitLocker encrypted drive and click "OK". Then iBoysoft Data Recovery will start scanning all deleted files from the drive.

Recover deleted files from BitLocker encrypted drive

Step 4: After the deleted data is found from the BitLocker encrypted drive, please select them and click "Recover".

Recover deleted files from BitLocker encrypted drive

Step 5: Have a check to ensure you have got all lost files back.

Tutorial 2: Recover data from formatted BitLocker encrypted drives

Accidentally wiped a BitLocker encrypted drive with important pictures, videos and documents? Different from non-encrypted drive data recovery, the chances of recovering data from formatted BitLocker encrypted drives depend on whether its partition table is damaged or not. Before data recovery, here are two tips you should note:

  • If a BitLocker protected drive is formatted in Windows 10/8/7, the operating system will erase the whole partition table. Therefore, none of BitLocker data recovery tools in the market can get lost data back. You can only try Microsoft BitLocker recovery, though it’s not easy for common users.
  • Chances are that you can successfully recover lost data from BitLocker encrypted hard drives in Windows 10/8/7 if you have made other operations before formatting. For instance, you deleted one of partitions on a BitLocker encrypted drive and then formatted the whole drive. It's because the old partition table of the BitLocker encrypted drive may not be removed. iBoysoft Data Recovery is able to rebuild the lost file directory and deeply scan all lost files on the drive.

Tutorial to recover data from formatted BitLocker encrypted drives with iBoysoft Data Recovery:

Step 1: Download, install and launch iBoysoft Data Recovery.

Step 2: Choose "BitLocker Data Recovery" on the left top corner and you can see all connected BitLocker drives in the list.

Recover data from formatted BitLocker encrypted drive

Step 3: Select the formatted BitLocker encrypted drive and click "Next".

Recover data from formatted BitLocker encrypted drive

Step 4:: Enter the correct password or 48-digit recovery key to decrypt the BitLocker encrypted drive and start the scan process by clicking the "Next" button.

Recover data from formatted BitLocker encrypted drive

The scan shouldn't take long, it will depend on your drive size though.

Recover data from formatted BitLocker encrypted drive

Step 5: Preview the lost data, select files you need and then click "Recover".

Recover data from formatted BitLocker encrypted drive

Tutorial 3: Recover lost data from Recover lost data from corrupted BitLocker encrypted drives

A storage device often becomes corrupted without any warning. No matter what causes the corruption, iBoysoft Data Recovery is committed to locate fragments of files on a half-functioning or non-functioning storage medium and recover them back.

Guidance to recover lost data from failed/inaccessible/corrupted/unreadable BitLocker encrypted drives:

Step 1: Download, install and launch iBoysoft Data Recovery.

Step 2: Choose "BitLocker Data Recovery" on the left top corner. Then choose the failed/inaccessible/corrupted/unreadable BitLocker encrypted drive and click "Next".

Step 3: Enter the correct password or 48-digit recovery key to decrypt the BitLocker encrypted drive and click "OK".

Step 4: After the lost data is found from the BitLocker encrypted drive, please select them and click "Recover".

Tutorial 4: Recover data from deleted/lost BitLocker encrypted partitions

You might have lost your partitions if you no longer see your familiar partitions in your computer, or newly existing ones appear to be empty or cleared. iBoysoft Data Recovery enables you to recover data from deleted/lost BitLocker encrypted partitions. Even when a BitLocker encrypted partition cannot be accessed, this tool will attempt to rebuild the catalog of the lost partition and locate the lost files.

Steps to recover lost data from deleted/lost BitLocker encrypted partitions:

Step 1: Download, install and launch iBoysoft Data Recovery.

Step 2: Select "BitLocker Data Recovery" on the left top corner. Then choose the physical drive where you have deleted/lost BitLocker encrypted partitions and click "Next".

Step 3: Enter the password or 48-digit recovery key to decrypt data from the deleted/lost BitLocker encrypted partition.

Step 4: After your lost files are found, please select them and click "Recover" to get data back from the deleted/lost BitLocker encrypted partition.

Common data loss scenarios on BitLocker encrypted drives

There are numerous data loss scenarios on BitLocker encrypted drives, here we list some of the common data loss scenarios that you may encounter with:

  • Accidentally deleting data from a BitLocker encrypted drive. It can be so frustrating when you accidentally delete a very important file and realize you need it back later. But the truth is that accidental deletion happens to everyone. What's worse if you emptied the Recycle Bin, used the Shift + Delete keyboard or deleted a file from an external drive. In that way, you have permanently deleted the file and never find it again.
  • Formatting BitLocker encrypted drive deletes data from entire drive. Formatting is such a headache as nobody can afford to lose a large amount of data. If you mistakenly format a BitLocker encrypted hard drive, everything on the drive will be lost. Besides that, there are also some error messages which force you to format a drive before using it, such as "The disk in drive is not formatted, you need to format the disk before you can use it".
  • Losing the BitLocker recovery password and recovery key. If you forget the right password or PIN of a BitLocker encrypted drive, the recovery key is the only option to unlock the drive. If you lose the BitLocker recovery key as well, you may be out of luck since there is no way to access all data stored on the drive.
  • BitLocker doesn't accept correct password or recovery key. Even with the correct password or recovery key, if BitLocker doesn't recognize them, you still can’t access the BitLocker encrypted drive. This is because Windows hasn't enabled BitLocker Drive Encryption feature or the drive is damaged for some reasons.
  • Transfer interruption of data while between different drives on the computer results in loss of data. This is also a common data loss scenario. You are going to transfer some files between a BitLocker encrypted USB drive and your PC. During transferring, you accidentally touch the wire and cause the USB disconnect without detection. As a result, not all the files on the drive are transferred successfully and some are lost.
  • Data loss while shrinking or creating partitions on BitLocker encrypted drives. Sometimes, you want to resize, extend a shrink partition, but there is something wrong with your system or the BitLocker encrypted drive. Then some files will miss or disappear.
  • Hardware problems on BitLocker encrypted drives. Problems with your device or computer’s hardware are a big deal. Such as a broken BitLocker encrypted drive, faulty cable or USB port, unstable power supply, etc.

If you come across any one of these data loss scenarios above mentioned on BitLocker encrypted hard drives, then you can use iBoysoft Data Recovery in a few simple steps.

Conclusion

This passage has focused on tutorial to recover data from BitLocker encrypted drives in Windows 10/8/7/XP. BitLocker data recovery is easy with professional BitLocker data recovery software like iBoysoft Data Recovery. Whereas, the most robust approach to prevent data loss on BitLocker encrypted drive is always regular backups. You should develop a good habit of backing up your important data and updating the backup regularly. Furthermore, routinely check your disk for bad sectors and keep it healthy. Last but not least, download and install an anti-virus program and scan your computer and disks usually.

Have any question about BitLocker data recovery? Don't hesitate to email us. If these solutions work for your, please share with your friends and families on social media. Cheers!

Katrina

Katrina is a data recovery expert @iBoysoft who loves to help readers solve various data recovery problems.

Still have questions?