How may a Solid-state drive (SSD) Time Machine backup password be changed for a SSD formatted as "Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted)"?


This is how a Time Machine backup password is changed for an SSD formatted as "APFS (Case-sensitive, Encrypted)".

APFS (Case-sensitive, Encrypted)

  1. Open Disk Utility app > Select the drive under the External category.
  2. Select in the menu bar File > Change Password...

Change Password

APFS Volume

APFS Volume


The Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted) formatted SSD has the option for Change Password... grayed out.

Change password grayed out

Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted)

Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted)


2 Answers 2


It seems the Time Machine app has removed the option to deselect encrypt backups, and then reselect the option in order to change the password.

To change a password you can use the Mac Disk Utility which comes with all macOS operating systems.

  1. Open the Disk Utility app

  2. File > Change Password... (This option is available for APFS formatted drives)

  3. If File > Change Password... is grayed out.

    a. Erase the drive used for Time Machine backups

    b. Create a new drive

    c. Set a new password in the Time Machine app by selecting the encrypt option.


Remove and Re-Enable the Backup Drive from Time Machine With New Password

  1. Open System Preferences > Time Machine

  2. Remove current disk: Select Disk... > Under Backup Disks, choose the existing drive > Remove Disk

Remove Disk

  1. Re-enable disk without the existing password: Select Backup Disk... > Select disk > Deselect Encrypt backups > Use Disk

Deselect Encrypt backups

  1. Cancel the disk backup in-progress > Wait for the disk to decrypt

  2. Repeat Step 2.

  3. Re-enable disk with a new password: Select Backup Disk... > Select disk > Select Encrypt backups > Use Disk

  • 1
    In Ventura the interface no longer looks anything like this. Commented Feb 3, 2023 at 12:57
  • 1
    I've updated the answer here. Commented Jun 30, 2023 at 0:24
  • 1
    I would add a comment saying that this particular solution works up to certain version of MacOS Commented Feb 6 at 16:10
  • Not valid for Sonoma anymore.
    – Chris F
    Commented May 17 at 0:33
  • Thank you for letting me know! Commented Jun 6 at 23:27

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