How to encrypt a memory stick

appleYou can encrypt a memory stick using Mac OS X. I was using Mac OSX High Sierra for this article, but I suspect the procedure is similar for other recent versions of OSX.

Disk Utility

Once you have plugged your USB memory stick into your Mac, you can open the Disk Utility.

  1. Go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.
  2. In the left pane select your USB device (not the partition itself!).
    1. If you can't see your device, go to View > Show All Devices.
  3. Click the Erase button.
  4. Enter a Name for your device (e.g. Encrypted stick).
  5. Choose Format: Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
  6. Select Scheme: GUID Partition Map.
  7. Click Erase.



Now with your newly formatted drive mounted, open Finder.

  1. Right-click your device and choose Encrypt "Encrypted stick"...
  2. Enter and verify a Password.
  3. Add a Password hint (required).

That's it! Now whenever you plug your memory stick into a Mac, you'll be asked to enter the password.

Note that this device will not work on a Windows machine. Additionally if you forget the password, the data will not be recoverable.


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