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How to protect a Mac folder

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How to protect a Mac folder: Does your Mac often end up in the hands of clumsy friends and relatives, who never miss an opportunity to put the “beak” in your personal files? So explain to me what you are waiting for to take countermeasures and protect your most important folders with a nice password.

How do you say? Don’t you feel like using complicated software for data encryption? You are out of the way, you don’t need any of this. If you want to find out how to protect a Mac folder , all you need is a tool included “standard” in macOS and five minutes of free time. If you then consider this tool not up to the task, you can turn to external solutions that, however, I assure you, will not give you any problems and you can use without difficulty.

So, can you know you’re still standing there? Take five minutes of free time, analyze all the solutions listed below, find the one that seems most suitable to your needs and use them following the instructions below. I guarantee you that, regardless of the version of macOS and the model of Mac in your possession, you will be able to achieve your goal in no time. Happy reading and good luck for your mission today!

Protect a folder on Mac with Disk Utility

If you want to learn how to protect a Mac folder without installing additional programs on your computer, you can create an encrypted disk image in which to keep all the files and folders that you want to keep away from prying eyes. It then starts the ‘ Disk Utility that is located in the Other of the Launchpad MacOS and select the items File> New Image> Blank image from the menu bar at the top.

How to protect a Mac folder with Disk Utility

Now, set the Sparse Bundle Disk Image option in the Image Format drop-down menu , the Single Partition – Apple Partition Map option in the Partitions drop-down menu and choose the encryption type 128-bit AES Encryption from the Encoding menu , then type the password with which to protect the disk image (in the two respective text fields that appear on the screen) and click on the Choose button .

Now type the name you want to assign to the disk image to be created in the Save as and Name fields , choose the maximum size that the archive must reach from the Dimensions drop-down menu and click on the Save button to start creating the disk image.

Disk Utility

At the end of the procedure, to insert files or folders inside the disk image you have created, all you have to do is “mount” the latter by double-clicking on it (it should be in the Documents folder ), type in the password to access its content and drag the data into it as if it were any folder. Do not put a check mark next to the entry relating to the storage of the password in the key ring or macOS will remember the password to access the image file, making your work partially vain.

When the operation is complete, eject the disk image from macOS by clicking on the ⏏ button located next to its name in the sidebar of the Finder, dragging its icon from the desktop to the Trash or, alternatively, by right-clicking on its icon on the desktop and selecting the item Eject [image name] from the menu that pops up. The original versions of the files you copied inside, can be deleted without problems.

Encrypted disk image

Regardless of the maximum size you have set for the disk image, it will occupy only the space on the Mac’s hard disk equal to the size of the data copied to it. Unfortunately, however, deleting the files will not automatically “shrink”.

Protect a folder on Mac with VeraCrypt

veracrypt

Disk Utility doesn’t seem comfortable enough? Then you can try VeraCrypt , a free and open source program that allows you to create password protected encrypted volumes, in which you then go to keep files and folders to be kept private. Its operation is very intuitive and, although its interface is in English, I assure you that you will not have the slightest problem in using it.

The only “boredom” that needs to be addressed, if we want to define it this way, is that in order to make VeraCrypt work, you need to install a free additional software, FUSE for macOS , which you can download from this website by clicking on the item FUSE for macOS xxx found in the right sidebar.

When the download is complete, open the FUSE for macOS installation package (the one in pkg format) and click on Continue three times in succession and then on Accept , Continue and Install again . Then type the administration password of your Mac and go ahead by clicking first on the Install software button and then on OK and Open Security & Privacy System Preferences . A System Preferences window will open .

Then click on the Allow button (at the bottom of the window) and click first on Close and then on Move to conclude the installation process of FUSE for macOS.

FUSE for macOS

Now you can go to download and install VeraCrypt on your Mac. To proceed, connect to the program’s website and click on the item VeraCrypt_xx.dmg . Then open the dmg package you just downloaded, start the VeraCrypt_lnstaller.pkg executable contained inside it and click on Continue twice in a row and then on Accept and Install .

Finally, type the administration password of your Mac and finish the setup by clicking first on the Install software button and then on Close and Move .

VeraCrypt installation

Now the time has come to create the encrypted volume in which to go and save your most sensitive data. Then start VeraCrypt by selecting its icon from the Launchpad or from the macOS Applications folder and click on the Create volume button in the window that opens.

On the next screen, put a check mark next to the Create an encrypted file container option and press Next . Then choose the Standard VeraCrypt volume option , go ahead by clicking on Next and click on the Select file button to choose the name and destination in which to save the encrypted volume file. After passing this step too, click on the Next button to continue.

veracrypt

At this point you have to choose the type of encryption and hash to use for the encrypted volume: if you don’t know where to get your hands, leave the default settings selected ( AES and SHA-512 ) and go ahead by pressing Next .

Next, use the Volume size field and the adjacent drop-down menu to specify the maximum size that your volume will reach, in KB , MB or GB . Initially, the volume will take up little space on the disk and then, as it fills with data, it will “enlarge” up to the set limit. To move forward, click once more on Next .

veracrypt

Now comes one of the most important parts: type the password you want to use to protect your volume in the Password and Confirm password fields and click Next to continue.

Then specify the file system you intend to use for creating the volume between FAT , Mac OS Extended and exfAT (using the appropriate drop-down menu) and go ahead. I advise you to choose exFAT if you intend to use the volume also on Windows and you don’t want a limit of 4GB per file (as it happens with the FAT file system).

veracrypt

Finally, move the mouse pointer into the Randomness Collected From Mouse Movements field until the blue progress bar reaches the right end and press the Format button to get your encrypted volume.

veracrypt

Mission accomplished! Now you can click Exit to close the VeraCrypt window and start storing data in your secret volume. To do this, go back to the main VeraCrypt window, click on the Select file button located at the bottom right and select the file of your encrypted volume .

Once this is done, select a slot from the VeraCrypt main screen, press the Mount button , type the password you previously selected for volume protection and click the OK button .

veracrypt

The volume will be “mounted” in the Finder as if it were an external disk or a stick. Then proceed to copy your files and folders in it and, once completed, “unmount” it by selecting its icon from the main VeraCrypt window and clicking on the Dismount button located at the bottom left.