Can’t Open FileVault on Mac? Here’s the Fix

FileVault has long been one of the most notable security and privacy features in macOS. For those who don’t know, this built-in encryption feature is designed to encrypt Mac’s hard drive and all stored files. Using XTS-AES-128 encryption with 256-bit key, it protects information from unauthorized access to startup disk. However, FileVault has had its share of problems that popped up out of nowhere. Recently, a handful of macOS users reported that they are unable to open FileVault on Mac. If your computer faced the same problem, this troubleshooting guide might save you.

Solutions to Fix “FileVault Won’t Open” Issue on Mac

To begin, I would like to inform you about solutions that can fix the problem first so that you can better prepare for the encounter.

So How Do We Solve This Problem?

We will rely on three reliable solutions to get rid of this problem. Safe mode, format repair and software update. In most cases, the first two tricks can fix the problem right away. In case they failed to produce the desired result, the software update has always been quite helpful in resolving it. Now that you’ve learned the tricks, let’s get started!

Use Safe Mode to Start Your Mac

The first solution we will try is to boot the Mac using Safe Mode. For those who don’t know, it basically performs certain checks to prevent some unwanted software from being installed automatically. It verifies the startup disk and even tries to repair directory problems if necessary. It also removes font caches, kernel cache and other system cache files to make startup smooth.

1. First of all, Turn on or restart your Mac.

2. After that, press and hold the key. Shift key now. When the login window appears, release Shift key.

3. Try to enable FileVault after login. Open System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> FileVault tab. Now click on the lock icon and enter your admin password. Next, click Turn On FileVault and follow the normal process to enable it.

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Enable FileVault on Mac


  • In case other users have accounts on Mac, you may see a message saying: “Each user must enter their password before they can unlock the disk.”
  • For each user, you need to click on it. Activate User Press the button and type the user’s password.
  • It is worth noting that user accounts added after FileVault activation are automatically activated.

Use Disk Utility to Repair Formatting

If you cannot open FileVault for a disk, try repairing some formatting information on the disk. Since this solution worked for many macOS users in solving the “FileVault won’t open” issue, I hope it will work for you as well. You can use the stock Disk Utility app to repair formatting with ease.

  1. start Disk Utility application on your Mac. You can use Spotlight search to quickly find and launch the app.

Disk Utility app for Mac

2. In the list on the left, select disk you want to repair.

Select a disc from the list on the left

3. Now, click on First aid.

Select the First Aid tab

4. Next, click on To run.

Click Run

Now Disk Utility will take a close look at the disk’s formatting information for errors. If the app finds any defect, it will fix it.

Update Your Mac

Since various issues have been on the agenda in macOS lately, it would be unwise to ignore the possibility of a software bug. And the best way to get rid of errors is to go for software update. click Apple menu -> System Preferences -> Software Update. Now, go the normal route to update macOS.

Update the software on your Mac

Troubleshoot Cannot Open FileVault on Mac

I hope you have successfully fixed the “Cannot enable FileVault” issue on Mac. Would you like to share the trick that worked for you? Also, if you know of other viable solutions, tell us about them as well. We recently covered some helpful troubleshooting guides, such as solutions to fix AirDrop not working issue, iMessage not syncing in iCloud, and “Trust This Computer” warning not working issue. Check them out if you need help.

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