PGP - Perform Whole Disk Encryption or Decryption on Macintosh

Last Updated: 04/03/2017
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This document shows PGP Setup, Encryption, and Decryption on an Intel-based Macintosh.

Note: encrypting your disk will take quite a bit of time. Make sure you have adequate time to let your computer run through the process uninterrupted.

This tutorial applies to the following operating system(s):
  • MAC

Important Notice for Macintosh systems (Updated 4/29/11)

There is a serious known issue for some Macintosh systems, titled "Unable to Load Mac OS X After Encrypting Disk." Please read about it on the Known Issues page and follow the links to Symantec's website. If you are unsure about installing PGP and enabling whole disk encryption contact the IT Service Center.

Step 1

PGP can be opened from the Lock icon in the menu bar. Click on it and select Open PGP Desktop.

Step 2

In the window that opens, you will be asked to enter your domain authentication credentials. Enter your CU Login Name and IdentiKey password into these fields and click on the Continue button.

Step 3

After your credentials have been accepted, the Setup Assistant opens. Click on I am a new user and then the Continue button.

Step 4

The Keyring Setup Summary will appear. Review the information and click on the Finish button.

Step 5

Click on the Encrypt a Disk... button.

Step 6

Select the disk you wish to encrypt and click on the Continue button.

WARNING: do not select any peripherals that might be listed, such as iPods or digital cameras.

Removable media, such as an external hard drive or flash drive, may be encrypted, but PGP must be installed on any computer that you wish to use with the removable media so that you can decrypt the data on it.

Step 7

In the Add PGP Whole Disk User menu, enter your name, and then a personal passphrase. Passphrases can be entire sentences. It is helpful to checkmark Show Keystrokes as you do this. Make sure your passphrase is strong, yet memorable. Once completed, click on the Continue button.

You will be entering your passphrase each time you log on to your computer.

Step 8

It is now time to encrypt your disk. Remember, this process will take quite a bit of time depending on the disk size, from several minutes to several hours. Make sure your computer will have adequate time to perform this task uninterrupted. Click on the Encrypt button.

Step 9

The encryption process will begin.

Step 10

Once your disk is encrypted you will see so in the Status field. You can close the PGP Desktop program.

Step 11

Now when you log on to your computer, you will be prompted for your passphrase, as shown below. Enter your passphrase and press the Return key.

Step 12

Should you ever need to turn whole disk encryption off, open PGP Desktop again. Then click on the Decrypt button associated with your disk. The decryption of a disk takes just as long as encryption does.

Step 13

You will be prompted for your passphrase to decrypt your disk, and then click OK.

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