On one partition of an external drive encrypted with Filevault 2, I have accidentally deleted a folder and files. Does decryption also decrypt the deleted files?


No - encryption/decryption is a completely separate process that will not affect what the OS sees as data (files/folders) versus available space.

You will need to run a file recovery program, such as DiskDrill or Data Rescue; the chance of success at retrieving your files will vary.

Finally, you should seriously consider a proper backup solution, anything from Apple's built-in Time Machine to 3rd party solutions like CrashPlan or BackBlaze.

  • Ok - Any pointers on a technical article that describes how Filevault 2 handles deletions of files? I've looked around extensively and come up short.
    – Mike J
    Aug 25 '16 at 20:54
  • FileVault 2 doesn't have anything to do with deletions - that's handled by the OS instead. FileVault encrypts the drive, waits for a successful challenge at boot to unlock that drive, then the OS runs as normal. You should be focused on the specific version of OS X you're using and the format of the drive (likely jHFS+).
    – da4
    Aug 26 '16 at 16:41

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