How to Encrypt an External Hard Drive in Mac OS X Lion

Posted May 1, 2012 at 4:20am by iClarified | Please help us and submit a translation by clicking here | 23996 views

These are instructions on how to encrypt an external hard drive in Mac OS X Lion using the built-in FileVault 2. A drive formatted using this method may not be accessible in Snow Leopard or older OS X versions.

Step One
Connect your external hard drive to the computer and launch Disk Utility from the Applications:Utilities folder.

Step Two
Select your device from the list on the left and click to display the Erase tab.

Step Three
Select Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted) from the Format drop down.

Step Four
Enter a Name for the encrypted volume you want to create and click the Erase button.

**Remember this procedure will erase the contents of your drive. So make sure you backup for continuing...

Step Five
You will be asked to create a password for your new volume. Enter a strong password and click Erase.

Step Six
Your drive will now be erased and the new encrypted volume will be created.

Step Seven
Congratulations! You should now have an encrypted external hard drive. If you disconnect the drive you will need to input your password before the external hard drive can be mounted again.

Add Comment
tompatrick - July 6, 2012 at 5:17am
much helpful
Carl - May 1, 2012 at 3:18pm
I would highly reccomend NOT doing this unless you have a very very good. I had to wipe my hard drive and start anew earlier this year because i accidently turned FileVault on. It creates it's own encrypted backups on your drive, taking up tons of space. Eventually, when your disk runs out of space, you can't turn file vault off to clear space on the disk. So unless you have highly classified things you don't want stolen, avoid file vault.
Curioso - May 1, 2012 at 4:07pm
I found your comment very interesting: does it mean that FileVault does exactely what the encryption method described in this article does? I am looking for a way to encrypt an hard drive with a password being asked while mounting it, but I'm not sure to have correctly understood what FileVault has to do with it.... Please advise, I'd appreciate it. Thanks
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