turn off FileVault with Terminal


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 19, 2010
How to turn off FileVault with Terminal.
sudo fdesetup disable

returns a message "command not found"

any suggestions would be appreciated...
MacBook Pro 2012
Mac OS High Sierra installed, unfortunately FileVault was turned on during the install
The machine has been running for 3 days..
760 GB HD with 700GB free space...

have tried:
disconnecting Internet
reboot in Recovery
ran Disk First Aid on HD


macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
60GB used? Can you just give up and erase the drive, then reinstall macOS?
I guess my real question is: do you have a backup of your drive, so you could simply start over with a fresh install, then restore your files and apps?

Shadow Jolteon

macrumors regular
Feb 1, 2018
That is strange that it isn't finding fdesetup. You may want to try running this instead:
sudo /usr/bin/fdesetup disable


macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2015
Honolulu HI
If you're doing this from the Terminal while running Recovery, you don't need "sudo". I think the same would apply from single-user mode.

If you're not in Recovery or single-user mode, in Terminal, you can type "which fdesetup" and it should tell you the path of the command. If some how "/usr/bin" isn't in the path you can try "sudo /usr/bin/fdesetup" (or whatever the full path is).


macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
I am curious if johnbclark is actually booting to Internet Recovery. Some terminal commands are not available when booted to internet recovery.

@johnbclark: Internet Recovery boots up showing a spinning globe, and not the usual Apple icon.
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macrumors 6502
Dec 12, 2015
Never heard of the method that was suggested above, but I have my own way that I've used before. Given model and size of drive I am going to assume this is a mechanical drive and not an SSD. Also assuming the drive is fully encrypted and not still in the process, go to recovery, then terminal and first do 'diskutil cs list' and get the UUID for the encrypted Macintosh HD volume and copy it. Then do 'diskutil cs unlockvolume PasteUUID' hit enter and put in the password. Then do 'diskutil cs decryptvolume PasteUUID' hit enter and put in password.

I of course do agree with the idea of just backing up the data, nuking the drive and restoring backup as a better and faster solution.


macrumors newbie
Dec 11, 2019
I was in the middle of troubleshooting another issue (my MacBook Pro 2016 crashes after running a couple minutes, then gives me the flashing ? folder icon) and got too brave for my own good. I was decrypting (via System Preferences), got impatient, and put in the following:

sudo fdesetup disable

Success! Except, now I'm in this weird limbo. According to the Sys Pref window, FileVault is on, but the option to turn it off is disabled. I can't turn it off again in terminal. When I try to reinstall MacOS, it says it can't install to that disk since files are decrypting. Any ideas? Someone advised me to look for terminal commands to kill filevault and repair it, but I haven't found those.