MacMost Now 716: Encrypting USB Flash Drives

If you carry around USB flash drives, you may want to consider password protecting them in case they are lost or stolen. It is easy to format a drive with encryption using the OS X Disk Utility app.

Comments: 21 Responses to “MacMost Now 716: Encrypting USB Flash Drives”

    richoff
    7 years ago

    Hi Gary, I don’t see the option for “Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted)… I’m running OS 10.7.4

      7 years ago

      Not sure why it wouldn’t show it to you. Perhaps try another drive?

    richoff
    7 years ago

    Thanks Gary, I found the problem. I had partitioned my thumb drive (Mac OS, & MS Dos) and was trying to format the existing Mac partition alone… not sure why this can’t be done… do you know of a way?

      7 years ago

      Perhaps you can’t have an encrypted partition — only the whole drive.

    Bobby79
    7 years ago

    Same Problem Here Garry&Richoff.I am running on a SnowLeopard 10.6.8.All i have is this:MS OS Extended(journaled); MS OS Extended ; MS OS Extended (Case sensitive,Journaled) MS OS Extended(Case sensitive) ; MS-DOS (FAT) and MS-DOS.
    Do i have to have this option on my Snow Leopard or how can activate it?
    Thank you

      7 years ago

      Pretty sure this isn’t available in Snow Leopard. You need to have Lion.

    John Wesley
    7 years ago

    Gary,
    If I encrypt by 2 GB flash drive as Mac OS extended (encrypted), will this drive’s formatting still allow me to use it on me Windows 7 Bootcamp partition?
    Thanks.

      7 years ago

      I don’t think so. Not unless you also have some software installed in that Windows partition to read OS X-formatted drives. I don’t think Bootcamp has anything special to read OS X drives, but I’ve never looked into it.

    cade
    7 years ago

    for those like me not using snow leopard, best to make an encrypted password protected dmg and save/move everything in there.

    J kehoe
    7 years ago

    Can this be done with a USB that already contains data, or will the data be erased?

      7 years ago

      Reformatting will erase the data. So you just copy it to your main hard drive. Reformat. Copy back.

    Frank Grimaldi
    7 years ago

    Hi Gary, I don’t see the option for “Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted)… I’m running OS 10.7.4. I tried a second thumb drive, same problem????

      7 years ago

      Not sure why you don’t see it. Hard to tell where you nay be going on without a first-hand look.

        Frank Grimaldi
        7 years ago

        Hi Gary,
        I selected the wrong item, once I reviewed your video and selected the right item it worked. Thanks again.

    Nick
    7 years ago

    What if i forgot the password for my encrypted usb drive. There is no info on the drive, i just want to be able to use it. I tried to use disk utility to re-format the drive but it won’t allow me to. Any help would be great. Thanks

      7 years ago

      I haven’t tried it, but you should be able to erase it. Try selecting the drive on the left and not the partition on the drive. See if that lets you erase it.

    Adriana Sanchez
    7 years ago

    I don’t feel very confident in using the Mac to encrypt my drive. For many years I was a windows fan until I switch to Mac. The Mac works great but the recent concerns on the internet about that Apple considers their system to be extremely secure but in fact it is working with out-to-date security measures made me purchase a third party software called “Encrypt Stick” from a company in Canada call ENC Securities. I’ve been using Encrypt Stick for a few month now and are very satisfied. Just a few days ago I realized that this product also works on my Windows machine which makes it even a lot better because a big draw back of everything that I do on my Mac (i.e. make documents with pages): it is’t compatible with any other OS.

    Charles De Poalo
    7 years ago

    Gary after setting a pass word can the Password be changed? How to?

    Thanks for your fine work.

      7 years ago

      Good question. Not sure. Try it — Control+Click on it after it is already encrypted. But my feeling is no, since it is encrypting the data using the password as a key. So you would need to un-encrypt it and then encrypt it again to get all the data encrypted with a new key.

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