Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Got new Time Capsule. Got new iMac (OS 10.8). Hooked up Time Capsule and enabled encrypted iMac backup.

Next, to my (little bit older) MacBook Air (OS 10.7). Trying to enable encrypted backup, but "Encrypt My Backup" checkbox is disabled (greyed-out).

Opinion differs. Some say MacBook Air backup is encrypted too, because "entire volume" of Time Capsule is encrypted by iMac.

Not convinced. No user feedback on that from MacBook perspective.

What is the answer?

share|improve this question

Encrypted backups only work when the backup disc is connected via USB.

It seems that there is a workaround for it using sparse bundle: Mac OSX Lion Secure Backup to Time Capsule

share|improve this answer
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Well, the iMac doesn't need a direct connection to the Time Capsule and I am still offered the encrypt backup option. But, it's running Mountain Lion.

But maybe it seems that contrary to my previous assumption, Lion (OS 10.7) doesn't allow encrypted backups to network Time Capsules, whereas Mountain Lion (OS 10.8) does.

At least that's what this posting suggests:

So, maybe if I upgrade the MacBook to Mountain Lion I can have what I want.

share|improve this answer
Yep, I upgraded the MacBook Air to Mountain Lion and viola! Encrypted backups over wireless. – psi4ce Feb 8 '13 at 4:51

That's because Lion doesn't support encryption of timemachine backups over network. There are some (nasty) workarounds but the easiest solution would be to update to MountainLion.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.