At the office, I use a machine which is used by several people.

Is there any way to enable File Vault ONLY for MY user folder? (I.e., /Users/me)


FileVault 1 used to do just this but the current FileVault 2 is whole disk encryption. It is technically possible to use the Logical Volume Manager underpinning FV2 to accomplish this, but it's rather complicated and not supported by Apple or any GUI System Preferences.

You could consider using an encrypted disk image created with DiskUtility. This would give you an optionally mountable disk that is encrypted. It appears on the HDD as a large file (like most installer .dmg files) and mounts with a double-click and password. This is similar to what FV1 used to do with a user's home directory.

  • How would I use an encrypted disk image as my Home folder? Would the OS be able to automatically mount it when I login? – Dan Aug 20 '13 at 20:02
  • For that matter -- would it be possible to use a USB thumb drive as my home folder? Then I could just take it with me (encrypted.) – Dan Aug 20 '13 at 20:05
  • 1
    You could create a disk image and configure it as a login item. With the credentials in your KeyChain, it would mount at login. – 8None1 Aug 26 '13 at 17:52

Filevault 2 is full hard drive encryption. It is not possible to set that to a folder or single user.

However you can reenable the legacy file vault. This does what you are asking for. This does require some tinkering on the command line and is not for the faint of heart.

You can find instructions on http://www.taborcg.com/2011/10/16/how-to-enable-legacy-filevault-on-mac-osx-10-7-lion/.

  • I would also be veeery cautious about using unsupported encryption mechanisms. One OS update could easily leave you without a way of decrypting your files. – Fuzzy76 Oct 3 '17 at 6:32

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