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How Do I Properly Encrypt My Time Machine Backup?

I’ve started a time machine backup on a 4 terabyte external drive with usb 3 connection. It finished the backup of more than 400 gigabytes of data in a few hours. However, I noticed that after the initial backup was completed, time machine began the encryption process. It’s been over 48 hours and still only at 16% complete.
I’ve read on numerous Mac forums that if I had formatted the drive being used for TM as Mac OS extended journaled encrypted, prior to starting the first TM backup on this drive, the process would have ran much faster.
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George Motherway

Comments: 3 Responses to “How Do I Properly Encrypt My Time Machine Backup?”

    1 month ago

    I’m not sure if it would be faster to start with an encrypted drive or to let Time Machine encrypt it. Either way, it doesn’t matter now as you’ve already done the backup. Just ignore the progress on the encryption. it will finish and it won’t get in your way while it does.

    I recently noticed the same thing when I swapped out my Time Machine drive for a new one. I didn’t even notice when it finished.

    George Motherway
    1 month ago

    I may be looking at days before the encryption completes. Could running this drive continually until it’s finish, ware the drive out prematurely? Also to note, the Mac book pro that the external drive is connected to must also be running and plugged in for the drive to continue with the encryption process.

    1 month ago

    George: I wouldn’t worry about drive wear. Drives are built to run a lot. It needs to encrypt, so you don’t have much choice anyway. It is your MacBook Pro that is doing the encryption, so naturally it needs to be connected. I would just ignore this process and let it do its thing over time. There is no action you need to take.

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