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How to lock and password protect files, folders on Mac

Macs and Windows PCs are inherently different in how they function, although they exist to serve basically the same purpose. When you start using a Mac, for example, you immediately realize that there is no option for Cut, but rather only Copy, and if you want to move something to another location, you have to follow a slightly different process. Such a difference protect your personal data. While Macs are more secure than Windows-based computers by default, there may be scenarios in which you don't worry about malware protection but instead of password-protecting (or encrypting) your personal files, making them inaccessible to everyone else. These can be given as balance sheets, credit card information, photos or just about anything. Well, you can easily do this on a Mac.

This has to do with how OS X handles file storage compared to Windows. On Windows, you get encryption options, of course, but if you just want to password protect a folder, there isn't an easy way to do it. You will need to use third party software to create a secure deposit. OS X, however, allows you to do this by default, although the process is not that simple. This is the central point of this guide: show how you can protect a folder on a Mac without using an external tool.

We will manage this through two different approaches. The first method assumes that you have all the data that needs to be protected already in a folder and will work with that. The second method will lead you to create a secure storage (a disk image, to be precise) in which you can put your personal data as needed. Both of these methods will make use of the Disk Utility built-in OS X.

How to password protect any folder on Mac

For the sake of this guide, I created a folder on my desktop called My Personal Stuff on my desktop. This we will work with.

To get started, start Disk Utility . You can do it via the link Spotlight (awards Command + Space and type Disk Utility and press Submit ), or you can find the utility in the folder Others on the Launchpad of your Mac.

Inside Disk Utility, access the menu File from the menu bar and select New image> Image from folder .

At this point you will be asked to select the folder from which you want to create a disk image. Select the desired folder.

The next screen will ask you to select a name for the disk image, the location where you want to save it and all the usual parameters. At the bottom of this dialog, there are the two options that matter most: Encryption is Image format . This where you have to pay close attention. For Encryption, select the 128-bit AES encryption (recommended) and, for Image format, select read / write .

Please note that when you select the encryption option, you will be asked to enter a password and verify it. Remember this, because if you forget this password, there is no way to access those files again.

Once pressed Save, the creation process will begin. Depending on the size of the folder, it may take some time, so be patient.

When you get the message completed successfully on Disk Utility, the substantially complete process. You will notice a new file .dmg in the selected location that your encrypted folder. Attempt to mount it and you will be asked to enter your password.

Make sure to do not allow this password to be stored in Keychain, as it would hinder us the whole point of having this folder in the first place. Once you are satisfied, you can also delete the original folder and continue working with the protected disk image. Whatever you have in this non-password protected disk image, you can also add as much data as you like.

Once you're done using your password protected folder, don't forget to disassemble to restrict access . This is all there is to do.

How to create a new password protected folder on Mac

Mainly, this method follows the same practice as the first one, but differs in a number of creation parameters, mainly in relation to how you approach the password protected folder. In the first method, you were using an existing folder and encrypting it; here, we'll show you how to create a new empty storage vault (folder) with a specified file to store just about everything.

To get started, start Disk Utility . You can do it via the link Spotlight (awards Command + Space and type Disk Utility and press Submit ), or you can find the utility in the folder Others on the Launchpad of your Mac.

Inside Disk Utility, access the menu File from the menu bar and select New image> Empty image .

You will be presented with a dialog that offers a number of options. Specify the name of the vault, the size (pay attention to this, it will not be possible to change it later), the image format, encryption, partitions etc. Note that the format must be OS X Extended (Journaled), use 128-bit AES encryption, partition Partition single – Apple Partition Map and the image format the read / write disk image . As before, selecting the encryption option you will be asked to provide a password, along with all associated options.

Once pressed Save, the encrypted disk image in the specified size and other parameters will be created in the selected location. Note that for the first time, this disk image will be automatically mounted. At this point, you can move all the data you need to protect into this disk image.

Once this image is unmounted, the next attempt to mount it will prompt for a password. Make sure to do not allow the password to be remembered in Keychain, and you're all set.

You now have a password-protected deposit that you can use to store your personal / confidential data up to the size specified when creating this .dmg file. To store or access data, mount the disk image, provide the specified password and it will appear in the Finder as a mounted unit. Copy what you want in this location and once you are satisfied, disassemble it to limit again the access .

This is all there is to do, practically. There are third-party solutions out there that will allow you to do the same thing, but if you have an integrated function, I recommend using it on external software every day. In addition, the fairly simple method and even an inexperienced user can easily protect his precious files and folders on a Mac by following these steps. Keep in mind that disk images created in this way will only be recognized by a Mac; other OS will not read them at all (like Windows), or ask for the password if you try on another Unix-based system.