How To Password Protect External Drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by PicnicTutorials, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. PicnicTutorials macrumors 6502a

    PicnicTutorials

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    #1
    How To Password Protect External Drive? So when I plug it in to my mac it will ask for a password to view it.
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    Reinitialize the drive using Disk Utility.
    - On left, select the drive to be encrypted
    - Choose "erase" panel
    - From the popup, choose "Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted)"
    - Enter password when prompted
    - Then, erase.

    I believe the password you enter gets stored in your keychain.
    When you mount the drive on YOUR Mac, it will mount automatically, because the password is already entered and stored.
    BUT -- if you (or anyone else) attempts to mount the drive on a different Mac, it will throw up the password request and won't mount unless the correct password is entered.

    If I'm wrong, others please jump in and provide correction.
     
  3. PicnicTutorials thread starter macrumors 6502a

    PicnicTutorials

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    #3
    Thanks! Erase? I don't get the erase part. I don't want to erase anything. Just password protect what's already on it.
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    [[ Thanks! Erase? I don't get the erase part. I don't want to erase anything. Just password protect what's already on it. ]]

    I believe the procedure I outlined above requires that you RE-initialize the entire drive (that means "erase") in order to establish the encryption.

    I don't think there's another way to do it (at least as far as creating encryption with Disk Utility is concerned). Perhaps someone else can suggest something.

    So....
    If you want to do it this way, you're going to have to:
    1. Copy everything that's currently on the external drive to another location
    2. Re-initialize the external drive using Disk Utility, and finally
    3. Copy your data _back over to_ the newly-encrypted drive.
     
  5. Weaselboy, Jan 16, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014

    Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #5
    If you are on Mountain Lion or newer, and assuming the drive is already formatted to the standard Mac OS Extended format, then just attach the drive and right click on it in Finder and select Encrypt. No need to erase the drive first.

    This will convert the drive to an encrypted core storage volume that will prompt for a PW when you plug it in.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #6
    You do mean Mountain Lion or newer, correct? Option to encrypt from the Finder doesn't exist in Lion (unless I'm missing some simple setting, which is possible, I suppose)
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #7
    You are absolutely right. :) I had forgotten it was not added until ML. Thanks
     
  8. Xe89 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    #8
    Yes, you are right:

    http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/07/os-x-10-8/22/#file-vault-2

    Lion made encrypting the boot drive easy, but encrypting an arbitrary volume often required a trip to the command line. Mountain Lion remedies that situation. Just right-click any volume in the Finder and select the "Encrypt" command. You'll be prompted to enter a password and an optional hint, then encryption will begin in the background.
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    [[ You do mean Mountain Lion or newer, correct? Option to encrypt from the Finder doesn't exist in Lion (unless I'm missing some simple setting, which is possible, I suppose) ]]

    I was pleased to find this in Mountain Lion, as well.

    Makes things much easier!
     

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