File Encryption in Mac OS X

Discussion in 'macOS' started by mrchinchilla, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. mrchinchilla macrumors 6502


    Mar 6, 2009
    With the introduction of Mac OS 9 came on-the-fly Finder file encryption, I was recently wondering where that went. It's not a major thing; although it would make me feel safer about certain documents, I have no real need for it.

    Does anyone know why it wasn't implemented in OS X, or what happened to it?
    And to anyone who does use file encryption software: which is the best?
  2. VPrime macrumors 68000


    Dec 19, 2008
    London Ontario
    Well OSX has FileVault which encrypts your whole home folder.
    It is in the Secuirty option in system preferences.

    Though if you only want to encrypt a specific file or folder check out the free app Cryptor.
  3. mrchinchilla thread starter macrumors 6502


    Mar 6, 2009
    Yeah, I'm well aware of Filevault, and it is a horrible, anti-productive tool which can easily compromise your system. I just wanted to know where the file-specific file encryption went, as I'd prefer something right in the Finder rather than a 3rd party add-on.
  4. observer macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2007
  5. mrchinchilla thread starter macrumors 6502


    Mar 6, 2009
    I know this too, but I don't want to have to mount it every time, I just wanted file-specific encryption. As I already have an application which locks/hides folders.
  6. Scottyk9 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2004
    You know I am just going to chime in here. I have heard these 'terrible' and 'catastrophic' issues with Filevault dating back to when it was 1st introduced. I can't comment on previous versions, but SL Filevault (on an SSD) has been flawless for me. I do use encrypted dmg's when called for, but a system wide encryption has worked really well for my MBA.
  7. iVoid macrumors 65816

    Jan 9, 2007
    Are you talking about Filevault? Because it's not system wide. There are a couple out there that work on Macs (PGP and another, I forget the names).
  8. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    It's not part of the standard Finder anymore. Use an encrypted disk image.
  9. illy123 macrumors member

    Jan 1, 2010
    As far as I'm aware the options to create an encrypted container are: Truecrypt, cryptor, OSX's Disk Utility.

    However those have to be mounted; only filevault encrypts files without the need to mount them (well I guess if you don't login as mounting).
  10. Fabricman112 macrumors regular


    Apr 3, 2010
    I assume you´re looking for the same as I am...I do use encrypted diskimage and also truecrypt (multiplatform) for the "sensitive" stuff

    however small files (.txt, .rtf...)
    the way I do this in win is using winrar.. rightclick and create an encrypted archive.. I never unrar later on, just read/write and it updates it

    in os x the best I came up with was zipped with password.. in PathFinder its fairly easy but far from automated.. u can create a keycombo
    dont know if you´re using pathfinder.. it´s a not so sucky filehandler/explorer anyways
  11. Arrandale macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2010
    it's there, very well incorporated, but you need to turn it on

    it's called filevault, and you'll find it in the security prefpane
  12. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
    I use TrueCrypt and I think it's the best because it works wonderfully and you don't need to pay a dime in order to use it. It's cross-platform compatible as well.
  13. RandomKamikaze macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2009
    Interesting, I'm gonna have a look at that.

    How does it work with Time Machine? Can I still restore individual files? Can I restore from backups if I rebuild my laptop?

    I used FileVault before and last everything after trying to do a restore so am not keen to repeat that
  14. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    TrueCrypt isn't comparable to FileVault, it's comparable to an encrypted DMG. It's just a single file that acts as a container to hold files. Time Machine would backup the entire TrueCrypt volume so you would not be able to backup individual files. The only thing comparable to FileVault for Mac that I'm aware of is PGP, but it's not free.

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