How To Encrypt a USB Flash Drive or External USB Hard Drive on a Mac. Demonstration on How To Encrypt or Password Protect a USB Dive on a Mac.
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Performed and Tested On MacBook Air (Late 2013) and Using OS X Mavericks 10.9.4
Apple's Intel Based Systems:
In this Episode: How To Encrypt a USB Drive on a Mac
Encrypting or Password protecting a USB Flash Drive or any external USB Drive on a Mac is a relatively easy process.
Let’s dive right in with a demo.
Sooooo, Let’s Get Started.
The first thing you’ll need to do is to make a backup of your USB drive, as all data will be erased when creating an Encrypted USB drive.
So, once that’s done, launch Disk Utility and then insert your USB drive in an available USB socket, this is basically known as Mounting the drive.
On the sidebar of the Disk Utility Window, click on the USB drive just mounted, in my case, it’s an 8 GB USB shown here.
Now, click the Erase tab here and then from the drop down list shown here, select either, Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted) or Mac OS Extended (Case-sensitive, Journaled, Encrypted).
Basically, Case-sensitive option allows you to have files and folders with the same name using different case, for example, a folder named music, all small caps, is different from one named Music with a capital M.
In our case, I’ll be using, Journaled, Encrypted without Case-sensitive option.
It should be mentioned, an Encrypted USB drive can only be accessed on Mac systems.
Therefore; continuing on, after selecting the encryption format, enter a name if you wish for the USB drive and then click the Erase button.
You are now presented to enter and verify a chosen password and a hint if you wish, then click on the Erase button to begin the encryption process.
I’ll just time-lapse the encryption process at this point. Incidentally, the process for me took about a minute and a half to complete.
Once completed, simply close the Disk Utility Window and eject the USB drive by dragging it to the Trash as shown and remove the USB drive.
Now; whenever you insert the USB drive, you will be presented with the following window, asking to enter a password to Unlock the USB drive, do so and click the Unlock button to Mount the USB drive.
And that’s all there is to it, encrypting a USB drive could not be more simple.
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