When doesn't FileVault encrypt a file?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by SeeNewWarnings, May 25, 2013.

  1. SeeNewWarnings macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2013
    If I were to copy a file, say a pdf, to a flash drive and
    want to open it on a pc or something at a printing shop
    (like FedEx or Staples), would it be readable there?

    Or if I send one in email to somebody, could they read it?

    It would seem that these cases would not be a good time
    to have FileVault encrypting the files....unless of course
    you backup to a flash drive and don't want the files readable
    to others if lost or stolen. So I would almost expect that
    copying files to removable memory devices would result
    in a prompt asking whether they should be encrypted.
    But I haven't seen that just now....

    Thank you.
  2. ideal.dreams macrumors 68020


    Jul 19, 2010
    The drive is not encrypted while you're using it. All data becomes accessible when you log in to your user account. If your computer were to be stolen with the account logged in, the thief could still access all data. It's only encrypted when the computer is shut off.

    That's why files aren't encrypted when you copy them to removable storage.
  3. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    FileVault doesn't encrypt FILES -- it encrypts your entire system disk.

    Moving a file from a FV volume onto a non-FV volume will give you a non-encrypted file. Sending someone an email attachment does not send them an encrypted copy.
  4. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    The drive itself is still encrypted. Decryption happens when you access the drive. If you are still logged in then the thief can access the data. If you log out then the thief cannot get your data.

    Encrypting takes a lot of time and is not done when you shut on/off.

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