BitLocker made its debut with Windows Vista in 2007. Encrypts an entire drive and protects against unauthorized access/modifications at the system or firmware level. This is a password or PIN (in case of a TMP chip) that can be 8 to 256 characters long, acting as a gateway guard to access the encrypted drive. In this article, we will show you how to change BitLocker password in Windows 10.
There are many reasons why you might want to change your password. It can be very difficult to remember or type the password. You may suspect that the password has been compromised. It is good security practice to change passwords frequently.
1. Change BitLocker Password from Driver Menu
Here is the first way. Press Windows key + E shortcut to open File Explorer and click on This PC. You will see a list of all drives: internal and external. Right-click the drive whose password you want to change and select Change BitLocker password.
Enter your old BitLocker password first, then the new password you want to keep. Note that BitLocker passwords can contain letters, numbers, and symbols with a maximum limit of 256 characters.
Click Change password to save the changes. Write down the new password in an offline location such as a diary.
2. Change BitLocker Password from Control Panel
If for some reason the shortcut does not appear in the right-click menu, you can also change the BitLocker password from the Control Panel. Search for Manage BitLocker from the start menu and open it.
BitLocker Control Panel options will now launch. Click on the drive name to reveal the options and select Change password.
You will see the same popup as you did in the previous point to change the password. Have you noticed the additional options next to Drive? One of the options is ‘Back up your recovery key’ among them. The recovery key helps you recover the BitLocker password if you forget it.
Click on it to start the backup process. The first option will back up your recovery key to your Microsoft account. This is safe provided you have 2FA enabled for your Microsoft account. You can also save it to a file and print it for safe offline storage. After selecting an option, follow the onscreen instructions.
3. Change BitLocker Password from Command Prompt
Some unfortunate users were unable to change their BitLocker password. If you can’t access the BitLocker settings as usual, don’t worry as there is a CMD (Command Prompt) trick that works just fine.
Search for CMD in the start menu and select Run as administrator from the right pane.
Enter the following command and you will need to replace the ‘drive letter’ there with the letter of the drive whose password you want to change. For example, drive E (capital letters).
manage-bde -changepassword driveletter:
When you press enter after entering this command, you will be prompted to enter the new password. Twice. Unlike the previous methods, you do not need to enter the old password. This can be useful for changing the password even if you forget the old one. However, it raises an important question. What if someone has access to my laptop? That’s why you should always lock your Windows 10 computer and use Windows Hello for security.
Note that when you enter the new password, you will not see the cursor move in CMD. It will appear blank to protect from accidental hacks or leaks. Therefore, be careful when typing the new password. Some people get confused because of the lack of visual verification. Fortunately, you will be prompted to re-enter the new password for verification. After that you should see a success message.
Go ahead and try to unlock or lock the BitLocker drive with the new password.
BitLocker Alternative: VeraCrypt
Finding a BitLocker alternative is as easy as searching for it on Google. I recommend VeraCrypt to Windows Home users. I like VeraCrypt because it’s free, open source, and easy to use, although there are many other options out there.
It offers several different encryption algorithms such as AES, Camellia, and Twofish. AES is the most popular, and for all the right reasons. VeraCrypt offers enterprise-grade encryption with options to encrypt internal and external drives, partitions, and the ability to create virtual disks.
A very cool feature is Reasonable Deniability, where you can show fake and random datasets to a hacker instead of real sensitive files. It’s a good number.
BitLocker is robust and secure and unbeatable if you use it on a computer that comes with a TPM chip. Make sure you don’t lose your password and keep it in a safe place, preferably offline. Changing the BitLocker password is pretty easy, thanks to Microsoft. Just follow the steps and you should be fine.
Next: Want to encrypt zip files before sharing/sending online? Click on the link below to learn how to encrypt such files with AES.