FileVault encryption takes for ever on a SSD

Tex-Twil

macrumors 68020
Original poster
May 28, 2008
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Berlin
Hi,
I turned on the FileVault on macOS High Sierra but the encryption takes forever. It says "More than one day remaining".

My specs are:

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015)
2,2 GHz Intel Core i7
16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
256 GB SSD (APFS Volume)

Is it normal for it to take so long?

cheers,
Tex
 
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quaresma

macrumors member
Jan 20, 2013
77
143
Same problem here on MBP 2015 13".

On Sierra it would take 20 min. to complete (the same on El Cap), on High Sierra it takes 3 hours to complete on a clean install.

And it's no different on 10.13.3.

FileVault got extremely slow on High Sierra, and I don't know why.
 

Tex-Twil

macrumors 68020
Original poster
May 28, 2008
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Berlin
Is it safe to put the MacBook pro to sleep during the encryption? I'm at work and will have to bring the mac home and it does not look like it will complete before I go ...
 

chabig

macrumors 603
Sep 6, 2002
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3,139
Yes. Encryption will resume when you wake the machine. One day sounds reasonable to me. I’ve had larger drives take 4-5 days.
 

chrono1081

macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2008
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Isla Nublar
This is normal. Encryption takes awhile but once it's done you don't have to worry about it anymore. You also can't really go by it's estimates. Most of the drives I've encrypted will say a long time, but end up taking about 12 hours or so.
 

Smoothie

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2007
590
306
California
A couple of days ago, I enabled FileVault on my 2017 iMac with an SSD running Sierra. The drive is 1 TB, and I'm only using 140 GB at the moment. As it was installing, the time estimate varied wildly between 20 minutes and over 24 hours. There were plenty of periods where the CPU was at 1 percent usage, so I don't know what FileVault was doing then. The entire process only took two hours, with half of the time devoted to optimizing.

I still haven't installed High Sierra because my system has been rock solid. But I assume when I finally install High Sierra, it won't need to re-encrypt the drive. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
 

quaresma

macrumors member
Jan 20, 2013
77
143
This is normal. Encryption takes awhile but once it's done you don't have to worry about it anymore. You also can't really go by it's estimates. Most of the drives I've encrypted will say a long time, but end up taking about 12 hours or so.
No it's not... not when you compare to older version of MacOS.

Like I said it was fast on El Cap and Sierra, but it's 10x slower on High Sierra.
 

TokMok3

macrumors 6502a
Aug 22, 2015
561
352
A couple of days ago, I enabled FileVault on my 2017 iMac with an SSD running Sierra. The drive is 1 TB, and I'm only using 140 GB at the moment. As it was installing, the time estimate varied wildly between 20 minutes and over 24 hours. There were plenty of periods where the CPU was at 1 percent usage, so I don't know what FileVault was doing then. The entire process only took two hours, with half of the time devoted to optimizing.

I still haven't installed High Sierra because my system has been rock solid. But I assume when I finally install High Sierra, it won't need to re-encrypt the drive. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
If you do a clean install of High Sierra you need re-encrypt. With this new securities vulnerabilities I gave up on encrypting. Something tells me that those recent securities patches are useless.
 

chabig

macrumors 603
Sep 6, 2002
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3,139
I assume when I finally install High Sierra, it won't need to re-encrypt the drive. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
That's correct. You won't need to re-encrypt. The data on the drive remains encrypted, of course. If you do an upgrade, the machine already knows your encryption key. If you do a clean install, it depends on how you do it. If you do a simple erase to delete all files, the drive will remain encrypted but will be empty. If you reformat, you'll wipe the encryption and have to re-encrypt.
 

Johnny McCash

macrumors newbie
Jul 17, 2013
9
3
OMG, this is ridiculous. Realised Thursday that I'd somehow been walking around without FileVault on my lappie. Think I must've been doing some partition resizing at some point and turned it off temporarily... Anyway, it's now Monday, and it's still going at it! Actually, most of the time it just reads, "Estimating time remaining..." or "Encryption paused," if I do the slightest thing.

This has never taken this long. Last I encrypted a(n almost) full 500 GB SSD, it took less than twenty minutes, and the laptop didn't even become unresponsive or anything. This is ridiculous. Judging from where the progress bar is right now,
it's gonna take another day to finish. This is on Sierra, BTW, so it's not High Sierra-specific.

I cannot remember which OS version I ran the last time I enabled FileVault, but it may have been any version between El Cap and High Sierra. I wonder if either Apple noticed slowdowns with older CPUs without AES-NI capabilities (all my Macs have CPUs with AES-NI) and decided to throttle this like crazy? I mean, taking out the power cord now pauses encryption — why?!?! On an AES-NI-capable CPU the encryption uses next to no resources.

Maybe this, or some patch related to the meltdown/spectre bugs? Either way, macOS is just getting worse and worse. When Steve Jobs died and people went, "Oh noes, what's gonna happen with Apple now?," I shook my head and went, "Come on, that's just ridiculous." But IMO, everything continually gets worse with each new product or update since he died.

I'm going back to Mavericks on my workstation. Rant over. Peace.
 
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poorcody

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2013
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It has been my experience recently that encryption stops or at least comes to a complete crawl when the machine idles. I find the encryption happens much quicker if I'm actually using the machine. I believe there are utilities around that prevent idling for such circumstances.
 
Last edited:

chabig

macrumors 603
Sep 6, 2002
5,877
3,139
OMG, this is ridiculous. Realised Thursday that I'd somehow been walking around without FileVault on my lappie. Think I must've been doing some partition resizing at some point and turned it off temporarily... Anyway, it's now Monday, and it's still going at it! Actually, most of the time it just reads, "Estimating time remaining..." or "Encryption paused," if I do the slightest thing.

This has never taken this long. Last I encrypted a(n almost) full 500 GB SSD, it took less than twenty minutes, and the laptop didn't even become unresponsive or anything. This is ridiculous. Judging from where the progress bar is right now,
it's gonna take another day to finish. This is on Sierra, BTW, so it's not High Sierra-specific.

I cannot remember which OS version I ran the last time I enabled FileVault, but it may have been any version between El Cap and High Sierra. I wonder if either Apple noticed slowdowns with older CPUs without AES-NI capabilities (all my Macs have CPUs with AES-NI) and decided to throttle this like crazy? I mean, taking out the power cord now pauses encryption — why?!?! On an AES-NI-capable CPU the encryption uses next to no resources.

Maybe this, or some patch related to the meltdown/spectre bugs? Either way, macOS is just getting worse and worse. When Steve Jobs died and people went, "Oh noes, what's gonna happen with Apple now?," I shook my head and went, "Come on, that's just ridiculous." But IMO, everything continually gets worse with each new product or update since he died.

I'm going back to Mavericks on my workstation. Rant over. Peace.
Days is the right amount of time to encrypt 500GB. It has never been possible to do that in 20 minutes.
 

reginaldmmari

macrumors newbie
Aug 4, 2018
1
0
Hi,
I turned on the FileVault on macOS High Sierra but the encryption takes forever. It says "More than one day remaining".

My specs are:

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015)
2,2 GHz Intel Core i7
16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
256 GB SSD (APFS Volume)

Is it normal for it to take so long?

cheers,
Tex
The only solution is to decrypt and don’t enable encryption,
Follow steps below,
1.Unplug your MacBook from power source.
2.Restart your computer.
3.If you see a message asking you to reopen programs after restart because your computer was shut down because of problem don’t open (cancel)
4.Go to search and type “terminal “ and open terminal.
5. Type sudo fdesetup disable
6.Enter your computer password and enter because you won’t see password while typing
7.You will see a message (connect power adopter to resume decryption)
8.Connect power and wait for decryption to complete
9.If you want to see decryption progress open terminal and type sudo fdesetup status

Enjoy your fastest MacBook again
 

donawalt

macrumors 6502
Sep 10, 2015
329
128
I have done a lot of playing around with this, on my mbp'18 I found what worked fastest was, assuming you could start with a freshly formatted disk, format it encrypted, and then do your first backup. For me with about 900GB used on my mbp it took about 15 hours. I left the lid open but it did turn off the display, not sure if that matters.

Don't do this -- One time I formatted unencrypted, then turned on the encrypted checkbox in TM - the backup took about 12 hours, and then encryption kicked in - it was taking about 3 hours just to get to 1% of the disk!

I will also say - initial backup is very slow too, encrypted or not. It does about 300GB in about an hour as I recall, but then it might just sit there without doing any bckup for about 30 minutes. It's like it's calculating something, like it's using some of the old inefficient binary sort algorithms, or something. It clearly gets MUCH slower the more data it backs up. Once it does the initial backup, and subsequent backups consist of adding links to unmodified files, it's fine.

This needs to be rewritten completely IMHO. Maybe the September release optimizes it again.
 

Tex-Twil

macrumors 68020
Original poster
May 28, 2008
2,473
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Berlin
The only solution is to decrypt and don’t enable encryption
Best advice ever :D (sarcasm). This is obviously not a solution as this topic is about FileVault encryption.


The bottom line is that FireVault does take time to finish. From my observation, it's ok to simply keep using and even put to sleep the mac while the encryption takes place.
 

donawalt

macrumors 6502
Sep 10, 2015
329
128
The bottom line is that FireVault does take time to finish. From my observation, it's ok to simply keep using and even put to sleep the mac while the encryption takes place.
Agreed. Also once it gets done, it's very transparent to your usage. I thought hard about turning off encryption, I Just didn't want to take the risk. Now I am glad I didn't.
 

amir23z

macrumors newbie
Jun 24, 2019
1
0
Hi,
I turned on the FileVault on macOS High Sierra but the encryption takes forever. It says "More than one day remaining".

My specs are:

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015)
2,2 GHz Intel Core i7
16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
256 GB SSD (APFS Volume)

Is it normal for it to take so long?

cheers,
Tex
Hi I am currently off from a fresh install with a clean hard drive (erased and installed OS)
Using mid-2014 macbook pro 128gb ssd.
Anyone has current updates on the speed of the encryption on the filevault on the current High Sierra OS?

p/s: i need to bootcamp my mac to install solidworks on a windows environment for work... and its taking forever! 2 hours in at 35%
 

poorcody

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2013
723
538
Hi I am currently off from a fresh install with a clean hard drive (erased and installed OS)
Using mid-2014 macbook pro 128gb ssd.
Anyone has current updates on the speed of the encryption on the filevault on the current High Sierra OS?
I just recently did a FileVault encryption on a Mojave backup (USB-3 HDD), and it was still very slow (took almost 24 hours for around 400GB). Still see the same issue I mentioned in the post above (#13). It definitely goes much faster if you are using the machine as the encryption happens, for some bizarre reason. I tried running the Terminal command "caffeinate" to prevent idle sleep, and it didn't help.