FileVault Disk Encryption on Mac The Ultimate Guide Featured Images

FileVault Disk Encryption on Mac: The Ultimate Guide

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Last updated: September 6, 2023

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Whether it’s financial data, confidential reports, or embarrassing selfie collection, nobody wants others to access their data without permission. Also, you never know when your Mac may fall into the wrong hands.

So, let’s keep those snooping eyes away and protect your precious data with FileVault disk encryption on Mac. In this article, I’ll talk about what FileVault is, how you can easily enable it with just a few quick steps, and what you can do to recover its password and recovery key.

Before We Begin

FileVault disk encryption on Mac can protect your data from intruders on a device level. But securing your Mac against online viruses and malware is still crucial, and MacKeeper is the best choice for this. You can use its Antivirus tool to scan your Mac for viruses and protect it against harmful data.

What is FileVault Disk Encryption on Mac? And How Does it Work?

FileVault on Mac is a built-in security feature that provides advanced disk encryption capabilities. This feature protects the data stored on your Mac’s hard drive from unauthorized or unknown access. 

It uses 128-bit AES with a 256-bit key to encrypt all content on your Mac’s disk. Then, the encrypted key is stored on your hard drive with a password only you know. So, no one else can access your MacBook’s disk drive data unless they know the correct password. 

Also, FileVault encrypts all the data changes made after enabling it on your Mac. Your information is always protected with the FileVault disk encryption on Mac – if enabled.

How to Turn On FileVault on Your Mac

Enabling FileVault disk encryption on Mac makes your data inaccessible to anyone without your password. Here are the steps to turn on or off FileVault on your Mac:

  1. Head to the System Settings via the Apple icon at the top.
click apple icon and select system settings
  1. Select Privacy & Security and find the FileVault section in the right panel. Tap the Turn On… button.
look for security and privacy and select filevault tab located at the of window
  1. Enter the administrator username and password, or use your TouchID if available. Then, click Unlock.
enter administrator username and password or use your touchid if available then click unlock
  1. When you turn on FileVault, it’ll ask you to choose an option from iCloud or Recovery Key to unlock your disk and reset your password in case you forget it. Tap Continue after choosing your desired option.
turn on the filevault create a password and choose either icloud or a recovery key to unlock your disk if you forget it
  1. If you are disabling FileVault, click Turn Off and prepare to restart macOS when the decryption process is finished.
  2. Now, it’ll start your disk drive’s encryption or decryption process, depending on the option you chose during the previous steps.

How to Reset Recovery Key for FileVault on Your Mac

If you have forgotten your FileVault recovery key or want to change it, you can reset it using the steps below. This process involves verifying your identity and generating a new recovery key, which you can use to access your encrypted data if you forget your password.

Follow these steps to reset the recovery key for FileVault disk encryption on Mac:

  1. Navigate to the Apple menu and choose System Settings.
click apple icon and select system settings
  1. Select Security & Privacy and head to the FileVault section.
  2. If you have turned on FileVault already, you’ll see the Turn Off… button instead of Turn On… Click the Turn Off button.
look for security and privacy and select filevault tab located at the of window
  1. To generate a new Recovery Key, click Turn On… again.

And that’s it! It is how you can easily reset your FileVault’s Recovery Key and encrypt your data again. But remember the Recovery Key and write it somewhere safe to avoid losing access to your Mac’s disk drive, as the chances of recovery are lesser if you lose this key.

Enhance Your Mac’s Privacy With MacKeeper

Although FileVault is an excellent utility, it operates solely on a device level. It’s recommended to enhance your device’s protection with online data security software, such as MacKeeper.

MacKeeper is an all-inclusive software solution that optimizes your Mac’s privacy, performance, and other aspects. Your Mac and files remain safeguarded through its Antivirus software, which effectively combats significant security risks such as malware and spyware.

Here’s how to use MacKeeper’s Antivirus to run a virus scan on your Mac:

  1. Download and install MacKeeper on your Mac.
  2. Launch Mackeeper and click the Antivirus tab in the left sidebar.
click antivirus under the security section 2
  1. Click the Start Scan button to scan your system for issues.
click start scan in mackeeper antivirus 2
  1. Once the scan is complete, click the Fix items button to fix any problems found.
  2. If no threats are found, click Restart to run the scan again or close the process.
click restart to finish the process 2
  1. Restart your Mac and try using Safari again. Hopefully, you won’t face Safari crashing on your Mac after this.

What Else Can MacKeeper Do?

Besides keeping your device safe from malware, MacKeeper can improve your Mac’s performance by cleaning junk files, deleting duplicates, and uninstalling unnecessary apps. Check out my detailed MacKeeper review to learn more about these features.

    Wrap Up

    Enabling FileVault disk encryption on your Mac can provide more security to your data. Here are three unique tips related to FileVault that you can keep in mind for the future:

    • It’s a good practice to keep a backup of your recovery key in a safe place, such as an external drive or a password manager, to avoid losing access to your data.
    • Make sure to keep your iCloud account credentials safe and secure.
    • Regularly changing your password and recovery key can help ensure the security of your data.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Why should I use FileVault on my Mac? 

      You should use FileVault on your Mac to secure your data from unauthorized access and maximize its protection through encryption. Another important point is that even if your laptop gets stolen or dies, you won’t have to worry much about your data being leaked or misused.

    2. How do I check the FileVault status on your Mac?

      To check the FileVault status on your Mac, navigate to the Apple menu > System Settings. Click Privacy & Security, and it will open the Privacy & Security settings. You can see if FileVault disk encryption on Mac is turned on or off in the FileVault section. If it is turned off, consider turning it on to ensure the security of your files.

    3. How long does FileVault encryption take? 

      FileVault encryption takes a few minutes if the Mac model has SDD volumes. Depending on the size, it may even encrypt it instantly. But the older Mac models may take several hours. It also pauses and resumes the encryption process when necessary. After completing this process, it encrypts silently in the background for the new files without affecting your Mac’s performance.

    4. How can I disable FileVault disk encryption on Mac?

      You can disable FileVault disk encryption on Mac by going to System Settings > Privacy & Security. Here, go to the FileVault section, and you’ll see the Turn Off button. When you click this button, it will disable FileVault on your Mac.

    Hashir Ibrahim


    I'm Hashir, a tech journalist with a decade of experience. My work has been featured in some of the top tech publications like MakeUseOf and MakeTechEasier. I have a bachelor's degree in IT, a master's in cybersecurity, and extensive knowledge of Apple hardware, specifically MacBooks. As the senior writer at MacBook Journal, I write in depth guides that help you solve any issues you have with your mac and unbiased reviews that help you make the right buying decisions.



    Hi there! I'm Ojash, a tech journalist with over a decade of experience in the industry. I've had the privilege of contributing to some of the world's largest tech publications, making my mark as a respected Mac expert. My passion lies in exploring, using, and writing about MacBooks, and I enjoy sharing my expertise to help others make informed decisions and get the most out of their MacBook experience. Join me as we delve into the fascinating world of MacBooks together!

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