BitLocker debuted with Windows Vista in 2007. BitLocker encrypts the entire drive and protects against system / firmware level access or firmware level changes. Acting as a gatekeeper to access this encrypted drive is a password or PIN (for TMP chips), which can be between 8 and 256 characters in length. In this post, we will show you how to change your BitLocker password in Windows 10.
There may be many reasons for changing your password. You might find passwords too difficult to remember or type. Maybe you suspect that the password has been compromised. This is a good security practice for changing passwords frequently.
Let’s get started.
1. Change the BitLocker Password from the Drive Menu
This is the first way. Press the 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 on the drive where you want to change your password and select Change BitLocker password.
Enter your old BitLocker password first, then the new password that you want to save. Note that the BitLocker password can contain letters, numbers and symbols with a maximum limit of 256 characters.
Click Change password to save changes. Note the new password somewhere offline like a diary.
2. Change the BitLocker Password from the Control Panel
If the shortcut isn’t visible in the right-click menu for several reasons, you can change the BitLocker password from the Control Panel too. Find Manage BitLocker from the Start menu and open it.
The BitLocker Control Panel option will launch now. Click on the drive name to reveal the options and select Change password.
You will see the same pop-up window to change the password, as you did in the previous point. Notice the additional options next to Drive? One option is ‘Back up your recovery key’ in between. Recovery key will help you recover your BitLocker password if you forget it.
Click to start the backup process. The first option will back up your recovery key to your Microsoft account. It’s safe, provided you have activated 2FA for your Microsoft account. You can also save it to file and print it for offline storage, which is safe. Follow the instructions on the screen after selecting an option.
3. Change the BitLocker Password from the Command Prompt
Some unlucky users cannot change their BitLocker password. Don’t worry because there is a CMD (Command Prompt) trick that works well if you can’t access the BitLocker settings as usual.
Look for CMD in the Start menu and select Run as administrator from the right panel.
Enter the command below and you must replace the ‘drive letter’ there with the drive letter you want to change the password for. For example, E (within the letter limit) drive.
manage-bde -changepassword driveletter:
After entering that command, when you press enter, you will be asked to enter a new password. Twice. Unlike the previous method, there is no need to enter the old password. It might be useful to change your password even when you forget the old one. However, this 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 a new password, you will not see the cursor movement in the CMD. This will be displayed as blank to protect against hacking or accidental leakage. So, be careful when typing a new password. Some people get confused due to lack of visual confirmation. Luckily, you will be asked to re-enter your new password for verification. After that you will see a message of success.
Continue and try opening or locking the BitLocker drive with a new password.
Alternative BitLocker: VeraCrypt
Finding alternative BitLocker is as easy as looking for it on Google. I recommend VeraCrypt to Windows Home users. Although there are many other options available on the market, I like VeraCrypt because it’s free, open-source, and easy to use.
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-level encryption with the option to encrypt internal and external drives, partitions, and the ability to create virtual disks.
A really cool feature is Plausible Deniability, where you can reveal fake and random data sets to hackers instead of real sensitive files. This is a neat trick.
BitLocker is powerful and safe, and if you use it on a computer equipped with a TPM chip, it’s second to none. Make sure you don’t lose your password and store it in a safe place, especially offline. Changing your BitLocker password is fairly easy, thanks to Microsoft. Just follow the steps, and you should be fine.