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  1. #1
    No Time Machine with Encrypted HD
    2017 MacBook Pro, OS 10.13.6

    Last year I encrypted my Time Machine external HD because it was going to be mailed and put in storage. When I got it back, I found Time Machine did not work (entering Time Machine revealed there were no backups indicated on the timeline, and there had been many). An Apple Support search confirmed that an encrypted HD cannot be used for Time Machine backups.

    My question: can the Time Machine function (with items saved before the encryption) be restored by un-encrypting the HD?

  2. #2
    No Time Machine with Encrypted HD
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Wouldn't hurt to try.
    Jake

  3. #3
    No Time Machine with Encrypted HD
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    Assuming you un-encrypting the HD will return the contents to how they are normally, then Time Machine should be able to see things no problem. Did you use macOS to encrypt the drive or a 3rd party tool?
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin


  4. #4
    No Time Machine with Encrypted HD
    IWT's Avatar
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    This article might help.

    How to Encrypt Your Mac’s Time Machine Backup

    From what I read there and here (Keep your Time Machine backup disk for Mac secure - Apple Support), the process of setting up a Time Machine Backup (BU) is the critical phase.

    That said, the implication of both articles is that it is possible to do and possible to unencrypt TM and recover your data.

    Never done it myself, but worth a read, I think.

    Ian
    Ian

  5. #5
    Thanks for all the replies!

    As I recall, I encrypted the HD with Disk Utility, and will see if un-encrypting the HD restores Time Machine.

  6. #6
    An update on this post: I connected the external drive and "right-clicked" the drive icon, then clicked "decrypt drive". Now the window says "Decrypting Drive" and is greyed-out. Does this indicate the drive is in the lengthly process of decrypting? Time Machine still does not recognize backups in this drive.

  7. #7
    No Time Machine with Encrypted HD
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    Yes, the drive is decrypting. Depending on the size (GB) of the drive, it could take days to complete. This is especially true, if there is data on the drive.
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  8. #8
    No Time Machine with Encrypted HD
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    And do not interrupt the process until it is complete or you stand a fairly good chance of losing it all.
    Jake

  9. #9
    Well, I may have lost it all, because the laptop went into sleep mode while the HD was decrypting! Will soon see if this occurred.

  10. #10
    No Time Machine with Encrypted HD
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Sleep may not have done anything bad. Sleeping generally includes soft shutdowns so that things can be restarted when it wakens. You could still be good!
    Jake

  11. #11
    That's good news! Is there any way to monitor the decrypting progress?
    Also, is there a way to encrypt and still use Time Machine?
    Last edited by galvinize; 04-10-2019 at 12:04 PM. Reason: added content

  12. #12
    No Time Machine with Encrypted HD
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Well, you could open Activity Monitor (In the Utilities folder of Applications) and see if there is disk activity, or what is using CPU. That's about all I can suggest.
    Jake

  13. #13
    Thanks! Looking at Activity Monitor:

    kernel_task 7.5% CPU; CPU Time 1:31:06 and counting; threads 149; idle Wake Ups 626

  14. #14
    No Time Machine with Encrypted HD
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    kernel_task is a catch-all for a lot of things. Anything going on in the disk activity pane?
    Jake

  15. #15
    Browsed through the web and found this suggestion:
    go to the Terminal App in Utilities and type: diskutil cs list
    Sure enough, it revealed the decryption was 41% complete.

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