What is the difference between FileVault 2 and Disk Utility Encryption?

Also, what is the better/safer option encrypt disk when reformatting then install mac OS or install mac OS without encryption and setup encryption with FileVault 2?


Both, do the same thing, that is to encrypt your hard drive. However, the difference is in the approach and can be disastrous if you’re not careful with it.

Point 1:

When you use the Disc Utility to create an HD with Mac OS Extended (journaled, encrypted) - it will “Format” the drive (any data that you have on it will be lost, forever), it will then ask you set up a password. Once you’ve provided the info, and click Ok. It will format the hard drive within minutes (depending on the disk size of course). This is faster, but a destructive process.

When you use FileVault - it encrypts the hard drive while maintaining the data within it. This is a slow and reversible (i.e. You can turn FileVault ON/OFF as you choose) process, often takes a few hours. But, if you need to preserve the data on the HD, then this is the way to go.

Point 2:

FileVault can be enabled in System Preferences > Security & Privacy > FileVault to encrypt the existing data on the internal HDD on a Mac.

Disk Utility > Erase can be used to format an existing or new partition and encrypt the volume as Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted).


If you’re concerned about the privacy of your files and user data, and your computer contains information that shouldn’t be seen without authorized access, you should absolutely use FileVault disk encryption.

  • Thank you. If you don't mind me asking, where online can I find more information like this? My goal is to have my mac book pro setup with a web development environment but have it hardened so my privacy is secure but without causing networking or hardware issues during development. Nov 21 '19 at 17:29
  • There are lots of documents on the Apple page. But, I strongly recommend to have File Vault and it is with version 2 now. As in the company also, I have been using this for a long period. So you will be good if you have FV enabled.
    – Udhy
    Nov 21 '19 at 17:31

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