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it’s non-obvious how to password-protect a file in mac os x. one strategy i’ve come across is to password-protect a disk image using disk utility and then store sensitive files inside of that image. here’s how to go about doing that.

first, open disk utility:

disk utility

next, click on “new image.” give your new disk image a name and make sure to turn on encryption. make sure that when you type in your password, you turn off password storage in keychain. (after all, what good is it to password protect a file, only to have your computer auto-fill-in that password every time someone tries to open it?)

disk image encryption

at this point, you should have a mounted volume and a .dmg file on your desktop.  drag files into the volume to have them password-protected.  (note that you’ll of course have to delete the original copy of the file to truly hide the information.)

dmg and volume

finally, if everything has gone according to plan, you’ll see that whenever you try and mount the .dmg file, os x will ask you for a password:


password request

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if that was helpful ...

check out the other tips and tricks i've compiled on these pages. you might learn something else interesting!

One Response to “password-protect a file in mac os x”

  1. on 07 Oct 2009 at 7:30 am headsign

    Nice idea, thank you

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