A reader made a pretty big mistake.

“I have been messing with Bitlocker on Windows 10 Pro. It has the ability to encrypt a folder. I encrypted one folder and still have full access to it, but I did not save the code key. No matter what I try, I have no access to that key. I deleted the folder and made a new one. It has the same code key and no means of saving. It seems that I will not be given access to the code key on this computer with formatting the hard drive and starting out fresh. I hope this piques your interest as much as it has mine.”

Bitlocker is a powerful tool for encrypting and securing your folders in Windows 10. Losing the key is a great big no-no. When you create a key you’re given the option to print it, save it to a USB or save it to your Windows account. Doing all three is an excellent idea.

If you have a modern device, your key should already be saved to your Microsoft account. Click here to go to your account and sign in.

If you’ve genuinely lost the key, you’re out of luck. And that’s kind of the point of having a secure key that nobody can get to.

So, if you decide to encrypt files with Bitlocker, make sure you have that key.