Apple Wiki
Apple Wiki

FileVault configuration in the Security pane of System Preferences in Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger).

FileVault is a data encryption feature developed by Apple to protect user data in macOS.[1] It was first introduced in 2003 as part of Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther).[2]


When activated, FileVault encrypts the user's home directory (~user) with a 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm, later upgraded to 256-bit with AES-XTS. It can automatically encrypt and decrypt on the fly while the user can continue to use the Mac.[3][4]


  1. Encrypt Mac data with FileVault, Apple Support. Accessed 2021-10-01.
  2. Apple Previews Mac OS X “Panther”, Apple Computer. 2003-06-23.
  3. How does FileVault encryption work on a Mac?, Apple Support. Accessed 2021-10-01.
  4. Volume encryption with FileVault in macOS, Apple Support. 2021-02-18.

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