I've opted for disk encryption during install of El Capitan (v10.11.6) on my Macbook Air.

Logged in from my admin account (not root), I added a new user to manage a second iTunes account (which I thoughtlessly created and tremendously complicated my iPhone-Macbook activities).

Amazingly, this user has been added to the first login screen after restart (see image). Logging in from this screen, I can bypass the disk encryption password, view the System and User directories, and run apps installed at the root level.

How can adding a new user bypass full Disk Encryption?

OS X Login screen with disk encryption

1 Answer 1


Normally, when you set up full-disk encryption on the startup volume, you use FileVault, which integrates the disk encryption with the user accounts, so any (enabled) user can start the OS and unlock the disk. It appears that what you've done is encrypt the startup volume some other way, giving it a disk password rather than integrating with the user accounts. But when you create a new user account, it goes ahead and sets that account up FileVault-style, giving it the ability to unlock the disk at startup.

Not what you wanted? You can remove that user from the unlock list with the fdesetup command:

sudo fdesetup remove userToDisable

where userToDisable is the new user's account name (aka short name). Note that sudo will prompt for your admin password, and it won't echo as you type.

  • Ah-ha! fdesetup list shows this user as the only one. That did it. Good answer form, too +1
    – xtian
    Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 18:00
  • On macOS Sierra, fdesetup version 5.70, you need --user before the username, so sudo fdesetup remove --user userToDisable. I had the same issue with the new boot user. This very odd behavior to me, kind of makes me a bit worried about the actual security of the drive encryption offered by macOS if a user without my disk encryption password can decrypt my drive. :-x
    – Anthony
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 0:43

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .