The Practical Guide To Mac Security: Part 15, FileVault

Check out the rest of the videos in this special course: The Practical Guide To Mac Security.


FileVault encrypts your drive in a way that is seamless to you, but would make it impossible for someone else to access the data on your drive without your password.

Comments: 10 Responses to “The Practical Guide To Mac Security: Part 15, FileVault”

    Jamie
    11 months ago

    I just confirmed that I have FileVault enabled on my Mac but was not sure if I had used iCloud recovery or a recovery key. After some research I found the following:

    Assuming that your disk is APFS formatted, run the following command in the Terminal:

    diskutil apfs listusers /

    Then you need to check if it lists "Type: iCloud Recovery User" and "iCloud Recovery External Key" - if that is the case, then your computer thinks the recovery key is stored in iCloud.

    Danny
    11 months ago

    If I purchase a new iMac and with the setting up process with the computer would I use migration assistant to move all data from old to new, then turn on FileVault after the data successfully transferred. Or set up new Mac by following the prompts with out migrating the data first. Turn on FileVault, then use Migration Assistant to transfer data from old to new.

    11 months ago

    Danny: You use Migration Assistant when setting up the new Mac. Read about it here: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204350

    Danny
    11 months ago

    Hello again Gary. You didn’t really answer my question. I know how to use Migration assistant. My question was really about do you turn on FileVault first in the process of setting up the Mac, before migrating the data or turn FileVault on after the data has been migrated.
    Thanks again

    11 months ago

    Danny: If you use Migration Assistant, you are doing it when you set up the new Mac. Just follow the prompts.I believe it should ask you both about migrating and about FileVault during the settings up. Just go through the steps.

    Sherry
    11 months ago

    What's the difference between FireWall and FileVault? Do you have a video explaining that?

    11 months ago

    Sherry: They are completely different things. A firewall is a system function that monitors incoming and outgoing network communication. FileVault is part of macOS and will encrypt your drive so that if the drive is removed from the machine and connected to another computer, it cannot be read.

    Stephen Vaughan
    6 months ago

    Hi Gary,

    I just note your response above regarding Migration Assistant and File Vault. I have one of those jobs where I have to set up a new Mac mini for a client and migrate for the old Mac mini. File Vault is set up on the older Mac and it's the only time I have seen it used. I remember setting it up years ago. It can take a while. Will the main admin password do instead of the encryption key, in the event that can't be located? Does it take long to turn off/decrypt File Vault?

    6 months ago

    Stephen: Maybe this article has your answers? https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204837 I don't remember at the moment. Usually you just log in to your account and you never have to deal with a separate FileVault password.

    Stephen Vaughan
    6 months ago

    Thanks Gary, from reading the linked article it looks like it equally takes time to decrypt after file Vault is turned off. I will be dealing with a fairly old machine so those kind of actions can lead to long waits. My understanding is that all new Macs now have File Vault enabled so I will probably stick with it on.

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