How to Password Protect Files & Folders In macOS

Trying to figure out how to password protect your files & folders in macOS? 

Security is one of the key aspects that Apple is really proud of when it comes to their operating systems like iOS and macOS. Compared to their competition, Apple products have more robust protection against hackers and viruses. 

In context, macOS rarely suffers from any malware or viruses and is less vulnerable compared to Windows. While Apple’s security is great, it is still vital that you add additional protection to your files and folders just to be safe. 

macOS has a feature that allows their users to set a password to their files and folders that they wish to keep others from accessing. 

If you wish to know how to password protect your files and folders in macOS, keep reading. 🙂

In this guide, we are going to show you different ways on how to secure your folders and files on macOS. 

Let’s get right into it!



How to Set a Password for Folders in macOS.

You can password protect a folder and its content on macOS by adding it to a secured image using Disk Utility. 

This way, the original folder would remain untouched which you can delete later after creating the secured image. 

Check out the steps below on how to set up a password-protected image using Disk Utility: 

  1. First, open Finder on your Mac and click on the Applications tab from the side menu. 
  2. After that, click on Utilities and open Disk Utility

password protect files and folders in macOS


  1. Inside the Disk Utility, click on File.
  2. Hover your cursor to the New Image tab and click on Image from Folder.


  1. Now, select the folders you wish to password protect and click the left arrow button to add it to the list. 
  2. After choosing all the folders, click on Choose

password protect files and folders in macOS


  1. Next, select ‘128-bit AES Encryption’ from the Encryption tab and enter your preferred password.

password protect files and folders in macOS


  1. Finally, click on Choose and wait for the process to complete. 

Now, you can delete the original copy of the folders that you have included on the secured image file. 

Alternatively, you can use third-party applications like Encrypto, which you can find in the App Store

With Encrypto, you can lock your precious files with a simple drag and drop function, which is more convenient compared to the procedure above. 

However, if you are not comfortable storing your confidential files and folders on third-party applications, we suggest that you stick with the method above. 



How to Secure Files on macOS. 

When it comes to files and other documents, the procedure for locking your files may vary depending on the file type. 

Check out the guide below on how to secure different files on macOS. 



Secure Documents on macOS. 

There are two ways on how to secure or lock a document on macOS. One is while the document is closed, and the other is while it is open. 

To lock a document when it is open, follow the steps below:

  1. First, click on the drop-down button located at the center of the title bar. 
  2. Next, click on the Locked option at the lower right corner.

password protect files and folders in macOS


  1. Finally, a checkmark would appear on the box beside the option if it is already locked. 

On the other hand, if you want to lock a document while it is closed, check out the steps below:

  1. On your Mac, navigate to the location of the document you wish to lock. 
  2. After that, right-click on the document and select Get Info

password protect files and folders in macOS


  1. Finally, click on the Locked option to enable it. 


Now you won’t be able to make any changes to the document while it is locked. 



Secure Notes on macOS. 

If you are someone who tends to forget passwords or have many user accounts, there is a possibility that you use notes to keep track of them. This can be very risky, especially for financial accounts.

Thankfully, Apple gives its users the option to lock their notes with sensitive or confidential content.

With this, any attempt to open notes that are locked would require a password to gain access. 

The steps below will guide you through the process.

  1. First, open Notes and access the particular note that you wish to lock.
  2. After that, click on the Lock button from the menu bar. 
  3. Next, click on Lock Note


  1. Finally, nominate your desired password and hit the Set Password button to save the changes. 

password protect files and folders in macOS


Now, try to access the note once again to verify if the passcode is working properly. 



Secure PDF Files. 

For the final guide, we are going to show you how to secure PDF files on your Mac by creating another copy of the file with encryption enabled. 

  1. On your Mac, access the PDF file you wish to secure. 
  2. Inside the PDF, click on the File tab and select Export

password protect files and folders in macOS


  1. After that, click on the Encrypt option to enable it. 
  2. Lastly, set your desired password and hit the Save button to create a secured copy of the PDF

password protect files and folders in macOS


Once done, go back to the location of the PDF file and delete the copy of the file that has no encryption. 



Hide Photos on macOS. 

The Photos app on macOS has a feature that allows you to hide pictures on your Mac so that it won’t appear on your photostream. 

This way, if you want to show a picture on your Mac to someone else, you are confident that they won’t see anything that they shouldn’t while scrolling to the Photos app.

To hide a photo on your Mac, follow the guide below. 

  1. First, open the Photos app. 
  2. Next, locate the photos that you wish to hide. 
  3. Finally, right-click on the photo and select Hide Photo

password protect files and folders in macOS


Now, to view the hidden photos on macOS, simply click the View tab inside the Photos app and click on Show Hidden Photo Album. 

password protect files and folders in macOS


This sums up our guide on how to password-protect files and folders in macOS. If you have concerns and questions, go ahead and leave a comment below and we would try our best to answer them. 


If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂



  • John Sixto

    John is a staff writer at Saint and comes from a SAP ABAP development background. He has a Bachelors in IT and has been writing since 2018, with over 500 posts published. He loves to build PCs and has a deep curiosity in understanding how different components and configurations work. John spends hundreds of hours at a time, researching and testing the software and apps, before he proceeds to write about it. LinkedIn X (Twitter) Website

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