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Desmond Leung updated July 28, 2015 at 1:33 PM


When FileVault is enabled, the entire contents of the startup drive are encrypted. This prevents access to data stored on your startup drive without the login password of an enabled account on your machine.
Please note that with FileVault enabled, IGPP HelpDesk would require your presence to input a FileVault enabled account password before a volume repair could be performed.

Be aware that if you lose access to login passwords of FileVault enabled accounts AND your recovery key, you will not be able to access your files forever.

You will need:

  • OS X Lion (10.7) or later
  • A working OS X Recovery volume

Turning on FileVault

  1. Open System Preferences .
  2. Click on Security & Privacy .
  3. Click the FileVault tab.
  4. Click the lock icon and enter administrator credentials.
  5. Click "Turn on FileVault..."
  6. Choose a recovery option:
    1. You can create a Recovery Key that consists of a combination of numbers and letters that can be used to unlock your drive or turn off FileVault. Keep a copy of this key somewhere else other than your encrypted startup drive.  Keep a copy of this key somewhere else other than your encrypted startup drive.
    2. In OS X Yosemite, you can store your FileVault key in iCloud. You can then use your iCloud account name and password to unlock your drive or reset your password.
    3. In OS X Mavericks, you can share your FileVault key with Apple by answering a set of security questions. You can then contact Apple Support to unlock your drive or reset your password.
    4. NOTE: If you lose access to login passwords of FileVault enabled accounts AND your recovery key, you will not be able to access your files forever.
  7. Enable Users
    1. If there are multiple user accounts on your Mac, choose which users can unlock the startup drive. Users that are not enabled will not be able to use your Mac until an enabled user logs in.
    2. Click "Enable" for each user that you want to have the ability to unlock the startup drive.
    3. NOTE: If you would like the IGPP HelpDesk to have the ability to unlock your startup drive, please contact IGPP Helpdesk
    4. NOTE: Any new user accounts created after FileVault is turned on will be enabled by default.
  8. When prompted restart your Mac
  9. After restarting, log in with an enabled account
  10. Encryption of your startup disk will begin
    1. he initial encryption will take hours.
    2. Encryption will only run when your Mac is plugged in to AC power, powered on, and not sleeping.
    3. Check encryption progress by going to System Preferences System Preferences > Security & Privacy Security & Privacy > FileVault FileVault .
    4. You can continue to use your Mac while encryption occurs in the background.


For more information regarding FileVault, see https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204837


If you need further assistance, please contact IGPP HelpDesk.


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