If you tend to keep all of your sensitive documents and personal data on your Mac, then keeping them secure becomes even more important.
So, if you have some private photos, videos, or documents you don’t want to make their way into wondering eyes, then we have got you covered!
There are a couple of different methods to password-protect your folders on Mac, all of which are relatively straightforward and less time-consuming.
How to Password Protect a Folder on Mac?
As mentioned above, you can apply a few different methods of password-protecting your folder.
- Through Disk Utility
- Through Terminal
So, let us learn about each of these methods in more detail below.
Password Protect Folders Using Disk Utility
If you want a hassle-free approach and don’t want to dig into the technical aspects of encryption, then using Disk Utility can be the perfect option you can choose from. With this method, you can create your selected folders into disk images, making them easy to encrypt on your Mac devices.
Here are some steps you can follow.
- Press the Command + Space bar keys to open your Spotlight Search.
- Now, type and enter Disk Utility.
- On the menu bar, select and click on File.
- Click on New Image, and from the drop-down menu, select Blank Image.
- From the window, you can either rename the folder or opt to change it later on.
- Under the Where section, search and select the folder you want to password-protect.
- Next, choose the 128-bit AES encryption (recommended) from the drop-down menu in the Encryption section.
- From the prompt, enter your password, re-enter to verify it, and click the Choose button.
- Additionally, if you want to re-edit the encrypted folders’ contents, select Read/Write option from the Image format section.
- Finally, click on the Save.
Password Protect Folders through Terminal
Since Disk images are only exclusive to Macs, individuals will require a Mac to open these files up. If your goal is to encrypt files and send them to someone who may not have a Mac, then the Disk Utility method might not work for you.
One of the most common reasons you need encryption is when some files need to be sent by email. Since emails are unsecure, you might want to encrypt files that have confidential documentation.
There is a complete cross-platform way to do this, and it’s using Zip Utility. So, to create a zip file encrypted with a password, you will have to configure it through Terminal.
Here is a step-by-step guide you can follow.
- Launch Spotlight search with Command + Space Bar shortcut.
- Type and enter Terminal.
- Now, head over to the folder you want to password-protect.
- Control-click on the folder and choose the Get Info.
- Under General, hover over to the Where section, use control-click, and select the Copy as Pathname option.
- Navigate back to the Terminal Utility. Type in cd and hit space.
- Paste the pathname you just copied and hit the enter or return key.
- Type in zip -er and put the name of the final zip file you’re creating and the name of your folder.
- The command line would look similar to zip -er PrivateFolder.zip “Private Folder.”
- Now, locate the zip file and try to open it.
- It should prompt you with the Password pop-up.
- You can then delete the original folder for more security.
Download Third-Party Applications
While Mac offers direct ways to encrypt and password-protect files, many might think these methods are too little too taxing. So, to have even easier access, you can use third-party applications—some of the more popular and reliable apps include Data Guardian and Cisdem Appcrypt.
Additionally, if you want to learn how to password-protect files on Mac, this article might help you.
How to Password Protect External Hard Drive on Mac?
If you want to password-protect your external drive on Mac, you will have to navigate through Disk Utility. Here are some steps you can follow.
- Use the shortcut Command + Space Bar to launch Spotlight Search.
- Type in Disk Utility and hit the enter or return key.
- Now, from the left panel, select your external drive.
- From the top bar, click on the Erase option.
- Now, a pop-up window will appear. Under the Format section, choose the Encrypted system format option from the drop-down menu.
- Enter in your password and re-enter it to verify it.
- You also have the option to add a Password Hint through this method.
- Finally, click on the Choose button to apply the changes.
- Now, every time you connect your external drive or restart your Mac, you will be asked to enter the password.
But, The only downside to this method is that you must first erase all data. So, if you have a new external hard drive or don’t have any important files that you don’t mind losing, then this is the perfect method you can apply.