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Back Up Your Encryption Recovery Key (Windows)

If your computer is encrypted and you forget the password that unlocks your hard drive, you'll need the encryption recovery key to unlock your drive. In most cases, Stanford users have their recovery keys backed up in a secure database by the university. The recovery key can then be retrieved in MyDevices.

Due to a bug that has now been fixed, some recovery keys that were saved using the Stanford Whole Disk Encryption (SWDE) service cannot be retrieved in MyDevices. You can check to see if any device belonging to you has a key available for retrieval in MyDevices.

If your device is encrypted but your encryption recovery key cannot be retrieved in MyDevices, you can use the Key Escrow Tool to fix the problem. 

Download software


  1. Run the installer.
    Note: If you are prompted for a password that you don't know, please contact your local IT support, submit a Help ticket or call the IT Service Desk at (650) 725-HELP (5-4357).
  2. If a message displays saying that your recovery key is already saved, you can click Cancel to exit the program.
    screen that displays if your recovery key is already saved
  3. A setup wizard guides you through the steps necessary to install the software.
  4. After the program installs, click Yes, Escrow My Recovery Key to save your encryption recovery key in a secure database.
    prompt to save your recovery key in a secure database
  5. Your encryption recovery key displays. Write this down and store it in a secure location if you wish and then click Close.
    encryption recovery key
Last modified April 25, 2017