here we have another beautiful case of "Don't expect your Mac to be reliable by itself" What happened is as follows:

I decided to encrypt all my data. Since I have a second hard drive in my MacBook I have my home drive on it, and hence not on the same drive as the OS. Encrypting the drive with the OS was easily solved via FileVault. Once that was done I checked online to see if I can encrypt the home drive as well, and found the solution to just right click and press "Encrypt."

At this point I assumed Mac OS will have some sort of system recognizing the fact that my home folder is on that drive and will handle the encryiption accordingly. I was WRONG. And now I can`t log in ... From what I can tell this is due to the fact that the home drive is not loaded prior to logging in (and on the other hand is necessary to log in).

Has anyone got an idea how I can handle this situation?

Thanks! Tired greetings, Alex

  • If you are trying to keep them decrypted then you can login to recovery mode, and open disk util, decrypt. If you want to keep it encrypted and the ability to login then I have no idea, maybe you could call up terminal somehow and decrypt the home folder before logging in?
    – thuyein
    Oct 15, 2016 at 13:33
  • I've done the same thing and disappointed with the outcome. Fortunately, I always set-up an "Admin" account on the startup disk so I can login to that first. Not the "just works" solution I expect from Apple. Jan 6, 2023 at 13:44

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately, that's just how it works currently. The easiest solution is just move the home back to the encrypted startup disk.

Otherwise you'll have to do something goofy like create another user so you can log in, unlock the disk and then log out/back in as you.

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