Weighing the Pros and Cons of FileVault Disk Encryption on Mac

FileVault is a disk encryption program available on Mac computers that provides users with the option to encrypt their entire hard drive for added security. But, like any security feature, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding whether or not to use it. Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of FileVault Disk Encryption on Mac and see if it’s the right choice for you.

Step by Step Tutorial: Enabling FileVault Disk Encryption on Mac

Before you decide to enable FileVault, understand that it’s designed to encrypt the data on your Mac so that unauthorized users can’t access your information. Here’s how you can turn it on:

Step 1: Open System Preferences

Open System Preferences on your Mac, and click on ‘Security & Privacy’.

Step 2: Click on the FileVault Tab

In the ‘Security & Privacy’ window, click on the FileVault tab at the top of the window.

Step 3: Click the Lock to Make Changes

At the bottom left corner of the window, you’ll see a lock. Click on it to enter your administrator username and password to enable changes.

Step 4: Click ‘Turn On FileVault’

With permissions granted, click on the ‘Turn On FileVault’ button to start the encryption process.

After completing these steps, your Mac will begin encrypting your data. This process can take some time, depending on the amount of data and the speed of your computer. Once it’s done, your files will be much safer from unauthorized access.

What Happens After You Complete FileVault Disk Encryption

Once the encryption process is complete, you’ll need to restart your Mac. After the restart, you’ll log in as usual, but with the added peace of mind that your data is encrypted and secure. If someone were to steal your Mac, they wouldn’t be able to access your files without your password.

Tips for Using FileVault Disk Encryption on Mac

  • Make sure you remember your login password; without it, you won’t be able to access your encrypted data.
  • Keep a backup of your data in case something goes wrong during the encryption process.
  • Consider the performance impact; older Macs may run slower with FileVault enabled.
  • Understand that encryption takes time; don’t start the process if you need to use your Mac right away.
  • Regularly update your Mac; software updates often include improvements to security features like FileVault.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I forget my password?

If you forget your password, you can use your iCloud account to unlock your disk or reset your password.

Does FileVault slow down my Mac?

FileVault may cause a slight performance dip, particularly on older models, but most users don’t notice any significant slowdown.

Can I still backup my files with Time Machine?

Yes, you can use Time Machine to backup your files, even when FileVault is enabled.

How long does it take to encrypt my disk?

The time it takes to encrypt your disk can vary, but expect it to take several hours, depending on the size of your drive.

Can I turn off FileVault after I’ve enabled it?

Yes, you can turn off FileVault by going back to the ‘Security & Privacy’ settings and following similar steps.


  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Click on the FileVault Tab.
  3. Click the lock to make changes.
  4. Click ‘Turn On FileVault’.


Weighing the pros and cons of FileVault Disk Encryption on Mac boils down to prioritizing security versus potential performance impacts. If you’re someone who stores sensitive information on your Mac or is concerned about data theft, FileVault is a fantastic tool to help protect your data. It’s relatively simple to enable, and once set up, it runs seamlessly in the background. Just remember, it’s crucial to have a backup of your data and to remember your password, as losing it could mean losing access to your files. In today’s digital age, where cybersecurity threats are rampant, having an extra layer of protection like FileVault could be the difference between safe surfing and a security nightmare. So, take the plunge, enable FileVault, and surf with confidence, knowing your data is secure.