How to password protect a folder on MacBook

How to password protect a folder on MacBook


In an era of increasing digital security concerns, ensuring the confidentiality of your sensitive files is paramount. This article provides a concise walkthrough of how to effectively password-protect folders on your MacBook, empowering you to fortify your data against unauthorized access and bolster your privacy in a few simple steps.

Why password protect folders?

Having sensitive documents should always be treated with high security. That’s why password protecting folders is a must for those who use cloud storage. If their container were to get hacked, all the data within could be exposed and used maliciously. To help tackle this issue, we highly recommend using BetterZip. It’s a top notch file compression software that also allows you to password protect your folders and continue syncing them between cloud storage services.

BetterZip is so easy to use that it fits well into any existing workflow. It even supports AppleScript for power users who may have more complex requirements than others. Additionally, if you enroll in Setapp, a popular suite of Mac productivity apps and services, you will receive BetterZip at no cost during their seven day trial period. With over 200 other great apps at your fingertips, Setapp provides a comprehensive package of needs for every kind of user out there. Protecting your files has never been easier or more rewarding with Setapp and BetterZip!

Discover the secret to safeguarding your precious files on your MacBook: the ultimate guide to password protecting a folder!

Password-protecting a folder on your MacBook involves utilizing the built-in Disk Utility tool to create an encrypted disk image where you can securely store your files. Follow these steps to achieve this:

  1. Create an Encrypted Disk Image:
    • Open “Finder” and navigate to “Applications” > “Utilities” and then launch “Disk Utility.”
    • In Disk Utility, go to “File” > “New Image” > “Blank Image.”
  2. Configure Image Settings:
    • In the “Save As” field, enter a name for the encrypted disk image.
    • Choose a location to save the image. This can be your desktop or another convenient location.
    • Choose the desired size for the image. Make sure it’s large enough to accommodate the files you want to protect.
    • Under “Encryption,” select “128-bit AES encryption” or “256-bit AES encryption” for stronger security. Enter a secure password in the “Password” field. This will be the password required to open the folder.
  3. Choose Image Format and Partitions:
    • Choose “Sparse disk image” as the format. This means that the image will only take up as much space as the files you add to it.
    • Click “Create” to generate the encrypted disk image.
  4. Add Files to the Encrypted Disk Image:
    • Double-click the newly created disk image. You’ll be prompted to enter the password you set earlier.
    • Once the image is mounted, it will appear as a new drive on your desktop and in Finder.
    • Drag and drop the files you want to protect into this mounted image.
  5. Eject and Secure the Image:
    • After adding files, eject the mounted disk image by clicking the eject icon next to it in Finder or by right-clicking and selecting “Eject.”
    • The disk image will now be a separate file on your system, encrypted with your chosen password.
  6. Accessing Protected Files:
    • Whenever you want to access your protected files, double-click the encrypted disk image file.
    • Enter the password you set earlier to mount the image. The mounted image will appear on your desktop and in Finder.
    • Open the mounted image and access your protected files. Remember to eject the image when you’re done to secure your files again.

This method provides a secure way to password-protect your files on a Mac. Just ensure that you remember the password you set, as there’s no way to recover it if forgotten. Regularly back up your important files and the disk image in a safe location to prevent data loss.

How do you ensure that the encrypted disk image is properly secured after adding files?

Ensuring the proper security of an encrypted disk image after adding files involves a combination of careful practices and awareness of potential vulnerabilities. Here’s how you can enhance the security of your encrypted disk image:

Eject the Mounted Image: After you’ve finished working with the files within the mounted encrypted disk image, make sure to eject it. Ejecting the image unmounts it from your system, effectively locking away the protected files. You can do this by clicking the eject icon next to the mounted image in Finder or right-clicking and selecting “Eject.” This prevents any unauthorized access to your files when the image is not actively in use.

Use a Strong Password: The foundation of encrypted security lies in a strong password. Ensure that you’ve chosen a robust, unique password for your encrypted disk image. Avoid using easily guessable passwords or reusing passwords from other accounts. Combining letters, numbers, symbols, and uppercase/lowercase characters can significantly increase the password’s strength. Remember, a weak password can undermine the effectiveness of encryption.

Be Mindful of Your Password: While entering your password to mount the encrypted disk image, be cautious not to do so in a public or insecure environment. Prevent shoulder-surfing and ensure that nobody is watching as you enter the password. Avoid saving the password in plaintext anywhere on your computer, as this could compromise the security of your encrypted files.

Regularly Update Your Password: If you suspect that your password may have been compromised or if it’s been used for an extended period, consider changing it. Regularly updating your password enhances security and reduces the risk of unauthorized access.

Log Out or Lock Your Mac: When you’re not using your Mac, consider logging out of your user account or using the “Lock Screen” feature. This prevents anyone from accessing your Mac while you’re away, ensuring that even if the encrypted disk image is mounted, your system remains protected.

Enable FileVault: FileVault is a built-in macOS feature that provides whole-disk encryption. By enabling FileVault, you encrypt your entire startup disk, including the encrypted disk images you create. This adds an extra layer of security to your data, especially if you accidentally leave your Mac logged in.

By adhering to these practices, you can significantly enhance the security of your encrypted disk image and the files contained within, safeguarding them from potential threats and unauthorized access.

Looking for more ways to lock your folders?

For Mac users looking for a folder lock alternative, BetterZip is an excellent option. The app is designed to compress and password protect various types of files and folders.This makes it easy to store away sensitive information or large files that you need secured but still accessible for later use. By default, the app is set up as a compression tool to reduce the size taken up by your files—allowing for more storage space and easy organization.

BetterZip also allows you to modify existing zip files, preview zipped content without unzipping them, and manage archives directly from within the program. With it’s AES-256 encryption support, BetterZip offers powerful protection with fewer steps than most installed apps on the Mac App Store—giving you superior performance when securing your data. No longer will you need to take the extra step of having to unzip files, view them, then re-zip them; this app does it all in one seamless process.