The BitLocker encryption on this drive isn’t compatible with your version of Windows

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If you are locked on a Windows 10 computer and are trying to unlock a BitLocker encrypted drive, but the BitLocker encryption error message on that drive is incompatible with your version of Windows, this article is here to help you.In this article, we present possible solutions that you can try to solve this problem.

When this issue occurs, the following error message is displayed:

The BitLocker encryption on this drive isn’t compatible with your version of Windows. Try opening the drive using a newer version of Windows.

What is BitLocker?

BitLocker is an encryption feature built into computers running Windows 10 Pro. If you are using Windows 10 Home, you cannot use BitLocker.

BitLocker creates a secure environment for your data effortlessly. Once set up, you might even forget it’s up and running there!

Not sure which version of Windows you are using? To find the current license and version, type your computer into the Windows search box and press Enter. Scroll down to the Windows Specifications section. The current version of Windows installed on your computer can be found in the Edition section.

Updated: May 2024

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Try Disabling BitLocker from the Command Line

  • Open Start and type: CMD
  • Right click on CMD
  • Click on Run as administrator
  • At the command prompt, type OR copy and paste them one at a time: (press Enter after each).
  • Enter the following command to unlock the BitLocker drive using the 48-digit recovery key:
    manage-bde -unlock D: -RecoveryPassword YOUR-BITLOCKER-RECOVERY-KEY-HERE
  • If you can remember your BitLocker user password, enter the following command. After pressing Enter, you will be prompted for the user password.
    manage-bde -unlock D: -Password
  • Then disable BitLocker encryption:
    manage-bde -off D:
  • Exit and restart.

Check your Drive’s Connection

With this solution, you need to open your PC (you may need the services of a hardware technician) and reboot the SATA cables. Remove the Bitlocker drive from the computer and reconnect the drive to a different connector.

If this solution fails to resolve the BitLocker encryption issue, you can try the next solution.

Try Another Windows

If the Bitlocker driver is encrypted on Windows 7/8, this Bitlocker drive cannot be read on Windows 10 because Windows 10 uses the XTS-AES encryption algorithms and the older Windows AES encryption algorithms. You need to try another Windows 7/8 computer.

If the Bitlocker drive is encrypted in Windows 10 and New Encryption Mode is selected, this Bitlocker drive cannot be read in Windows 7/8 because the new XTS-AES encryption algorithm is compatible with the old Windows version. You need to try another Windows 10 PC.

Updating Firmware and BIOS

With this solution, you should try to update the BIOS and firmware of your Windows 10 computer to check if the BitLocker encryption issue is compatible.

However, if you’ve exhausted all other possible options and none of the solutions worked, you can use the BitLocker recovery tool to access and recover data and files from the inaccessible BitLocker encrypted drive, and then reinstall Windows 10.

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