External USB drives are convenient for carrying sensitive information around, but it can be risky if they are lost or stolen. Encrypting and password-protecting your external hard drive or flash drive is an easy way to ensure your data’s safety. In this article, we will show you how to encrypt a flash drive on Mac.
First, open Spotlight and type in “Disk Utility” to access the standard Disk Utility application on any Mac. The top left corner displays the internal drive, and under “External,” you can see any drives plugged in. Select the drive you want to encrypt, and click on the top entry to format the drive as a whole.
The trick to encrypting the drive is to click on the “Format” drop-down menu and choose one of the encrypted formats. For OS X El Capitan, the standard format is “OS X Extended Encrypted.” For newer operating systems like High Sierra or Mojave, choose the “APFS Encrypted” format. Type in a complex password and a password hint if you desire.
Once you hit “Erase,” the formatting process will take a few minutes, depending on the size of the drive. Once complete, you’ll see a new encrypted drive mounted on the desktop.
To test the encryption, disconnect the drive and plug it back in. Enter the password you created, and the drive will unlock. Anything you drag onto the encrypted drive will be password protected.
Encryption does not slow down the drive or make it difficult to move files, so it’s an excellent solution for security’s sake. It’s also essential to note that dragging the drive to the trash before safely ejecting it is recommended.
In conclusion, encrypting and password-protecting your external USB drives are a simple and effective way to ensure your sensitive information’s safety. So, the next time you have to carry important data with you, be sure to encrypt your flash drive on Mac using the steps outlined above.