Is there a way to check if a TimeMachine backup is encrypted on macOS Ventura 13.1?

In the UI it's not visible:

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If I check the files on the network drive I see this: enter image description here

I have no idea how to check if this is encrypted. Maybe it's possible to check via command line?


1 Answer 1


For an external USB attached APFS volume you can right-click on the external disk in the Finder, in the "faze's-MBP" location (or however your machine is named) that gives a list of all volumes.

If it's encrypted, you will see an option to decrypt, and vice-versa.

However, if I read your images correctly, you are using a networked sparse bundle. From my own experiments I found that if you create them directly on the NAS they must be HFS+, and encryption options must be set at creation. For me, the option to encrypt after the creation does not appear.

So it would seem this answer will not satisfy for a sparse bundle TM volume. But it can still be checked.

If you are asked for a password when the volume is mounted then obviously it's encrypted. If you are not asked, then it may still be encrypted if your keychain contains a stored password for the volume. Open Keychain Access and search for the name of the TM volume (or search for 'encrypted volume password' for all) to check. If none found, then your volume is probably unencrypted.

Of course, this works for a USB attached volume also.

Now, re. the files you are seeing on your network device, they are the control files within the sparse bundle that make up the sparse bundle itself. The volume image is encoded within the files you find in the bands subfolder, and of course, if encryption is enabled, then it's them that are encrypted. You cannot browse the sparse bundle files and expect to see your original data. That is only visible when the sparse bundle is mounted on a macOS machine. Of course it is not recommended to modify or move these files. Normally on a macOS machine you would not normally see those files, as they're hidden in a package, but your network device has no concept of the package so they are presented as a folder.

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