Mac OS forum

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Software to password protect folder(s) on an external HDD

by fatalii / February 8, 2009 8:39 AM PST

I am running version 10.4.11 of OS X and would like to find software that will allow for password protection for a folder(s) on an external hard drive used with my MAC. I want others to be able to access most of the files on this drive however.

Setting multiple users with passwords will not accomplish what I am looking to do... that is the only suggestion I can come across when I google this and end up at this or other forums.

Thank you for any help you may have! ~FATALII

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Is the drive a network drive
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / February 8, 2009 8:42 AM PST

or is it just attached to your Mac? (note capitalization)

You should be able to restrict access to folders by using the Get Info screen.

Have you tried that?


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It is an external firewire/usb...
by fatalii / February 8, 2009 11:07 AM PST


Sorry about the capitalization! It is not a network drive. I use it mainly on my Mac... and would like for others (son or mother) who may use the hard drive to back-up their files to it, to not be able to access one particular folder that I have on the drive. I have more than one external but would really like to be able to keep all of my backed-up info on this one drive as it my largest (500GB). Or say I take the drive to a buddies house to show them one of my vacation videos on it... I don't want them to just be able to click the folder open! The password I would use on it will be secure enough that short of several hours under a brute force attack, no one will be able to get into it!

The last thing I need is for my son or mother to come across these files! ... Let's just say they are some private pictures of my fiance.

Also, I want to make it very clear that I DO NOT want to encrypt any of the files! I almost lost all of these exact files after encrypting them on Windows XP and that machine got infected with a virus when I let someone else use it while I was reinstalling Windows on their machine... the files were on another external. I was able to get that machine to boot-up long enough to decrypt them! Otherwise it would have cost over 1K for a recovery company to even give it a try.

I know WinZip will do something like what I want... but I don't want it to encrypt or compress the files. And WinZip makes it a real pain to add files to a .zip file. I only make this comparison because I know that WinZip allows for password protection to the files it compresses. (yes I am aware that the .jpeg files can not be compressed any further)

Thanks! ~FATALII

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