What is FileVault in macOS and How to Turn FileVault on?

This tutorial will help you understand what FileVault is in macOS and why FileVault is important to you.

If you are using Apple macOS, most likely, this article is very beneficial to you.

Alright! Let’s get started…

What is FileVault on macOS?

FileVault is one of the built-in security features of Apple Mac computers which uses a 256-bit key for full-disk XTS-AES-128 encryption to encrypt all of the data on the device.

On most recent Mac computers and laptops, FileVault is enabled by default to safeguard confidential data, however, it can be explicitly turned on or off. This will safeguard everything on your computer once it is turned on.

What does FileVault do?

FileVault is an excellent tool for preventing theft in addition to shielding your data from snooping government eyes. Also, your laptop’s hard disc is practically useless to someone who steals it and doesn’t have a password or recovery key.

For instance, if someone is trying to access your computer when it’s turned off without your password or a unique recovery key, you won’t be able to access your files.

If they don’t have the correct recovery key or password, the data seems jumbled. They cannot read the data on your Mac’s hard disc, not even if they take it out.

what is filevault on apple mac

[Read: How to Start macOS Recovery Mode using Apple silicon M1 or M2?]

How to Turn on FileVault?

If you are using the latest version of macOS then FileVault should be enabled by default. It is up to you if you want to turn it off and turn it back on.

Caution: Don’t ever lose sight of your recovery key. You will lose access to your Mac if you activate FileVault and subsequently forget your recovery key and login password. This implies that all of your files and settings will be lost.

If you want to turn it on, here is how you can turn FileVault on:

Step 1. Click the Apple Menu on the top left and select System Settings…

macOS system settings

Step 2. From the left sidebar, click Privacy & Security and then from the right-side options, scroll down a bit and you will see FileVault.

Step 3. Click on Turn on… button

how to turn on filevault on macOS

Note: This may ask for your Apple ID password or key that you used to sign-in to your mac. After that, you will need to follow the on-screen instructions to get this done.

Step 4. The encryption process will start the moment you continue after step 3. The duration of encryption could range from a few minutes to many hours, contingent on the volume of data and system performance.

Step 5. Finally, you will get a message saying “Encryption finished” once the encryption is finished. You have successfully activated FileVault.

Keep in mind that when you first turn up FileVault for the first time, this may take several hours, however, you can continue to use your Mac during the potential encryption process.

Remember that your entire disk is going to encrypt with FileVault. You will need to add any other users to your Mac so they may use their password to access the disk.

FileVault FAQs

No, there are no observable lags or slowdowns when running FileVault in the background. After turning on FileVault, most users won't notice a big difference in their Mac's performance.
The amount of data on your device determines how long the encryption takes. For newer or less data-intensive gadgets, the procedure only takes a few hours or days on average.
FileVault on macOS - Why to use? and How to Turn-on? Share on X

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