Discover how to protect your Mac with 256-bit encryption.

If you use your Mac for data-sensitive tasks, or want to prevent anyone from ever accessing your files, then you might want to use FileVault to protect your Mac. It works by encrypting all of the data on your machine with XTS-AES-128 encryption and a 256-bit key. It’s a helpful feature for the security-minded, but when enabled you will be asked to enter your password every time your Mac is booted up.

To turn FileVault on:

  1. Open System Preferences and click on Security & Privacy.Click the FileVault tab.
  2. Click the padlock icon in the lower-left corner and enter your account password.
  3. Click Turn On FileVault.

If there are multiple accounts on your Mac then you’ll see a message asking for each user to type their password before they will be able to unlock the disk. User accounts that you add after enabling FileVault are automatically enabled.

Click Continue, then select how you would like to unlock your disk in case you ever forget your password. You can choose to do this using your Apple ID and password, or with a recovery key and three personal questions.

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