I've got an encrypted sparse bundle disk image and I've used fstab with the right UUID to mount it someplace other than /Volumes. What I would like is to just dbl-click on it, enter the password and have it show up where I want it. I use a password manager and I have intentionally chosen a long random gibberish password for the disk image. It seems that I am not allowed to paste my password into the dialog that asks for a password when mounting an encrypted disk image.

Am I doing something wrong?

  • 3
    The OS also disables keyboard loggers when in a secure text entry field. TextExpander is an example of a legitimate keyboard logger.
    – Ɱark Ƭ
    Commented Jan 25, 2013 at 21:10
  • 1
    How are you trying to paste? I've found areas where cmd+v doesn't work but ctrl+click > paste does work.
    – forquare
    Commented Jun 28, 2015 at 0:12

4 Answers 4


No, you aren't doing anything wrong. Apple doesn't allow you to paste into certain secure dialog boxes. It's a feature, not a bug. (It makes a brute force hack of the dialog box more difficult.)

You can paste the password into the command line if you mount the secure image using hdiutil.

Open Terminal and type:

 hdiutil attach /path/to/imagefile -stdinpass

When prompted for the password, copy it from a text file or (preferably) a password vault and paste it into terminal.

If the path/to/imagefile is complex, you can type the command, a space, then drag the imagefile icon from the finder into the terminal window to automatically enter the path/filname.

  • 20
    Awesome. So I'm encouraged to only use a password that I can remember and type easily.
    – kbyrd
    Commented Jan 25, 2013 at 21:27
  • 10
    What an odd choice by Apple, to make brute-forcing the dialog box harder, while it's still possible (and I would say easier) to brute-force the command-line utility. Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 1:55
  • 12
    @drfrogsplat, exactly. This is a terrible feature—all it does is make it harder to use password managers.
    – Will
    Commented Jan 7, 2015 at 14:31
  • 5
    This feature is outdated and stupid... can't use 1password at all. Can't even copy the suggested password
    – amleszk
    Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 19:25
  • 3
    Wow, so you get penalized for picking long, complex passwords
    – Ray
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 13:31

I wrote a very tiny AppleScript application which allows you to paste passwords even where its not allowed by tricking the system into thinking that you're typing on your keyboard. The downside: it takes space in your Dock.


You could also run a script like this in AppleScript Editor:

tell application "System Events" to tell process "SecurityAgent"
    set value of text field 1 of window 1 to (the clipboard)
    click button 1 of group 1 of window 1
end tell

It requires access for assistive devices to be enabled from System Preferences.

  • WOW! Thanks a lot. These 4 lines will save me hours of time and make my passwords stronger.
    – Yan
    Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 10:15
  • I would strongly recommend that people use hdiutil as jaberg answered instead of resorting to UI automations such as this one. Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 2:36
  • thank you! my keyboard is being fragged and the left and right shift keys dont work - not so good for passwords that need shift-numbers on a mac book air ;9
    – Bae
    Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 11:46

Apple's security prevents this as answered separately by jaberg. But are you not prompted to store the password in your keychain? I've only used encrypted physical volumes and not disk images, but I'm always prompted to store the password to my keychain.

  • 3
    Storing the password in the system keychain runs against the notion of keeping the enclosed files secure. If someone has access to your open account, they can access the encrypted files. You could however move the keys for encrypted images into a second keychain that is protected by a different password. That way you would only have one additional complex password to remember.
    – jaberg
    Commented Jan 25, 2013 at 22:04
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    I specifically don't want to use the keychain. I use my password manager for that.
    – kbyrd
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 15:06
  • May want to add this as a comment, not answer FWIW
    – rogerdpack
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 19:42

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