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“You may not install to this volume because it has a disk password.”

I’ve been trying to clean install Big Sur. What I normally do is erase and format my target volume as APFS encrypted and then install the OS. But with Big Sur, I get the above message when trying to select the encrypted target volume in the installation utility, even after it prompts me to unlock said volume. Is it no longer possible to encrypt the volume before installing? Am I only able to get disk encryption by enabling FileVault after installation now? Installing to an already encrypted disk worked—and still works— just fine with Catalina. Any help is appreciated.


MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

Posted on Nov 13, 2020 3:40 PM

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Nov 15, 2020 1:16 AM in response to litbright

Right, and that's how I ended up doing it as well. The problem I have with that is it allows me to turn encryption (FileVault) on and off like a switch at any time, provided I have the login password. I don't particularly like that. Encrypting the disk before installing macOS made it impossible to disable encryption without erasing the entire disk. That's what I'd like to be able to do with Big Sur.

11 replies
Question marked as Helpful

Nov 15, 2020 1:16 AM in response to litbright

Right, and that's how I ended up doing it as well. The problem I have with that is it allows me to turn encryption (FileVault) on and off like a switch at any time, provided I have the login password. I don't particularly like that. Encrypting the disk before installing macOS made it impossible to disable encryption without erasing the entire disk. That's what I'd like to be able to do with Big Sur.

Nov 22, 2020 3:06 AM in response to _7901vi

There was a problem with pre-encrypted volumes in earlier OS's, in that the User Account was not able to put the information into the Keychain and users needed to enter the encryption code every time they booted. So Filevault was the preferred method.


Note that the new Big Sur Time Machine needs you to present an SSD formatted APFS on first running. After you choose encryption, it then encrypts it to APFS Case Sensitive, for some reason. Maybe this gives better search ability.

Nov 22, 2020 10:30 AM in response to putnik

I've installed macOS to an encrypted volume since Mavericks, and I can confirm that entering a separate password to unlock the volume while booting is an extra step you have to take, though with later versions of macOS and newer hardware, it became possible to make that password the same as your login and have both unlock at the same time. I have never experienced any Keychain issues, however, assuming I understand what you mean. I also don't use Time Machine, so I can't speak to its functionality.



Nov 28, 2020 3:01 AM in response to _7901vi

Sorry, I was so angry about this and did at least two typos, so that my comment should be like “I cannot find any solution right now, but HOPE that they will fix it in ONE of the next minor versions.”


I agree, I had to setup my Mac that way for now, but will wait before finalizing it, maybe Apple will fix this issue. Although, I can easily imagine that it was one of those weird design decisions...

“You may not install to this volume because it has a disk password.”

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