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How do you encrypt an external hard/flash drive connected to my Mac in Lion 10.7? Preferable something with a strong encryption as FileVault.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The best way to do this is via Disk Utility in the Application/Utilities folder. Review pictures for better understanding

Select the disk you want to encrypt Disk Utility

Choose the format method as in the picture, making sure you choose the option with Encryption Choose format

Next time you connect the disk, you will be asked to enter password. Here is what it looks like after you are done

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Is this a new Lion feature? – Thilo Aug 5 '11 at 2:35
Yes it is and it's very good. – Slick Aug 5 '11 at 22:06

You can create an encrypted volume using Disk Utility:

Also, see here for information on FileVault:

Is File Vault 2 whole disk encryption or whole partition encryption?

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The article describes how to create an encrypted disk image. That is not the same as FileVault. But it is also just as secure, and more backwards compatible (you can read it from older OS X versions, too), which is important for external drives, I would think. – Thilo Aug 3 '11 at 10:10

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