BitLocker Command-line Tools

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows 7 includes three command-line tools that you can use when working with BitLocker. These tools can be found in the %systemdrive%\Windows\System32 folder.

  • BdeHdCfg

    This tool is used to prepare a hard drive with the partitions necessary for BitLocker Drive Encryption. Most installations of Windows 7 will not need to use this tool because BitLocker setup includes the ability to prepare and repartition drives as required. For more information, see BdeHdCfg.exe Parameter Reference.

  • Manage-bde

    This tool can be used to turn on or turn off BitLocker, specify unlock mechanisms, update recovery methods, and unlock BitLocker-protected data drives. This tool can be used in place of the BitLocker Drive Encryption Control Panel item. For more information, see Manage-bde.exe Parameter Reference.

  • Repair-bde

    This tool is used to recover access to BitLocker-protected drives that have been damaged or corrupted when access cannot be restored by using the recovery console. For more information, see Repair-bde.exe Parameter Reference.


The BitLocker command-line tools refer to volumes instead of drives. In Windows 7, most BitLocker Drive Encryption features use the term "drive" instead of "volume." When used with BitLocker, you can consider these terms to be synonymous.


Fveupdate.exe is not a command-line tool; it is an application used by BitLocker to update the BitLocker metadata when the operating system is upgraded.

Using the references

The command-line tool references use the same formatting conventions for the commands and parameters. The following table shows the formatting legend for the command syntax.

Format Description


Information that the user must supply


Elements that the user must type exactly as shown

Ellipsis (…)

Parameter that can be repeated several times in a command line

Text within brackets ([])

Optional items

Text within braces ({}); choices separated by a vertical bar (|)

Example: {even|odd}

A set of choices from which the user must choose only one