The BitLocker recovery key and BitLocker password are different things. The BitLocker password is the password you entered to encrypt the drive when you turn on Bitlocker Drive Encryption on that drive. The BitLocker recovery key is a special key that you can create when you turn on Bitlocker Drive Encryption for the first time on each drive that you encrypt. The recovery key is what enables Bitlocker to recover things for you when you forgot your BitLocker password. In other words, if you forget your BitLocker password, you can use BitLocker recovery key to access the data protected by BitLocker. And if you forget your BitLocker password and lost your BitLocker recovery key, then there is no way for you to access the data protected by BitLocker. This is why Microsoft puts an emphasis on the fact that you should store the recovery key by printing it, saving it on removable media, or saving it as a file in a secure place.
The BitLocker recovery key is stored in a BEK (BitLocker Encryption Key) or TXT file named like 'BitLocker Recovery Key 81BBE901-52EC-434E-8B44-CE6F4564575C.BEK' or 'BitLocker Recovery Key 81BBE901-52EC-434E-8B44-CE6F4564575C.TXT'.
If you forget the BitLocker password used to encrypt a partition, you can use Bitlocker recovery key to unlock the partition protected by BitLocker. If you have forget the BitLocker recovery key, there are 4 possible ways to find BitLocker recovery key:
1. When you encrypt a partition, Microsoft will prompt you to save or print the Bitlocker recovery key. If you have saved the Bitlocker recovery key to a file, a removable media, or printed on a piece of paper. You just need to find it.
2. If your computer is connected to a domain, contact your system administrator to get your Bitlocker recovery key.
3. If you were signed in to your Microsoft account when you encrypted a drive with Bitlocker Drive Encryption, go to Microsoft account to get your BitLocker Recovery Key.
4. Ask someone with administrator privileges on the same computer to unlock it with their key.