XDA Basics: How to use FileVault on macOS

XDA Basics: How to use FileVault on macOS

Macs are powerful desktop computers that run on macOS. These increasingly popular computers are both simple to use and capable of carrying out complex tasks. Students, audio and video producers, editors, writers, teachers, and other office workers, have all sorts of tools to use and make the best out of on these devices. But how do we make sure our invaluable work is safely stored on our Macs’ disks? FileVault is one answer to that. Here’s how to use FileVault on macOS.

Apple states that:

“FileVault full-disk encryption (FileVault 2) uses XTS-AES-128 encryption with a 256-bit key to help prevent unauthorized access to the information on your startup disk.”

It basically adds another security layer to make sure nobody is able to get to your files — except for you.


To activate FileVault

  • Go to System Preferences.

screenshot of System preferences highlighting security & privacy

  • Click on Security & Privacy.
  • Tap on FileVault.

screenshot of security & privacy settings highlighting the lock button

  • Click on the lock at the bottom left corner to make changes to the settings.

screenshot of Touch ID or password to unlock settings prompt

  • You will be prompted to use Touch ID or enter your password.
  • Tap on Turn On FileVault, if it’s not already on.
  • You will be prompted to enter your Mac’s password.
  • Once you do, your Mac will start the encryption process.
  • If you forget your password eventually, you will be able to reset it through your iCloud account. Otherwise you’ll be completely locked out of your PC.

screenshot of FileVault settings on macOS

  • If you change your mind, you can turn off FileVault by going through the same process.

screenshot of advanced FileVault settings on macOS

  • To access more settings, like after how many minutes of inactivity it automatically logs you out, tap on Advanced in the bottom right corner.
  • When you’re done setting everything up, tap the lock again to prevent someone with physical access to your unlocked Mac from changing any sensitive settings.

That’s it! You can add an extra layer of security for your peace of mind just by enabling this basic option.

About author

Mahmoud Itani
Mahmoud Itani

Mahmoud is an Istanbul-based Beiruti who has always sought freedom through writing. His hobbies include keeping up with tech news, writing articles about Apple devices & services, crocheting, meditating, and composing poetry. You’ll likely find him jogging at a park, swimming in open water, brainstorming at a coffeehouse, or merely lost in nature. He can be reached on Twitter @Mahmoudzitani or via [email protected]

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