Encrypt Mac External Hard Drive

No doubt securing the internal computer data is quite important.


Likewise, encryption of external hard drives is essential too. This way, you password protect your external drive.

Answer (1 of 3): How do I encrypt an external hard drive for Mac and Windows usage? As stated in the other answers, Veracrypt is one solution. You could also use Windows Bitlocker and use M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac. Fantom Drives - DSH1000 FD 1TB Encrypted Hard Drive - DataShield 256-Bit AES Hardware Encrypted - USB 3.2 Gen 1-5Gbps - Compatible with Mac/Windows/PS4/Xbox (DSH1000) by Black 3.7 out of 5 stars 32 $92.00 $ 92. I have an external hard drive that I backup with Time Machine. I'm trying to determine the best way (or if it's even possible) to encrypt it so that Time Machine can still back it up and it can be mounted and read by my Ubuntu server. I'm not hoping for write access but that'd be even better.

Thus if you know how to encrypt an external hard drive, then you can save your data on an external storage device from being stolen.


Encrypt an external hard drive on Mac. If you want to encrypt an external hard drive on a Mac, you can do so by using the native FileVault 2 application. To encrypt an external hard drive or USB dongle with FileVault follow the steps below. Please bear in mind that to encrypt a USB drive using FileVault you will need to format it first.

  • Encryption of External Hard Drive
  • How to Encrypt an External Hard Drive?
  • Password Protect External Hard Drive Without Encryption

Encryption of External Hard Drive

External hard drives are best for storing and retrieving data. Their capacity has now increased, and likewise, size and price are decreased. But when your external storage device gets stolen, you face some data protection challenges.

By encrypting your storage device, you actually put a password on it to enhance its security.

There are some data encryption standards like AES, DES, and 3DES. The encryption method used in encrypting the external hard drive is AES encryption.

Should I Encrypt My Hard Drive?

It is recommended to do so. This is because by encrypting it, you protect the data stored on it. This way, thieves can’t steal the data present inside the drive.


  • The data integrity is maintained.
  • Encrypting the drive offers absolute data protection.
  • You can transfer data safely.
  • Data compliance is ensured.

How to Encrypt an External Hard Drive?

External hard drive stores data externally. It is connected to your pc via USB, firewire, or wirelessly.

Encryption of hard drives means putting a password on them, and this is done by using some third-party software.

Follow these steps to make it secure.

1. Hard Drive Encryption Software

You need to download software for encrypting the external hard drive.

Some recommended software are:

  • StorageCrypt
  • AxCrypt
  • TrueCrypt
  • Microsoft BitLocker
  • TrendMicro
  • Eset Endpoint Encryption Pro
  • Sophos Safeguard Pro
  • R&S Trusted Disk

2. Connect the Drive

Now you need to connect the external hard drive to your PC.

Also, backup the data present on the hard drive. This is because encrypting the drive involves data formatting too. So backup your data in order to avoid data loss.

3. Open Software

  1. Open the encryption software.
  2. Add a volume by clicking on the ‘new volume’ button.
  3. Next, you will be asked to select your device.
  4. Select the one corresponding with your external hard drive
  5. If the software asks you about the volume type, select ‘non-system volume.’ This is because the external hard drive that you intend to encrypt is not a part of your PC.

4. Enter Password

Now you will have to select the password that will be asked every time when you access your hard drive.

Choose a strong password that you could remember, too, because, without it, you won’t be able to access your device.

5. Formatting & Encrypting the Drive

Now go ahead to format and encrypt the drive. You will need to wait for a few minutes for the drive to be formatted, then afterward, it will be encrypted.

6. Transfer the Data

Your external hard drive is encrypted, and you can transfer your data to it.

Now, whenever you try to access it, it will ask for a password.

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Password Protect External Hard Drive Without Encryption

It is not possible to lock an external HDD, but there is a workaround for achieving the same.

You can make a folder inside your HDD and then set a password on that folder. Then keep all your data inside that password-protected folder.

You can add a password to the folder by using some third-party software too.

Folder Locker Software

You can use the following folder locker software to password protect your folder in HDD.

  • Folder Lock
  • Secret Folder
  • Iobit Protected Folder
  • Gilisoft File Lock Pro
  • Wise Folder Hider

How to Encrypt an External Hard Drive Windows 10? – Using Bitlocker

Windows 10 has a disk encryption tool called Bitlocker, with which you can password protect external hard drives connected to your PC.

Bitlocker is for Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise editions only.

Encrypt Mac External Hard Drive Doesn T Show Up

  1. Connect external hard drive to PC.
  2. Next, from ‘This PC,’ right-click on that external hard drive and click on ‘turn on BitLocker.’
  3. Enable the option ‘use a password to unlock.’
  4. Enter the password and then click next.
  5. Select a location to save the recovery key with which you can, later on, unlock the drive without the password.
  6. Click next
  7. Select the ‘compatible mode’ from the encryption mode menu.
  8. Click next
  9. Click on the ‘start encrypting’ button.
  10. The process will consume a few minutes to complete. Time taken is as per the size of your external hard drive.

Also, while accessing this hard drive on mac, first turn off the BitLocker protection or MAC use the ‘Bitlocker for MAC.’

How to Encrypt External Hard Drive Mac?

Save the data present in the hard drive to some other place as this process of encrypting the drive involves erasing the data.

Then follow these steps.

  1. In the dock, click on the Launchpad icon, and then in the search field, enter ‘disk utility.’
  2. From the disk utility app on MAC, click on view and then ‘show all devices.’
  3. From the sidebar, select the storage device you intend to encrypt.
  4. Click on the Erase button from the toolbar.
  5. Enter the volume name.
  6. Click on the schema menu and choose GUID Partition MAP.
  7. From the Format menu, choose the encrypted file system format.
  8. Enter the password and then verify it.
  9. Click Done


By now, you have known how to encrypt an external hard drive. Thus this encryption is important as it keeps your data safe.

Encrypt Usb Mac

The encryption external hard drive software allows you to password protect your drive, and this way offers a safe data transfer. Furthermore, it saves you from data breaches.

Encrypt External Hard Drive Mac And Windows

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