BitLocker prevents OS access at startup and recovery key was never given to us, how to disable?

Occasional Visitor

During Windows 11 setup in a Dell Inspiron 2-in-1, I never saw the words "BitLocker" come across my screen. My mother-in-law used her laptop to save her photos and surf the web without any issues until last week. When she turned on her computer, it asked for a BitLocker recovery key. When she asked me about it, I followed the instructions that the screen provides to find her recovery keys in her Microsoft account. There are no recovery keys in her Microsoft account, and its not because her or I forgot to add it - its because we were never told to do anything with any recovery key. How can I get her cherished photos back? She's heartbroken about the prospect that we have to delete the hard drive and reset the whole thing. She stored scanned photos of her father since they were fading away. That's family history that she'll be losing if we can't get in. Please do not link me to a confusing thread, just tell me straight what steps I can take to get past BitLocker! 

 

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