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?

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    The OS also disables keyboard loggers when in a secure text entry field. TextExpander is an example of a legitimate keyboard logger. – Ɱark Ƭ Jan 25 '13 at 21:10
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    How are you trying to paste? I've found areas where cmd+v doesn't work but ctrl+click > paste does work. – forquare Jun 28 '15 at 0:12

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.

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    Awesome. So I'm encouraged to only use a password that I can remember and type easily. – kbyrd Jan 25 '13 at 21:27
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    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. – drfrogsplat Dec 5 '13 at 1:55
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    @drfrogsplat, exactly. This is a terrible feature—all it does is make it harder to use password managers. – Will Jan 7 '15 at 14:31
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    This feature is outdated and stupid... can't use 1password at all. Can't even copy the suggested password – amleszk Apr 7 '15 at 19:25
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    Wow, so you get penalized for picking long, complex passwords – Ray Jul 21 '16 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 Jan 16 '14 at 10:15
  • I would strongly recommend that people use hdiutil as jaberg answered instead of resorting to UI automations such as this one. – Blacklight Shining Sep 18 '15 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 Oct 2 '15 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.

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    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 Jan 25 '13 at 22:04
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    I specifically don't want to use the keychain. I use my password manager for that. – kbyrd Jan 28 '13 at 15:06
  • May want to add this as a comment, not answer FWIW – rogerdpack Feb 2 '18 at 19:42

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