I enabled full disk encryption on my new MacBook Pro. (I am new to the Mac world but an accomplished Linux/UNIX and Windows type)

However, I made a mistake and skipped the step of taking note of the recovery key.

Is is possible to get the recovery key at this point?

  • I'd appreciate the answer and not the downvote even if it is a reference to somewhere else.
    – mdpc
    May 27, 2015 at 17:05
  • 1
    Maybe you should make the title of your question more precise so that people see what CoreStorage issue you are addressing.
    – n1000
    May 27, 2015 at 17:08
  • I agree with you on the nonsense down vote without comment at least. However your question should be reworded since it is not possible you missed the screen with that information, and the way you are asking could be read as "how to crack the encryption key" But here is some info for you to read support.apple.com/en-us/HT204837
    – Ruskes
    May 27, 2015 at 17:12
  • 1
    OK, so I apparently missed it for some reason. Can I get a new recovery information by unencryption and the re-encryption?
    – mdpc
    May 27, 2015 at 17:17
  • Re-encryption is the standard cure for most Filevault2 / CoreStorage issues :)
    – n1000
    May 27, 2015 at 17:20

2 Answers 2


It seems strange OS X didn't present you the recovery key. Try:

sudo fdesetup changerecovery -personal

This awesome blog has probably all the info you desire. Look for the section "Managing individual and institutional recovery keys". You can use your Filevault2 password to change the recovery key. And you will have to use an Administrator account.

  • Interesting....what is the purpose of the encryption if it is so easy to bypass?
    – Ruskes
    May 27, 2015 at 17:16
  • 2
    @Buscar웃SD You still need to provide your unlock key (recovery or account).
    – n1000
    May 27, 2015 at 17:17
  • If you are an administrator you should be able to obtain this information. I'd think that this would be something legit.
    – mdpc
    May 27, 2015 at 17:59
  • I think this is where OS X differs from other *nix. Many people use Admin as their everyday account. Apple needs to protect those ;)
    – n1000
    May 27, 2015 at 18:07
  • 1
    @Buscar웃SD, it's possible to get a recovery key because your account is enabled for FileVault 2 and is associated with a key that can unlock the encryption. An account which is not enabled for FileVault would not be able to generate a new recovery key because its password would not be associated with a key which can unlock the encryption. May 29, 2015 at 0:29

I believe the correct answer to this question is that you cannot find a FileVault Recovery Key for an already encrypted disk. You can only learn it when you enable FileVault. If you want to know it you need to decrypt and start over.

If you don't know the recovery key, you don't know the FileVault 2 encryption password, and you cannot boot into a user account with unlock privileges you cannot recover the drive.

Apple wants you to store the recovery key in iCloud. That is something I will personally do in the future. Be sure your iCloud password is recoverable in the case of drive failure (I like to keep a printed copy in addition to my 1Password).

If you want to manage recovery keys for a set of drives and computers you can study these recommendations:


  • Reading this page I still think it's not possible to find out what the recovery key is post-encryption, but it sounds like it's possible to change the recovery key (see other replies). Feb 4, 2018 at 16:17

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