I would like to encrypt the whole content of my Time Capsule HDD.

I selected "Encrypt backups" in Time Machine settings but I am not sure if encryption applies to the whole drive or just to the Time Machine backup.

Could you please advise? Also what is the right command to verify this?

My setup:

  • OS X Mavericks
  • 3 TB Time Capsule with 802.11ac


1 Answer 1


Your backups are being encrypted, as you can see in the second screenshot (2,57 TB of 3 TB available, encrypted).

Time Capsule doesn't encrypt the whole drive, instead it creates an encrypted .sparsebundle file, which contains the computer's Time Machine backups. One of these files is created for each computer you back up.

If the whole drive was encrypted, then all backups would have to be made with the same key, which would not be very secure.

  • Thank you onik, I appreciate your answer. Is there any way how to encrypt the whole Time Capsule drive? Aug 12, 2014 at 17:11
  • Not to my knowledge, but I don't have a Time Capsule to test, I use an OS X Server for my backups which has more options. Aug 13, 2014 at 5:19

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