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How to Password-Protect Files on Mac – Guide
There are probably some files or folders on your Mac that you prefer that no one has access to. Confidential financial information, personal documents and work products are good examples of files that other people shouldn’t see. The easiest way to protect your digital documents is to use passwords for them. Let’s show you how to password protect a folder, how to add a password to a folder and we’ll discuss some methods to protect your digital documents and limit the amount of storage space these documents take up up on your Mac.
Protect individual documents with pages
If you don’t mind password protecting large groups of files or anything outside of standard documents, you can use Apple’s Pages app to do the job for individual files. Pages is Apple’s word processor that comes with every Mac, so there’s no need to spend money on software like Microsoft Word.
In Pages, just start a new document or open an existing one. Before closing or saving it, click File on the menu bar. Then, move the mouse to Set password … and click on it.
This will prompt you to create a password for this document. Enter the same password in the Verify field. Although it is only optional, it is also recommended to come up with a password hint in case you forget your password. After finishing, there is no way to return to this document without knowing the password.
When you’re ready, click Set password. You will notice that, after saving the document and locating it in the Finder, the icon now has a lock to indicate that it is password protected. When you try to open it in the future, you will be asked to enter the password you have set.back to menu ↑
Create a password protected disk image
To protect large groups of files with a password, several different file types, or multiple folders, it is best to create just one large password-protected disk image to store everything. This is basically like creating a virtual hard drive that lives on its own hard drive. There is no need to connect any external devices.
Observation: Make sure you have some free space left to dedicate to the disk image before creating it. The amount needed depends on the number of files you want to store. If you only need to store documents, think of megabytes. Generally, about 100 MB should do the trick. If you need to password-protect groups of images or videos, you might consider 1 GB or 2 GB of storage instead.
To create the password-protected image, you’ll need to use the Disk Utility application on your Mac. Open it in the Applications folder in the Finder or just search for it using Spotlight. From here, click on File in the menu bar, New Image and then Blank Image … This will create a blank image from scratch.
Name your disk image and choose a location to store it. Then, below the main fields, you have options to customize it. Enter the size in the appropriate field. (If you’re not sure about the size, try 100 MB for now and see how it suits you.) Keep the format for the standard extended OS X (daily).
For the encryption type, select the 128-bit AES encryption option (recommended). You are asked to set your password here, so choose something safe, but easy to remember.
After that, leave everything else unchanged: “Single partition – GUID partition map” for partitions and “read / write disk image” for image format.
Now you will want to open your disk image by double clicking on the Finder and entering your password. Move any files or folders you want to protect to the disk image. Click Eject button in the Finder sidebar when you’re done.back to menu ↑
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