Macos Filevault External Drive

Whether you want to store high-resolution photographs away safely or move files into another system or maybe backup files, it's always good to have a hard drive handy. Regardless of the operating system you use, there's a lot of flexibility that comes along with hard drives.

What I’d love to see is giving FileVault the ability to encrypt external drives. I had to start up my computer(s) from each of their external drives to encrypt them with FileVault. And those external drives are s-l-o-w compared to the internal drive (even SSDs on a USB 3 bus). Encrypting about 260GB of data on 500GB drives took about 52 hours! By using FileVault to encrypt the drive (startup drive) and Disk Utility to encrypt external drives, all the data on the drive will be garbled, unless someone has the encryption key (your password). If you want to know how to use FileVault and/or encrypt external drives, see this article. In fact, using FileVault is the best protection for any.

As tech experts, one of the most frequent questions we have received from Mac users is - how to unlock the hard drive on Mac? Hard drives on Mac are usually found locked, and hence users are unable to backup files or transfer files conveniently. We have created a comprehensive guide to help you unlock the hard drive on your Mac and put it to use.

How to Unlock the Internal Hard Drive on Mac?

1. Unlock hard drive on Mac with Terminal

To encrypt or decrypt the hard drive of your Mac, you could use a terminal. As a direct interface to OS X's bash shell, the terminal app requires you to have a good grip over the commands and functions.

This powerful application is a command-line system that can help you take control of your operating system. With the wrong use of commands, you are at risk of data loss. Hence, we recommend you back up your data before using the terminal app to encrypt the hard drive on Mac.

Step 1. Start the process by launching the Terminal app on your Mac. Click on 'Finder', select 'Application', and then 'Utilities'.

Step 2. Then, type “diskutil apfs list' and hit return. This will tell you the APFS volume id.

Step 3. Next, type “diskutil apfs unlockVoutillume /dev/apfs_volume_id -passphrase type_the_key”, then hit 'Return'.

Step 4. Finally, type “diskutil apfs decryptVolume /dev/apfs_volume_id” and hit 'Return'.

Step 5. Once authenticated, it will help you decrypt the volume. You could type “diskutil apfs list” and hit 'Return' if you wish to monitor the progress.

2. Unlock Hard Drive on Mac Using FileVault

Another way to encrypt data on your Mac is by using FileVault. This native disk encryption application can be used to encrypt your startup disk using your login password. Follow the below process to unlock the hard drive on Mac:

Step 1. Start by selecting system preferences from the Apple menu.

Step 2. Click on Security and Privacy, and then select FileVault.

Step 3. Under that tab, you'll find a button to 'Turn On FileVault', select that.

Step 4. Next, enter a password to encrypt the disk.

Step 5. After you are done with that, restart your Mac and log in.

This is how you can unlock the hard drive on Mac using FileVault.

How to Unlock an External Hard Drive on Mac?

To be able to copy data to your external hard drive, it's imperative to have access to it. When using a Mac, hard drives are locked and must be unlocked before you decide to copy files to and from the hard drive itself.

Follow the steps below to unlock external hard drive on Mac:

Step 1. Right-click and select the drive icon.

Step 2. Choose 'Get info' and then select 'Sharing and Permissions' at the very bottom. Then, click on the lock icon.

Step 3. Once you have selected the above, you will be prompted to enter your password.

Step 4. Find the check box on the window and choose 'Ignore ownership for this volume'. This will give you instant access to the drive, irrespective of who may have created it.

FAQs about Unlocking Hard Drive on Mac

1. Is There a Way that Can Unlock Both External and Internal Hard Drives on Mac?

A stolen iPhone can be used if successfully unlocked or activated, but the latest security features tied to most iPhone user’s iCloud accounts allows them to quickly lock their lost phones and prevent data from falling into unwanted hands.

2. Why Is My Macintosh HD Locked?

While there are several reasons why Mac hard drives are locked, one of the most prominent reasons is that the hard drive on Mac only supports a certain file system in which it is only detected as a read-only file. Another reason could be that the hard drive is set to read-only mode.

3. How Do I Reinstall OSX If the Disk Is Locked?

You can recover and reinstall Mac OS X with the help of recovery HD. Press the 'command + R' keys until you see the Apple logo to restart your Mac. As soon as your system restarts, you'll notice a basic OS X interface with the OS X utility window. From the list of options, select Disk Utility and continue. Next, select the First Aid tab and click on the icon of your boot hard drive. It will take time for your Mac to troubleshoot, but it will reinstall and recover OS X.

Macos Filevault External Drives

4. How Do You Unlock a Mac Hard Drive without Password?

To unlock Mac hard drive without a password, we recommend you use the Terminal command as mentioned above.

Conclusion

With a little know-how, both encryption and decryption on Mac is an easy process. But always remember to back up your data as even the smallest mistake could cause you permanent loss of data. From Time Machine to Terminal, there are several commands you could put to use depending on what your preference might be. In case you have lost data, we recommend you use one of the recovery software to help you retrieve data from an encrypted hard drive.

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Intune supports macOS FileVault disk encryption. FileVault is a whole-disk encryption program that is included with macOS. You can use Intune to configure FileVault on devices that run macOS 10.13 or later.

Use one of the following policy types to configure FileVault on your managed devices:

  • Endpoint security policy for macOS FileVault. The FileVault profile in Endpoint security is a focused group of settings that is dedicated to configuring FileVault.

    View the FileVault settings that are available in profiles for disk encryption policy.

  • Device configuration profile for endpoint protection for macOS FileVault. FileVault settings are one of the available settings categories for macOS endpoint protection. For more information about using a device configuration profile, see Create a device profile in Intune.

    View the FileVault settings that are available in endpoint protection profiles for device configuration policy.

To manage BitLocker for Windows 10/11, see Manage BitLocker policy.

Tip

Intune provides a built-in encryption report that presents details about the encryption status of devices, across all your managed devices.

After you create a policy to encrypt devices with FileVault, the policy is applied to devices in two stages. First, the device is prepared to enable Intune to retrieve and back up the recovery key. This action is referred to as escrow. After the key is escrowed, the disk encryption can start.

In addition to using Intune policy to encrypt a device with FileVault, you can deploy policy to a managed device to enable Intune to assume management of FileVault when the device was encrypted by the user. This scenario requires the device to receive FileVault policy from Intune, followed by the user uploading their personal recovery key to Intune.

User-approved device enrollment is required for FileVault to work on a device. The user must manually approve of the management profile from system preferences for enrollment to be considered user-approved.

Permissions to manage FileVault

To manage FileVault in Intune, your account must have the applicable Intune role-based access control (RBAC) permissions.

Following are the FileVault permissions, which are part of the Remote tasks category, and the built-in RBAC roles that grant the permission:

  • Get FileVault key:

    • Help Desk Operator
    • Endpoint security manager
  • Rotate FileVault key

    • Help Desk Operator

Create device configuration policy for FileVault

  1. Sign in to the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center.

  2. Select Devices > Configuration profiles > Create profile.

  3. On the Create a profile page, set the following options, and then click Create:

    • Platform: macOS
    • Profile type: Templates
    • Template name: Endpoint protection
  4. On the Basics page, enter the following properties:

    • Name: Enter a descriptive name for the policy. Name your policies so you can easily identify them later. For example, a good policy name might include the profile type and platform.

    • Description: Enter a description for the policy. This setting is optional, but recommended.

  5. On the Configuration settings page, select FileVault to expand the available settings:

  6. Configure the following settings:

    • For Enable FileVault, select Yes.

    • For Recovery key type, select Personal key.

    • For Escrow location description of personal recovery key, add a message to help guide users on how to retrieve the recovery key for their device. This information can be useful for your users when you use the setting for Personal recovery key rotation, which can automatically generate a new recovery key for a device periodically.

      For example: To retrieve a lost or recently rotated recovery key, sign in to the Intune Company Portal website from any device. In the portal, go to Devices and select the device that has FileVault enabled, and then select Get recovery key. The current recovery key is displayed.

    Configure the remaining FileVault settings to meet your business needs, and then select Next.

  7. On the Scope (Tags) page, choose Select scope tags to open the Select tags pane to assign scope tags to the profile.

    Select Next to continue.

  8. On the Assignments page, select the groups that will receive this profile. For more information on assigning profiles, see Assign user and device profiles.Select Next.

  9. On the Review + create page, when you're done, choose Create. The new profile is displayed in the list when you select the policy type for the profile you created.

Create endpoint security policy for FileVault

  1. Sign in to the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center.

  2. Select Endpoint security > Disk encryption > Create Policy.

  3. On the Basics page, enter the following properties, and then choose Next.

    • Platform: macOS
    • Profile: FileVault
  4. On the Configuration settings page:

    1. Set Enable FileVault to Yes.
    2. For Recovery key type, only Personal Recovery Key is supported.
    3. Configure additional settings to meet your requirements.

    Consider adding a message to help guide users on how to retrieve the recovery key for their device. This information can be useful for your users when you use the setting for Personal recovery key rotation, which can automatically generate a new recovery key for a device periodically.

    For example: To retrieve a lost or recently rotated recovery key, sign in to the Intune Company Portal website from any device. In the portal, go to Devices and select the device that has FileVault enabled, and then select Get recovery key. The current recovery key is displayed.

  5. When your done configuring settings, select Next.

  6. On the Scope (Tags) page, choose Select scope tags to open the Select tags pane to assign scope tags to the profile.

    Select Next to continue.

  7. On the Assignments page, select the groups that will receive this profile. For more information on assigning profiles, see Assign user and device profiles.Select Next.

  8. On the Review + create page, when you're done, choose Create. The new profile is displayed in the list when you select the policy type for the profile you created.

Manage FileVault

To view information about devices that receive FileVault policy, see Monitor disk encryption.

When Intune first encrypts a macOS device with FileVault, a personal recovery key is created. Upon encryption, the device displays the personal key a single time to the device user.

For managed devices, Intune can escrow a copy of the personal recovery key. Escrow of keys enables Intune administrators to rotate keys to help protect devices, and users to recover a lost or rotated personal recovery key.

Intune escrows a recovery key when Intune policy encrypts a device, or after a user uploads their recovery key for device that they manually encrypted.

After Intune escrows the personal recovery key:

  • Admins can manage and rotate the FileVault recovery keys for any managed macOS device, by using the Intune encryption report.
  • Admins can view the personal recovery key for only managed macOS devices that are marked as corporate. They can’t view the recovery key for personal devices.
  • Users can view and retrieve their personal recovery key from a supported location. For example, from the Company Portal website, the user can choose to Get recovery key as a remote device action.

Assume management of FileVault on previously encrypted devices

Intune can’t manage FileVault disk encryption on a macOS device that was encrypted by a device user, unless you apply FileVault policy through Intune. There are two methods you can use that enable Intune to take-over management of FileVault in this scenario:

  • Upload a personal recovery key to Intune – Use this method when the user knows their personal recovery key.
  • The user generates a new recovery key on the device – Use this method if the personal recovery key isn’t known by the user.

Both methods require that the device has active policy from Intune that manages FileVault encryption. To deliver this policy, you can use an endpoint security disk encryption profile, or a device configuration endpoint protection profile to encrypt devices with FileVault.

Upload a personal recovery key

To enable Intune to manage FileVault on a previously encrypted device, the user who encrypted the device can use the Company Portal website to upload their personal recovery key for the device to Intune. Upload of the key enables Intune to assume management of the encryption.

Upon upload, Intune rotates the key to create a new personal recovery key. Intune stores the new key for future recovery needs and makes it available to the device user.

Prerequisites:

  • The encrypted device must have an Intune FileVault policy for disk encryption.

    Before Intune can assume management of encryption of a user-encrypted device, that device must receive an Intune FileVault policy for disk encryption.

    Use either an endpoint security disk encryption profile, or a device configuration endpoint protection profile to encrypt devices with FileVault.

  • The user who encrypted the device must have access to their personal recovery key for the device and be directed to upload it to Intune.

    Intune doesn’t alert users that they must upload their personal recovery key to complete encryption. Instead, use your normal IT communication channels to alert users who have previously encrypted their macOS device with FileVault that they must upload their personal recovery key to Intune.

    Note

    Based on your compliance policy, devices might be blocked from accessing corporate resources until Intune successfully assumes management of FileVault encryption on the device

Upload a personal recovery key to Intune:

  1. After the device receives the FileVault profile, direct the user to use the Company Portal website.

  2. In the Company Portal website, the user locates their encrypted macOS device and selects the option Store recovery key.

  3. The user must enter their personal recovery key, and Intune then attempts to rotate the key to generate a new key.

    • If the key rotation is successful, Intune stores the new key for future use, and makes the key available to the user should the user need to recover their device.
    • If the key rotation fails, then either the device hasn’t processed the FileVault policy, or the key that is entered isn't accurate for the device.
  4. After successful rotation, a user can retrieve their new personal recovery key from a supported location.

For more information, see end-user content for upload of the personal recovery key.

Generate a new recovery key on the device

To enable Intune to manage FileVault on a previously encrypted device, the user who encrypted the device can use the Terminal app on the device to rotate their personal recovery key. If the device has an active FileVault policy from Intune when the key is rotated, Intune then assumes management of the encryption.

Prerequisites:

  • The encrypted device must have an Intune FileVault policy for disk encryption.

    Before Intune can assume management of encryption of a user-encrypted device, that device must receive an Intune FileVault policy for disk encryption.

    Use either an endpoint security disk encryption profile, or a device configuration endpoint protection profile to encrypt devices with FileVault.

  • The device user must have access to the Terminal app on the encrypted device.

Use Terminal to generate a new personal recovery key:

  1. After the device receives the FileVault profile, the user who encrypted the device must sign-in to the device, open Terminal, and run the following two commands, in order:

    1. cd /Applications/Utilities

    2. sudo fdesetup changerecovery -personal

      When this command runs, the user is prompted to provide their device password. After the password is provided, the device rotates the personal recovery key and presents the new personal recovery key to the user.

      After recording the new recovery key, complete the remaining prompts from the command.

  2. After the command prompts are completed, the personal recovery key on the device has been rotated. If the device successfully received the FileVault policy, Intune assumes management of the device’s encryption the next time the device checks-in with Intune.

    By default, the device checks in about every eight hours. To expedite device check-in, use one of the following options:

    • An Intune admin can sign-in to Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center, go to Devices, select the device, and then select Sync. This notifies the device to immediately check in with Intune.
    • The device user can open the Company Portal app and go to Settings > Sync. This directs the device to immediately check for policy or profile updates.
  3. After Intune assumes management of the encryption, a user can retrieve their new personal recovery key from a supported location.

For additional information, see end-user content for upload of the personal recovery key.

Filevault Usb Drive

Retrieve a personal recovery key

For a macOS device that has its FileVault encryption managed by Intune, end users can retrieve their personal recovery key (FileVault key) from the following locations, using any device:

Macos Filevault External Drive
  • Company Portal website (https://portal.manage.microsoft.com/)
  • iOS/iPadOS Company Portal app
  • Android Company Portal app
  • Intune app

Administrators can view personal recovery keys for encrypted macOS devices that are marked as a corporate device. They can’t view the recovery key for a personal device.

The device that has the personal recovery key must be enrolled with Intune and encrypted with FileVault through Intune. Using the iOS Company Portal app, Android Company Portal app, the Android Intune app, or the Company Portal website, the user can see the FileVault recovery key needed to access their Mac devices.

Device users can select Devices > the encrypted and enrolled macOS device > Get recovery key. The browser will show the Web Company Portal and display the recovery key.

Rotate recovery keys

Intune supports multiple options to rotate and recover personal recovery keys. One reason to rotate a key is if the current personal key is lost or thought to be at risk.

  • Automatic rotation: As an admin, you can configure the FileVault setting Personal recovery key rotation to automatically generate new recovery key's periodically. When a new key is generated for a device, the key isn't displayed to the user. Instead, the user must get the key either from an admin, or by using the company portal app.

  • Manual rotation: As an admin, you can view information for a device that you manage with Intune and that's encrypted with FileVault. You can then choose to manually rotate the recovery key for corporate devices. You can't rotate recovery keys for personal devices.

    To rotate a recovery key:

    1. Sign in to the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center.

    2. Select Devices > All devices.

    3. From the list of devices, select the device that is encrypted and for which you want to rotate its key. Then under Monitor, select Recovery keys.

    4. On the Recovery keys pane, select Rotate FileVault recovery key.

      The next time the device checks in with Intune, the personal key is rotated. When needed, the new key can be obtained by the user through the company portal.

Recover recovery keys

  • Administrator: Administrators can't view personal recovery keys for devices that are encrypted with FileVault.

  • End-user: End-users use the Company Portal website from any device to view the current personal recovery key for any of their managed devices. You can't view recovery keys from the Company Portal app.

    To view a recovery key:

    1. Sign in to the Intune Company Portal website from any device.

    2. In the portal, go to Devices and select the macOS device that is encrypted with FileVault.

    3. Select Get recovery key. The current recovery key is displayed.

Next steps