How to recover data from BitLocker encrypted drive in Windows 10?

By Katrina | Posted to to Data Recovery on March 5th, 2019 |

Summary: Accidentally deleted an important file from a BitLocker encrypted drive? Sometimes, BitLocker doesn't accept the correct password or recovery key and all your data on the encrypted drive becomes inaccessible. Don't panic! This post will show you step-by-step tutorial to recover deleted/lost data from BitLocker encrypted drive in Windows 10.

Table of contents
1. Tips before BitLocker data recovery
2. How to recover data from BitLocker encrypted drives?
3. Overview of BitLocker device encryption
4. Data loss scenarios of BitLocker encrypted drives
5. Can you recover data from BitLocker encrypted drives?
6. Bonus tips
7. Conclusion

If you are fed up with data loss problems on BitLocker encrypted drives, you are not the only one. Here is a complaint from Microsoft support forum:

I have a BitLocker encrypted partition on my Windows 10 computer, and now I can't unlock this partition with the correct BitLocker password and BitLocker recovery key. I tried some data recovery software, but none of them helped me recover data from the BitLocker encrypted partition. Anyone can help me?

Tips before BitLocker data recovery

Before recovering deleted/lost data from BitLocker encrypted drive, there are several things you need to know firstly:

1. You should try to use the BitLocker encrypted drive as little as possible. After the file is deleted/lost from a BitLocker encrypted drive, if the drive is an internal drive, you should power then computer down immediately and insert the drive into another computer, then use an operating system running on another hard drive to recover it. If the BitLocker encrypted drive is external hard drive, you should stop saving new data on it.

2. You should perform Data Recovery as soon as possible. As Windows continues to write files to your BitLocker encrypted drive, the chances of overwriting the deleted files increases. So please perform data recovery as soon as possible.

How to recover data from BitLocker encrypted drives?

When you come across any data loss related to BitLocker encrypted drive, it is time to do instant BitLocker data recovery. According to different situations, here are some tutorials to recover data from BitLocker encrypted drive in Windows 10.

Case 1. Recover deleted data from BitLocker encrypted drives

Solution 1: Restore Deleted files from the Recycle Bin

If you accidentally deleted some files from the local hard disk, the Windows operating system place them to the Recycle Bin. These deleted files will remain in the Recycle Bin until you remove them manually from there. To restore deleted files from the Recycle Bin, open the Recycle Bin on your computer by double-clicking its desktop icon, or right-click on it and select Open from the context menu. Then right-click on the selected files and choose Restore in the context menu.

Solution 2: Recover permanently deleted files from BitLocker encrypted drives

Otherwise, you can use a professional data recovery software to get all lost back. iBoysoft Data Recovery is a reliable and professional data recovery software. This procedure can be applied to recover permanently deleted files even emptied from Recycle Bin or by Shift + Delete.

No matter what you lost, including photos, videos, documents and other files, it can get all of them back. iBoysoft Data Recovery supports mainstream storage devices such as hard drives, external hard drives, USB drives, SD cards, CF cards, memory cards, memory sticks, etc. It is compatible with the latest Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista and Windows Server 2016/2012/2008/2003.

Follow these simple steps to recover permanently deleted data from BitLocker encrypted drives in Windows 10:

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".

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

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

iBoysoft Data Recovery also delivers some useful filtering and sorting features, which allows you to quickly target the right content from mass content of scanning results. Besides, the program also enables you to preview all recoverable files. You can be sure which one is the most wanted one before data recovery.

Case 2. Recover data from formatted BitLocker encrypted drives

The success rate of formatted BitLocker encrypted drive data recovery depends on whether the partition table of the drive is corrupted or not. Here are two tips you should know:

1. If you are using Windows XP and earlier, you can apply iBoysoft Data Recovery to recover lost data from formatted BitLocker encrypted drives. If you have formatted a BitLocker encrypted drive in Windows 10/8/7, the operating system will erase its partition table. Thus, there is no data recovery software in the market can help to recover lost data from the formatted BitLocker encrypted drive. The only attempt is to run Microsoft BitLocker recovery though these recovery steps are so difficult.

2. If you have made other operations before formatting a BitLocker encrypted drive in Windows 10/8/7, chances are you can recover lost data with iBoysoft Data Recovery. For example, deleting one of partitions on the BitLocker encrypted drive and then formatting the whole drive. It's because the original partition table of the BitLocker encrypted drive may keep intact in this situation. Just try iBoysoft Data Recovery.

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 right top corner and you will see all connected drives in the list.

Recover data from formatted BitLocker encrypted drive

Step 3: Select the BitLocker encrypted drive which you have formatted and click the "Next" button.

Recover data from formatted BitLocker encrypted drive

Step 4:: Enter the correct password or 48-digit recovery key to unlock the BitLocker encrypted drive and click "OK" to scan for lost data.

Recover data from formatted BitLocker encrypted drive

iBoysoft Daat Recovery will start scanning the whole drive and a progress bar with the Elapsed time and Remaining time. The scan progress shouldn't take so long, though it will depend on your drive size.

Recover data from formatted BitLocker encrypted drive

Step 5: When the scanning progress finished, you are able to preview the lost data. Then select files you need and then click "Recover".

Recover data from formatted BitLocker encrypted drive

Case 3. Recover lost data from corrupted, failed, unreadable, inaccessible BitLocker encrypted drives

If your BitLocker encrypted drive get corrupted, failed, unreadable or inaccessible, some experienced users may run chkdsk to scan and fix various files system errors on the drive. But unfortunately, if you can't unlock the BitLocker encrypted drive with the correct password or recovery key, chkdsk has no way to access the drive or retrieve lost data. The only solution is to rely on a reliable data recovery tool.

iBoysoft Data Recovery can also recover data from inaccessible BitLocker encrypted drives, recover data from failed, corrupted, unreadable BitLocker encrypted drives due to corrupted file system, BitLocker drive encryption failed/stuck, BitLocker drive decryption failure, power off, system crash, hard drive crash, virus attack, I/O device error, etc.

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

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

Step 2: Click "BitLocker Data Recovery" on the left top corner and all connected drives will be displayed on the home window. Select the corrupted/failed/unreadable/inaccessible 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".

Tips: If you cannot find the needed files from the scanning results, please go back to the home window and click "Deep scan" and try again.

Case 4. Recover data from deleted/lost BitLocker encrypted partitions

If you happen to lost important data in BitLocker encrypted partitions or deleted a whole partition, iBoysoft Data Recovery makes it simple and highly effective to get lost data from the partition.

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

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

Step 2: Tick "BitLocker Data Recovery" on the right top corner, select the drive where your BitLocker encrypted partition located, and then click "Next". This software will scan for all deleted/lost BitLocker encrypted partition on this drive.

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

Recover data from formatted BitLocker encrypted drive

Step 6: After your lost files are found, please select them and click "Recover" to get data back from the deleted/lost BitLocker encrypted partition.

Tips: If you cannot find the needed files from the scanning results, please go back and click "Deep scan" and try again.

Overview of BitLocker device encryption

BitLocker is a security feature included in Windows Vista and later version that encrypts drives and protects the machine from unauthorized modifications to startup and system files. It can be used to encrypt both internal devices of the user's PC and any removable storage drive attached to it as well. When BitLocker encrypts disk drives and their contents, others cannot see your files even if the computer had been stolen. With Windows 10, BitLocker encryption is supported on a much broad range of devices and reduce encryption time.

Data loss scenarios of BitLocker encrypted drives

Although BitLocker protects data from being stolen or exposed to others in Windows 10, there can be lots of scenarios which can cause data loss or severe damage to your BitLocker encrypted drive. Here are some of common data loss scenarios you may encounter:

  • Accidentally deleted data from a BitLocker encrypted hard drive
  • Accident is inevitable and there would not be any surprises. Perhaps, you deleted a folder on a BitLocker encrypted drive and then you found the folder contains many family photos. In this situation, all deleted files will get hidden from your eyes. But fortunately, they can be easily restored.

  • Mistakenly format a BitLocker encrypted hard drive
  • Whether you format a BitLocker encrypted hard disk by mistake or on purpose, this could result in a complete data loss on the drive if you don't make any backup. The good news is that most of data can be recovered after format.

  • The BitLocker encrypted drive become RAW somehow
  • The BitLocker encrypted drive is prone to be damaged. Then you will receive error messges like "The disk in drive is not formatted, you need to format the disk before you can use it", "The parameter is incorrect" or "Access is denied". Perhaps you cannot unlock the drive normally. In this situation, you are not able to get access to all data stored on the BitLocker encrypted drive.

    You need to format the disk before you can use it

  • Data lost while shrinking or creating partitions on BitLocker encrypted drives
  • There are times when you create a new volume from unallocated hard drive partition, things go wrong and your system may fail to allocate space. As a result, some files will miss or disappear.

  • Lose the BitLocker recovery password, failing to access it
  • Sometimes, BitLocker encrypted drive cannot accept with password or recovery key and you cannot unlock the drive normally.

  • Hardware problems
  • Such as physical damage on disk, poor connection between hard drive and computer, unstable power supply, etc.

  • Other situations that result in data loss from a BitLocker encrypted drive

Can you recover data from BitLocker encrypted drives?

Yes, you can if the deleted/lost data has not been overwritten. When you create a file, the operating system will insert a marker that points to where files are on a hard drive. If you delete a file on the BitLocker encrypted drive, typically you are only removing the marker. If you lose access to data stored on the BitLocker encrypted drive, it's the file system on the drive is corrupted that Windows cannot locate all files on the drive.

Therefore, the deleted/lost files will stay on the BitLocker encrypted drive until they are overwritten by new information. Until that happens, it is possible to recover deleted/lost data.

However, recovering data from BitLocker encrypted drive will be a little different from a normal data recovery case. BitLocker data recovery is little difficult as it requires intact BitLocker metadata and Password or 48-digit recovery key to decrypt data. In case the BitLocker metadata has been corrupted, there is no way to recover data from BitLocker encrypted drive in Windows 10.

Moreover, if your BitLocker encrypted drive has been physically failed/damaged, none of software can detect the drive let alone recovering data from it. The only solution is to send it to a local data recovery professional for help.

Bonus tip 1: Back up your data regularly

Obviously, your data is easy to get lost due to all kinds of reasons. Even when you are so careful, the important may disappear all of a sudden. That's why so many professionals have stressed that you should back up your data regularly. No matter what you are doing with your PC or laptop for upgrading, restoring, jailbreaking or more, please back up firstly.

Bonus tip 2: Develop good computer habits

Firstly, you should install an antivirus software. An antivirus software allows you to scan your machine in real time for all types of viruses, including malware, adware, trojans, ransomware, etc.

Secondly, don't install or download unknown or unsolicited programs to your computer, as they are always bundled with virus and malware.

Thirdly, clean out the clutter on your hard drive. Always get rid of unused applications, because they can clutter your system.

Fourthly, protect against power surges. An enough power supply protects your computer and data during a power failure. Fifthly, perform disk fragmentation once every few months. This operation helps to improve disk access time as well as recovery process.

Conclusion

In this article, we mainly focus on how to recover data from BitLocker encrypted drives. The good news is that whatever the BitLocker encrypted drive is corrupted or inaccessible for some unknown reasons, iBoysoft Data Recovery is possible to fix all kinds of data loss scenarios.

Do have any other methods to recover data from BitLocker ecnrypted drives? If you have one, please feel free to email us.

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