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If I enable the new FileVault feature in Mac OS X Lion, will it also encrypt my existing Windows bootcamp partitions? (And/or any new bootcamp partition I create?)

Update: If not, where can I get information about using FileVault and BootCamp? I'm looking for info on how to enable FileVault 2 with an existing BootCamp installation, and also for creating a BootCamp installation after FileVault 2 is already installed.

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No, Windows does not support FileVault (so it would not boot if it was encrypted thus!) The Windows option would be BitLocker.

(perhaps it is more correct to say FileVault does not support anything but Mac OS Extended (Journaled) partitions)

If you need a great, free, cross-platform, open-source, strong encryption tool check out VeraCrypt.

Can you use FileVault on your Mac OS X partition and BitLocker on your Boot Camp Windows partition at the same time?

Theoretically it should be fine but I don't think I would do it for two reasons.

  1. There are quite a few mentions (if you google) of the Boot Camp partition failing to boot if FileVault isn't enabled in a very specific way. That could be from early FileVault and everything might be fine now but it makes me nervous enough. If you do it clone your drive first.

  2. It's really useful to be able to share information between operating systems. If you have both encrypted using a method the other can't handle you lose that ability. However, if you use VeraCrypt, you can host a partition file on either OS and access it from both, and mount it as required - as well as back it up, archive it etc. If you're worried about encryption strength, VeraCrypt is also the better option as you can configure it for truly paranoid security. I also like the thought that crypto experts are able to look at the source and would have blown the whistle on it by now if it claimed to be something which it was not.

  • Are FileVault and BitLocker compatible with each other? I.e. could I have FileVault protecting the Mac partition and BitLocker protecting the Windows partition? – Senseful Mar 24 '12 at 7:13
  • Added to body... – Adam Eberbach Mar 24 '12 at 8:19
  • I'm curious to know if this information is still accurate for OS X 10.11 (El Cap) and Windows 10? I was about to assume that I could run FileVault on my OS X partition and BitLocker on my Windows partition, but your point 2 makes me wonder if that will make Parallels stop working (I'm using Parallels to load a Bootcamp Partition). – levininja Oct 6 '16 at 21:36
  • Just a note, TrueCrypt is no longer supported and is no longer recommended as an encryption tool. I'm not sure about FileVault, but I am currently using Bitlocker with Windows 10 on my Macbook air. – Mark Hosang Oct 24 '16 at 4:59
  • Thanks @zigg, I was not aware of VeraCrypt. I had tried an encrypted disk image on macOS (through Disk Utility) but of course that is not cross platform. – Adam Eberbach Feb 21 '17 at 0:02

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