SysKey, so long, and thanks for all the fish!

SysKey has been around for many years (since NT 4, if my memory serves me well), and in some scenarios,  we were able to use an external password before the boot process. It was also used to encrypt user account password hashes.

If you are familiar with SysKey and for some reason want to use it moving forward, I’m sorry to let you know but the utility is no longer supported in the new releases of Windows, including Windows 10, Windows Server 2016, and, of course, Windows Server 2019.

The new operating systems releases will never prompt for the SysKey password during startup (in case you have it configured to do so) and you are not going to be able to upgrade the current OS to the latest version (the ones that no longer support SysKey).

If you have been using SysKey with the Active Directory IFM (Install From Media) feature, consider using BitLocker instead. As a matter of fact, BitLocker is the solution for any scenario that you were planning SysKey.

Featured image: Pixabay

Anderson Patricio

Anderson Patricio is a Canadian MVP in Cloud and Datacenter Management, and Office Server and Services, besides of the Microsoft Award he also holds a Solutions Master (MCSM) in Exchange, CISSP and several other certifications. Anderson contributes to the Microsoft Community with articles, tutorials, blog posts, twitter, forums and book reviews. He is a regular contributor here at,, and Anderson (Portuguese).

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