How To Protect Important Files On macOS

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Protecting critical data having an immediate impact on our studies, businesses and personal lives on macOS is surely an exciting yet necessary activity to do. This age old tradition of protecting our valuables from getting destroyed, lost or stolen has been around till date. But now we have an extra burden of sensitive information stored in the form of digital data on our hard drives. We must acknowledge our responsibility to safeguard this data on our macOS computers.


  1. Protection of files from unauthorized users
  2. Safeguarding data from deletion
  3. Basic hard drive management for macOS
  4. Additional tools to protect our valuable files on macOS

Let’s walk through each objective in detail:

  • Protection of files from unauthorized users

Who is a possible unauthorized user for your macOS? Let’s narrate the unauthorized users as ‘they’ from now. ‘They’ could be those people who can have uninterrupted access to your files contained on Mac. Again ‘They’ could be an office colleague, friends, room-partner, life partner, parents and even curious children.

Trust macOS Default File Protection Mechanism

Mac has always been offering default tools to encrypt your data either through FileVault application or Finder. We shall be discussing both just below. Also, put a strong password for your Mac computer so that whosoever sneak peak to your Mac should provide the macOS with your strong password first.

If someone close and needy wants the access to your Mac, then let him/her have access to a Guest User account.

How to Encrypt Mac Files

1)  Finder

  1. Launch Finder
  2. Under ‘Devices’ right click the hard drive and select ‘Encrypt “disk_name.’
  3. Provide a secure password and verify. Please don’t forget this password otherwise you won’t get access to your files.
  4. Restart macOS
  5. Click the drive again under ‘Devices.’
  6. It will ask for the password to grant further access.

The above procedure is suitable for encrypting a Mac hard drive that is not a startup disk. You can easily encrypt an HFS partition or an external hard disk / drive flawlessly.

2) FileVault

FileVault secures the data on Mac hard drive by encrypting its content automatically. FileVault is located in System Preferences << Security & Privacy <<FileVault. To set up FileVault, you need to Turn It On. Read the complete process of FileVault Encryption here.

  • Protect Files from Deletion

To be honest, no one can ever guarantee that no important files could get deleted. There are numerous instances of file deletion, force file deletion; trash emptied data, errors and other hard drive problems that can make the files on Mac go vanished. Hence, only an option to protect a file or multiple data set from deletion is to have good backups.

How to backup a Mac

Protecting all the data from deletion on a macOS is very simple. Just get an additional external hard drive and make it up a Time Machine backup disk. After having initialized the external drive as a Time backup volume, the application will begin to backup your important files daily, weekly and monthly. Even if some files from the original location are trashed or lost or formatted; then Time Machine can restore those files for you. Read more: Use Time Machine to back up or restore your Mac

How To Protect Important Files On Mac

Clone your macOS

Don’t solely depend on a single backup source. Yes, Time Machine is free and recommended, but it can fail too. Better clone up your Mac hard drive to another external hard disk. These days, external hard drives are cheaper to get. But, even after having two backup sources; macOS files often gets deleted permanently hence consider the below backup suggestions.

Online Backup

Some platforms can store your documents, pictures, videos, audios data digitally. iCloud, DropBox, Google Drive, etc. are some of the partially free and paid options for online data backup. Moreover, the data stored online is usable from any device at any point of time. Your data is supposed to travel with you through cloud backup.

How To Protect Important Files On Mac

  • Basic Disk Management on Mac

Your data is supposed to stay life long on a hard drive hence at least a basic management of the Macintosh HD is essential. Apple provides a ‘Disk Utility’ platform to support basic management of the internal/external hard drives. With the Disk Utility interface, you can perform below operations to safeguard the storage media.

  1. Repairing disk errors through First Aid.
  2. Partitioning a hard drive to segregate startup disk from other data types.
  3. Erasing a hard drive with a new file system for containing further files.
  4. Unmounting a Partition to prevent its access.
  5. Also, there exist more features in the Disk Utility File, Edit, Images menus.
  • Additional tools to protect our valuable files on macOS

File Recovery and Disk Repair

  1. Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery: File recovery tool for Mac (Visit)
  2. Disk Warrior: Advance repair tool for Mac (Visit)
  3. Tech Tools Pro: Another advanced repair tool for Mac (Visit)
  4. Onyx: System Maintenance (Visit)
  5. Disk Inventory: File Manager (Visit)

Mac Backup Software

  1. Time Machine: Provided free by every Mac system
  2. Carbon Copy Cloner: Makes clone of a Mac hard drive (Visit)

Online Security

  1. Many might not agree to install an anti-virus application on macOS though some arguments might favor having one. Those arguments can be summed as – making payments online. Though all payment gateways are https secured one might always have an extra layer of security assured in the form of an AV program installed on Mac. Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac is developed for this purpose to avail that extra layer of protections. I personally recommend having one if you have to make number of online transaction each day from your iMac, MacBook Pro or Mini.

Tools mentioned above are either freeware or shareware, but those applications can bring up the protection and security of your data to a higher level. Try them for free first.

End Note

The above 4 objectives are easy to implement and monitor on macOS. Do share your Mac file protection and management with us.

Article Contributed by Vishal Chaudhary

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