I have a USB stick encrypted by Windows 7 built-in tool (bitlocker). I would like to open it on my OS X El Capitan.

When I open it, all I get is a file "BitLockerToGo.exe" and another "Read Me.url"

I found some pieces here and there but no full procedure for mac.


Actually I asked after some success because I thought it would benefit everyone ;-)

Here is the complete process. Some links are missing because I don't have enough reputation to embed them all. Sorry about that.

High-level, we "just" need dislocker.

But to install it, there are some dependencies to resolve... we need:

  1. "Fuse for OS X"
    • Simply download the .img on their site, open and run the .pkg installer
  2. Xcode command-line developers tools

    • I'm not sure what's the generic answer.
    • Open a terminal, and type

      xcode-select --install
      • If you get an error "-bash: xcode-select: command not found", you need to install Xcode from the App store, then start again this command.
      • If an alert windows popup asking if you want to install, click on "install" button.
      • If it prints error "xcode-select: error: command line tools are already installed, [...]", you're all set.
  3. "Homebrew"

    • Following instruction on their website, type following in terminal:

      /usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"
    • If you get an error about Xcode tools not being installed whereas you did install it, then change the path to Xcode:

      sudo xcode-select -switch /
  4. and obviously dislocker !

    • Download ZIP (available in green button "Clone or Download" on the right)
    • Extract ZIP content
    • Open terminal and change directory to the dislocker-master directory
    • Compile and install dislocker:

      brew install src/dislocker.rb
      • If you get an error about Xcode tools not being installed whereas you did install it, then change the path like this:

        sudo xcode-select -switch /

Don't be desperate, it's now time to mount the USB stick !

But it's not gonna be trivial...

  1. Identify the device of the USB stick, using Disk Utility:
    • Open Disk Utility and select the USB stick drive. Somewhere you should get something like "disk3s1". Replace this example with your actual value in following lines.
    • Keep Disk Utility open, it will be used in next steps
  2. Eject the USB drive for example from Disk Utility (Unmount button)
  3. Create a directory for the decrypted file

    sudo mkdir /tmp/mydrive

    Warning: this directory will have strange characteristics: it appears with "ls" but not with "ls -l" and not in the Finder wherever it is, moreover the content can't be listed, and trying to delete it often fails with strange error messages. That's why I put it in /tmp which is cleaned at every reboot.

  4. Decrypt the USB stick with dislocker. If disk is "disk3s1" and the password is "MyPassword", the command will look like:

    sudo dislocker-file -V /dev/disk3s1 -v -uMyPassword -r -- /tmp/mydrive
  5. Add the disk image to Disk Utility and mount it

    sudo hdiutil attach -imagekey diskimage-class=CRawDiskImage /tmp/mydrive/dislocker-file

    Note: Don't try to list "/tmp/mydrive/dislocker-file" by yourself. Just assume it is there and write the path as is.

Hourray !!!, the new drive is there !

Because really nothing is easy, to clean-up you need to do the following:

  1. Unmount the drive
    • For example from your friend Disk Utility, select its icon and click on "Unmount" button
  2. Get rid of the image
    • From "Disk Utility", select the greyed drive, and from the menu "File" select "Eject".
  3. Detach the fuse volume

    sudo  hdiutil detach /tmp/mydrive/

Only now the directory /tmp/mydrive is a plain directory that can be deleted...

As you noticed the process is definitely complex and finally I just get a read-only drive. I'm interested by any better answer.

  • brew install src/dislocker.rb failed on the make step. Oddly, manually running cmake, make, and make install succeeded and installed it into the Cellar. – Drew Stephens Jul 21 '17 at 12:18
  • Jonatan$ sudo dislocker -V /dev/disk2s1 --user-password xxx -- ~/Decrypted-disk Enter the user password: fuse: invalid argument `/Users/Jonatan/Decrypted-disk' what can be the error? I have tried with both an existing directory and a non-existing directory... – jontejj Nov 5 '17 at 19:44

I'd like to share my experience on High Sierra, as it seems to be even simpler.



/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"

Fuse for macOS

brew cask install osxfuse


  • To install and/or use osxfuse you may need to enable their kernel extension in System Preferences → Security & Privacy → General

  • Make sure to reboot before proceeding further (as osxfuse advises to do so).


brew install dislocker



# to unlock the dislocker image
sudo dislocker -v -V /dev/disk3s1 -r -uPASSWORD ~/mydrive

# to mount the unlocked image
sudo hdiutil attach /tmp/mydrive/dislocker-file -imagekey diskimage-class=CRawDiskImage -mountpoint /Volumes/mydrive


# unmount the unlocked image
sudo hdiutil detach /Volumes/mydrive

# release the unlocked bitlocker
sudo hdiutil detach /tmp/mydrive


I've also created a gist to ease the mount/unmount procedure:

# mount, will be available at /Volumes/bitlocker.disk3s1
sudo mount-bitlocker /dev/disk3s1 PASSWORD

# unmount
sudo umount-bitlocker /dev/disk3s1
  • This is the only right answer that is up-to-date. Not even the dislocker github is updated. – not2qubit May 12 '18 at 21:22

I can confirm this still works (October 2nd, 2018). However, both the dislocker unlock command and the gist mount the volume as read-only. When full access (read/write) is required, remove the "-r" option from the dislocker command and/or edit the gist mount-bitlocker by removing "-r".


Alternative solution

Use Windows in virtual machine. Pass through the USB device to the VM and share back to host macOS.

I haven't tried it but it should work theoretically.

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protected by Community Jan 4 at 5:29

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