Manage-bde: changekey

Updated: August 21, 2013

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8

Modifies the startup key for an operating system drive. For examples of how this command can be used, see Examples.


manage-bde -changekey [<Drive>] [<PathToExternalKeyDirectory>] [-computername <Name>] [{-?|/?}] [{-help|-h}]





Represents a drive letter followed by a colon.


Represents the directory location to save the external startup key file that can be used to unlock the drive.


Specifies that Manage-bde.exe will be used to modify BitLocker protection on a different computer. You can also use -cn as an abbreviated version of this command.


Represents the name of the computer on which to modify BitLocker protection. Accepted values include the computer's NetBIOS name and the computer's IP address.

-? or /?

Displays brief Help at the command prompt.

-help or -h

Displays complete Help at the command prompt.


The following example illustrates using the -changekey command to create a new startup key on drive E to use with BitLocker encryption on drive C.

manage-bde –changekey C: E:\

Additional references