1 Reply Latest reply: Sep 25, 2009 8:48 AM by Pondini
DrCharlie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
A business rep at the local Apple Store told me that Time Machine in Snow Leopard has the ability to encrypt backups; but I cannot find any documentation on this feature. Can anyone (particularly an Apple resource) verify this? Where might I find documentation and instructions on the process?

Thanks!

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.7)
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    DrCharlie wrote:
    A business rep at the local Apple Store told me that Time Machine in Snow Leopard has the ability to encrypt backups; but I cannot find any documentation on this feature. Can anyone (particularly an Apple resource) verify this? Where might I find documentation and instructions on the process?


    No, Time Machine cannot make encrypted backups of un-encrypted data.

    He's probably talking about the +File Vault+ option in System Preferences > Security. That encrypts your entire home folder, and doesn't play very well with Time Machine. It makes a single encrypted disk image containing your entire home folder, which is treated as a single file, and is backed-up in it's entirety only when you log out. Since it's one encrypted object, you can't view or restore individual items.

    If you really do need everything encrypted, TM is not the app for you. Look for other backup apps via VersionTracker.com, MacUpdate.com, or perhaps Google.

    Besides, encrypting your entire home folder is vast overkill for most folks. Most of us have only a few sensitive documents. If that's true for you, what may work is to use Disk Utility (in your Applications/Utilities folder) to make an encrypted sparse bundle, probably in your home folder, and put your sensitive documents there. Then TM can back-up your entire home folder "in the clear," including hourly incremetnal backups of additions and changes, including the sparse bundle (it will remain encrypted, of course), in the normal fashion. And you can view and restore individual items (except those in the sparse bundle).

    And by the way, you're not talking to Apple here. This is a user-to-user forum. To talk to Apple, try AppleCare (800-275-2273).