Is there a way to encrypt a single folder with a password?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by PatriotInvasion, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. PatriotInvasion macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #1
    So I have some sensitive documents in a folder on my Mac that I'd like to restrict access to. Is there a way to password protect a single folder within Finder so that people using my Mac cannot view the contents?

    Seems like it should be an easy thing to do, but it doesn't look like I have that option. Please let me know. Thanks.:)
     
  2. Caleb531 macrumors 6502

    Caleb531

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    #2
    You can create an encrypted disk image and copy your files to there.

    To do that:

    1. Open Disk Utility, and click the New Image button in the toolbar.
    2. A dialog will appear where you can choose a name, size, and encryption setting for your disk image.
    3. After clicking Create and choosing a password, the image will automatically mount, and you can copy whatever files/folders you want.
    Keep in mind you can only copy files/folders to the disk image. You should delete the originals to keep them safe (now that they're in the disk image).
     
  3. PatriotInvasion thread starter macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

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    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #3
    Not sure how I'd do that and be able to access the folder myself quickly and easily. I wish I could just ctrl-click a folder and have an option for "password protect this folder and all of its content" --- just like you can "lock" system preferences from being altered with a password:)
     
  4. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

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    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #4
    Sorry, there's no built in password protection or file encryption in the finder. There are many third party software options for encrypting files or password protecting folders, but as mentioned above it's just as simple to create a password protected .dmg file. The catch with .dmg's is that you will need to specify a size for the .dmg file when you create it and there is no form of password recovery. So, if you ever lose or forget the password than your .dmg is locked forever.

    Edit:
    .dmg files only require a little time in the beginning to set up. After it's set up it's as simple as clicking to open the file and then inputting the password to mount it on your desktop. Then when finished drag to the trash to "eject". It really doesn't take any more time to operate in normal usage than a password protected folder would.
     
  5. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #5
    An encrypted disk image isn't that hard to make.

    Searching the forums for "encrypted disk image" yields a bunch of threads that you may find helpful.
     
  6. PatriotInvasion thread starter macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

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    Jul 18, 2010
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    Boston, MA
    #6
    Thanks to all for the comments. If I choose to, can I delete the encrypted disk image so that the entire Macintosh HD is returned to its default state? If the answer is yes, this seems like the best solution.
     
  7. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

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    #7
    The answer is yes. You can delete the.dmg file any time you choose.
     
  8. brijazz macrumors 6502

    brijazz

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    #8
    I highly recommend creating a disk image also, but suggest that you create one of the "sparseimage" types (also available from Disk Utility).

    A sparseimage will only occupy as much space as needed, and expand as necessary when you add files to it. Note that it will only expand to the size that you define when you create it. So, if you have 3GB of stuff now, but think that you'll eventually have 10GB, make your sparseimage 10GB. It will take up 3GB NOW, and max out at 10GB later.

    As for your latter question, you can certainly delete the image at any time. Just remember that any data it contains will go with it; think of a disk image as a locker for your selected data.
     
  9. PatriotInvasion thread starter macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

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    Jul 18, 2010
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    Boston, MA
    #9
    Good stuff. Thanks guys.
     
  10. PatriotInvasion thread starter macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

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    #10
    Hey all - Just created my first ever encrypted sparsebundle disk image. Files are totally secure now! Takes an extra step to mount the partition and enter a password, but that's what I asked for.

    Thanks for everyone's help:) Long live :apple:
     
  11. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

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    #11
    Congrats, glad it worked out and that using a .dmg fits your needs. :)
     
  12. tdmac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    #12
    I am interested in encypting files as well. If you create an encrypted disk image in the disk untility, I assume it must reside on the local harddrive correct (i.e. can't move this to another computer or NAS like a file? Does this get backed up via time machine?

    If you are looking to create an encrypted "Locker/Folder" for your file that can be moved, put on a NAS or oropend by both Windows & Mac would you then use something like truecrypt? I came across trucrypt in another post but don't know much about it.
     
  13. PatriotInvasion thread starter macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #13
    Not sure about the second thing, but the encrypted sparsebundle disk image was backed up onto my Time Capsule. When trying to click it on the Time Capsule drive, it still is encrypted and requires a password.

    I think with a little bit of work, you can create an encrypted disk image partition of a Time Capsule (there are a bunch of threads here on it). You just need the drive to be officially mounted to make any edits in Disk Utility.
     
  14. Tulipone macrumors 6502

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    Jan 30, 2009
    Location:
    Huntingdon UK
    #14
    Have you considered getting a USB stick, putting the sensitive documents on it, deleting them from your hard drive and only plugging the stick in when you need to access the files?

    If need be, get an Iron Key (or similar) so that they are offline encrypted as well.
     
  15. phatqao macrumors member

    phatqao

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    Jul 20, 2010
    Location:
    PA and/or NYC
    #16
    the disk image idea is what i would do to password-lock a folder. a much easier option for making files or folders invisible is to make them hidden using the terminal command:

    Code:
    mv <yourfilepath> .<yourfilepath>
     
  16. Panteroussa macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    #17
    How to move files to or delete files from the dmg folder

    Hi guys,

    Some time ago I've created an encrypted folder (dmg) on my desktop and I filled it with files. I recently wanted to chuck another file in there but I've not been able to do it. From the notes I've seen on the net I understand it should be a case of simply dragging and dropping my file into the folder but it doesn't work for me. I've aslo not been able to delete any files from the encrypted folder... :confused: Can anyone please help?? It's been driving me mad! Thanks
     
  17. pcferg macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2012
    #18
    Is the encrypted file protected from deletion?

    I'm a high school teacher in a new Mac Lab I share with other teachers. Currently students log into their class level, say "Journalism," and then can see each others computers across that level and make mischief if they wish. One student recently deleted another student's work. I'd like them to be able to create password protected folders that can NOT be deleted or accessed by others. I don't think it's practical to establish all new levels each school year, as 150 students use this lab. Also, what are those third party softwares you mention? I found LameSecure, but it's not updated for Lion; and also MacKeeper, but a lot of people have bad things to say about that one. I'm afraid to mess up the lab. What's the best solution here? Any ideas?
     
  18. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    Jul 17, 2005
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    5045 feet above sea level
    #19
    That sounds more like a permissions problem. Have you tried setting permissions on drives/folders over local networks? such as read only, read and write, etc?

    A brief overview of what I am getting at
    http://www.macinstruct.com/node/415

    This differs from this thread as this thread is dealing with setting a password for a folder when the user with read/write permissions is already logged on. Permissions ar used to isolate other users from access to other users files/folders/etc that can be seen on a network, which seems to be what you are describing
     

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