Encrypting a Time Machine Backup Disk

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by kat.hayes, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. kat.hayes macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    #1
    I plugged in an external drive into a new Mac and one of the options presented was a checkbox to Encrypt Backup Disk.

    1. Is this so if someone takes my Time Machine Backup Drive they will not be able to access my data?
    2. How Do I access my data if I enable this option? Does it ask me for a password overtime I try to access the drive?
    3. Is there a way to enable the encryption option on a Time Machine drive that is already in use?

    Thanks.
     
  2. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #2
    Here is some information that should help.
     
  3. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #3
    1. Exactly.
    2. You will be asked to create a password the first time, then optionally that password will be saved to OS X Keychain application and you will not be asked for the password again on that Mac. If you go to access the drive on another Mac, you will be asked for the password.
    3. Just check that same box and it will encrypt the drive and the data on it.
     
  4. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    #4
    If you do enable encryption do not forget the password! If you do your backups are gone forever.
     
  5. kat.hayes thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    #5
    If I want to enable it on an existing Time Machine backup drive, where it the same box to check? It does not pop back up. Also, I'm assuming that even though the drive is encrypted, if I use a weak password than someone who really wants my data can use a password program with brute force to somehow guess it?

    Thanks.
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #6
    Just open Time Machine preferences then click select disk and you will see the checkbox there. Mine is checked already, but if you don't have encryption on, it will be unchecked and you can check it to encrypt.

    You want a good password on there, but I don't think you need to go nuts. :)

    Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 11.16.22 AM.png
     
  7. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #7
    You can also enable encryption in Finder by right-clicking on your Time Machine volume (in the sidebar or via Go > Computer) and selecting “Encrypt”. If you want to make sure that your encryption password is stored online as well (as a backup), you can use iCloud Keychain. Alternatively, consider a password manager.
     
  8. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    #8
    That is possible. I doubt anyone would bother to try unless the information is valuable because even weak password will take some time to break with commonly available resources.
     

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