BitLocker locked me out on Surface Pro 3; I've never set up BitLocker and key is not stored anywhere.


I have a Surface Pro 3, i5 256GB, bought in July 2014.

I am the ONLY person who has ever touched my Surface Pro 3.  No one else has EVER used it.  No administrator has ever set it up or fiddled with it at all.  It is a personal computer (not admin'd by any company or organization in ANY way) and I am the only one who has used it.

A week ago, upon booting, my Surface Pro 3 opened to a blue screen which unexpectedly said "BitLocker: Enter the recovery key to get going again" and underneath the entry field said "To retrieve this key, go to" 

Please note:  I am 10,000% CERTAIN I have NEVER set up BitLocker on my computer.  No one else has.  I am definite of it.  No one has sneakily had access to my computer.  I am definite of that too.

But I went to that link above, signed into my account, and it told me that NO BitLocker key has been stored for my account.  Again... no one else has it, no non-existent admin has it, and no "other user" has it, because I am the only one who has used this computer.  Ever.  Period.

I called support several times (and got hung up on twice after an hour during the support call, by the way), and then went to the Microsoft store.  Everyone in support has confirmed that the Surface Pro 3 (unlike the Surface 2) does NOT automatically set up BitLocker unless it is initiated by the user at some point.  I am more certain than certain can be... that I NEVER set up BitLocker on my drive.

But, somehow, BitLocker has encrypted my drive, and there is no key.

There is no way around it.  I cannot get the key when it never existed.  I didn't "forget" or "misplace" the BitLocker key, because I never set one up.  

Phone support helpfully told me that it must be a virus (please, seriously? Does support always say that just to deny ANY responsibility for anything EVER?) or claims that I set up BitLocker and forgot (Again... please).  

I am livid.  I have lost weeks worth of files.  How can BitLocker be set up on my drive, and the key is not available through my account?

There is no way of getting around it, apparently, but I still think there must be something I can do.

Has anyone ever had a similar problem, and has anyone found a solution?  I need desperately to get those files back.  (Yes, I back up often, but it has still been about 2 weeks, and not everything got backed up perfectly.)

I would really appreciate if anyone knows any tricks etc.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help!


hotel123123 at gm


Hello Dave,

Thank you for posting your query on Microsoft Community forum.

Unfortunately my answers also support the statements which you receive either from websites or from other technicians. Bit locker never-ever get created and implemented by its own. Applying bitlocker on any system require several step then only it gets implemented.

BitLocker Drive Encryption help us to protect all files stored on the drive Windows is installed on (operating system drive) and on fixed data drives (such as internal hard drives). We can use BitLocker to protect all files stored on removable data drives (such as external hard drives or USB flash drives).

If it has been implemented and you don't know the key then there is no way to get the key and you might need to perform refresh, reset or reinstall windows.

Important: Check this article and refer the warning section, you can copy the warning section as the disclaimer when you provide Refresh or Reset in Windows 8 or Windows 8.1

Hope the information provided is helpful. Do let us know if you have any more concern related to Windows. We will be happy to assist you.


Ramesh Kumar.

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Last updated May 18, 2022 Views 65,119 Applies to: