How to Use FileVault to Encode the Startup Disk on MacBook?

You should consider that FileVault full-disk encryption (FileVault 2) uses XTS-AES-128 encryption with a 256-bit key in order to stop unauthorized access to the information on your startup disk.

Let’s check Turn on and set up FileVault

FileVault 2 is accessible in OS X Lion or later. When FileVault is turned on, your Mac always needs that you log in with your account password. Follow these steps as bellow:

  1. Select Apple menu () > System Preferences, then click Security & Privacy.
  2. Click the FileVault tab.
  3. Click , then enter an administrator name and password.
  4. Click Turn On FileVault.

In case any other users have accounts on your Mac, maybe you see a message that each user must type in their password before they will be able to unlock the disk. Consider that, for each user, click the Enable User button and enter the user’s password. Moreover, user accounts that you add after turning on FileVault are enabled automatically.

Whenever you forget your password you can easily choose how you want to be able to unlock your disk and then reset your password

  • When  you’re using OS X Yosemite or later, you can choose to use your iCloud account to unlock your disk and reset your password.*
  • If you’re using OS X Mavericks, you can choose to store a FileVault recovery key with Apple by providing the questions and answers to three security questions. Choose answers that you’re sure to remember.*
  • When you don’t want to use iCloud FileVault recovery, you can create a local recovery key. Keep the letters and numbers of the key somewhere safe—other than on your encrypted startup disk.
  • Encryption happens in the background as you use your Mac, and only while your Mac is awake and plugged in to AC power. You can check progress in the FileVault section of Security & Privacy preferences. Any new files that you create are automatically encrypted as they are saved to your startup disk.
  • When FileVault setup is finished and you restart your Mac, you will use your account password to unlock your disk and let your Mac to finish starting up. FileVault requires that you log in every time your Mac starts up, and no account is permitted to log in automatically.

Let’s reset your password or change your FileVault recovery key

In case  you forget your account password or it doesn’t work anymore, you might be able to reset your password.

If you want to change the recovery key used to encrypt your startup disk, turn off FileVault in Security & Privacy preferences. You can then turn it on again to generate a new key and disable all older keys.

Turn off FileVault

when you don’t want to encrypt your startup disk, you can turn off FileVault:

  1. Select  Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Security & Privacy.
  2. Click the FileVault tab.
  3. Click , then enter an administrator name and password.
  4. Click Turn Off FileVault.

Decryption happens in the background as you use your Mac, and only while your Mac is awake and plugged in to AC power. You can check progress in the FileVault section of Security & Privacy preferences.

Learn more

  • Learn how to create and deploy a FileVault recovery key for Mac computers in your company, school, or other institution.
  • If you’re using FileVault in Mac OS X Snow Leopard, you can upgrade to FileVault 2 by upgrading to OS X Lion or later. After upgrading OS X, open FileVault preferences and follow the onscreen instructions to upgrade FileVault.
  • RAID partitions or non-standard Boot Camp partitions on the startup drive might prevent OS X from installing a local Recovery System. Without a Recovery System, FileVault won’t encrypt your startup drive. Learn more.

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