How to Password Protect Folders on Mac

As most of us would like to keep private info away from prying eyes, I thought it would be apt to create a quick hands-on guide about how to easily encrypt a folder on macOS.

Private files with sensitive information deserve an extra layer of safeguard. Of course, you can argue that your personal information has enough shield on your macOS device to remain secure. However, it’s always better to go for an additional level of defense especially when dealing with highly sensitive data.

Luckily, there are multiple ways to password-protect folders on Mac. For instance, you can use the Disk Utility and even third-party apps like Encrypto and Hider 2 to safeguard your info.

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To keep everything simple, I’m going to demonstrate the process using macOS Disk Utility app as it gets the job done a bit more conveniently and therefore anyone can easily get through the process. Without making much ado, let’s find out the quick way to encrypt a folder on macOS!

How to Password Protect Folders on Mac Using Disk Utility

Step #1. Launch Disk Utility on your Mac. (You can use the Spotlight search to easily open the app.)

Launch Disk Utility on Mac

Step #2. Now, click on the File menu and choose New ImageImage from Folder.

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Open Image from Folder in Disk Utility File Manu on Mac

Step #3. Next, you need to select the folder you want to protect and click on Choose.

Select a folder you want to Password protect on Mac

Step #4. Next up, click on the drop-down menu next to Encryption. Now, you have two options:

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  • 128-bit AES encryption: It’s less secure but a bit faster for the encryption process.
  • 256-bit AES encryption: It’s more secure but a little slower.

Choose the 256-bit AES encryption in Mac Disk Utility

Select your preferred option, as per your need. For enhanced security, I’m going to choose the 256-bit AES encryption.

Step #5. Up next, you have to enter the password and verify it. Then, click on Choose.

Enter the Password and Click on Choose in Mac Disk Utility

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Sticky note: As you won’t be able to open your protected folder without the password, make sure to write it down in a note app or at the preferred place. It would rescue you when the code may slip out of your mind. So, do get it done.

Step #6. Now, choose the Image Format. To do so, click on the drop-down menu and select from multiple options like read-only, read/write, compressed and more.

Select the Read or Write Folder Format in Mac Disk Utility

I would recommend you to select read/write option so that you can view the file and also make changes.

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Step #7. You can also add the tag and select the desired location. Then, click on Save.

Click on Save to Start Creating the disk image of folder

The app will start creating the disk image of the folder. So, just wait a few moments until the process is completed. Then, click on Done to finish.

Successfully Encrypted your folder on Mac Using Disk Utility

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That’s it! You’ve successfully encrypted your folder and now it will be saved as DMG file.

Open the Encrypted Folders on Your macOS Device

One thing worth noting is that your original folder will remain unaffected. Now, you can choose to delete it or continue to keep it. I would recommend you to wipe it out so that the whole purpose is achieved.

Step #1. To open the encrypted (.dmg) file, simply double-click on it and then enter the password. Next, click on OK.

Open the Password Protect a Folder on Mac

Side note: There is an option to remember the password in the keychain. I wouldn’t recommend you to check this box as it will (kind of) take away the main purpose.

Step #2. Finally, the mounted disk image of your folder will appear. Now, go ahead and navigate through the file and even edit it as desired.

Mounted disk image of your folder on Mac

Once you’ve explored your folder, make sure to password protect it again. To do so, right click on it and choose Eject “folder name”.

Click on Eject to Encrypt a Folder again on Mac

That’s pretty much it!

Recently, we created a piece about encrypting PDF files on macOS through a slightly hidden trick. So, if you have some files, which need a bit more defense, do check that out.

Wrapping Up…

Now that you know the trick to add the additional layer of protection to the folder, never forget to use it to ensure all of your important files remain shielded.

I’m really glad that macOS offers a handy built-in tool to provide the desired level of security to the data. Let me know your thoughts about it down below.

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Jignesh Padhiyar
Jignesh Padhiyar is the co-founder of who has a keen eye for news, rumors and all the unusual stuff that happens around Apple products. During his tight schedule, Jignesh finds some moments of respite to share side-splitting contents on social media.
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