BitLocker made its debut with Windows Vista in 2007. It encrypts an entire drive and protects against unauthorized system / firmware changes / access. Acting as an access controller to access this encrypted reader is a password or PIN code (in the case of a TMP chip), which can be from 8 to 256 characters. In this article, we will show you how to change the BitLocker password in Windows 10.
There can be many reasons to change your password. You may find the password too difficult to remember or type. You may think that the password has been compromised. It is good security practice to change passwords often.
1. Change the BitLocker password in the Drive menu
Here’s the first way. Press Windows key + E shortcut to open File Explorer and click on This PC. You will see a list of all the drives: internal and external. Right-click the drive for which you want to change the password and select Change BitLocker Password.
Enter your old BitLocker password first, then the new password that you want to keep. Note that BitLocker passwords can contain alphabets, numbers, and symbols with a maximum limit of 256 characters.
Click Change Password to save the changes. Write down the new password somewhere offline like a journal.
2. Change the BitLocker password from the control panel
If the shortcut is not visible in the context menu for any reason, you can also change the BitLocker password from the Control Panel. Look for Manage BitLocker in the Start menu and open it.
The BitLocker Control Panel options will be launched now. Click the drive name to display the options and select Change password.
You will see the same popup window to change the password, as you did in the previous point. Notice the additional options next to the Drive? One of the options is “Save your recovery key” among them. The recovery key will help you recover the BitLocker password if you forget it.
Click on it to start the backup process. The first option will save your recovery key to your Microsoft account. It is safe, provided you have activated 2FA for your Microsoft account. You can also save it to a file and print it for offline storage, which is safe. Follow the on-screen instructions after choosing an option.
3. Change the BitLocker password from the command prompt
Some unfortunate users were unable to change the BitLocker password. Don’t worry because there is a CMD tip (command prompt) that works great if you can’t access the BitLocker settings in the usual way.
Find CMD in the Start menu and select Run as administrator in the right pane.
Enter the command below and you will have to replace the “drive letter” with the drive letter whose password you want to change. For example, drive E (in capital letters).
manage-bde -changepassword driveletter:
After entering this command, when you press Enter, you will be prompted to enter the new password. Twice. Unlike the previous methods, it is not necessary to enter the old password. This could be useful for changing the password even if you forget the old one. However, this raises an important question. What if someone has access to my laptop? This is 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 the CMD. It will appear blank to protect against accidental hacks or leaks. So be careful when entering the new password. Some people are confused due to a lack of visual confirmation. Fortunately, you will be asked to re-enter the new password for verification. After that, you should see a success message.
Continue and try to unlock or lock the BitLocker drive with the new password.
BitLocker alternative: VeraCrypt
Finding an alternative to BitLocker is as simple as searching for it on Google. I recommend VeraCrypt to Windows Home users. Although there are many other options available in the market, I like VeraCrypt because it is free, open-source and easy to use.
It offers some different encryption algorithms like AES, Camellia and Twofish. AES is the most popular and for all the right reasons. VeraCrypt offers enterprise level encryption with options to encrypt internal and external disks, partitions and the ability to create a virtual disk.
One very interesting feature is plausible denial, where you can reveal false and random data sets to a hacker instead of real sensitive files. It’s an interesting tip.
BitLocker is robust and secure, and if you use it on a computer with a TPM chip, it is second to none. Just make sure you don’t lose your password and store it in a safe place, preferably offline. Changing the BitLocker password is pretty easy, thanks to Microsoft. Just follow the steps and everything should be fine.
Want to encrypt zip files before sharing / sending them online? Click the link below to find out how to encrypt these files with AES.
Last updated March 19, 2020