Manage storage in Disk Utility
An essential tool for checking health and formatting and encrypting disks
An essential tool for checking drive health, and formatting and encrypting disks
When you buy a new hard drive, when you want to encrypt some files to carry around on portable storage, or when files are corrupt or apps exhibit unexpected behaviour such as crashing, the first tool you should turn to is Disk Utility.
This isn’t the sort of app you’ll use every day, which is why it’s stored in the Utilities folder (found within your Mac’s Applications folder) – though that’s only one of the places you can run it from. In the event of a serious problem that stops you getting into OS X in the first place, you can start up in the Recovery system to run Disk Utility’s First Aid feature, which diagnoses and tries to repair damaged drive structures.
Disk Utility isn’t just about fixing problems. If you buy an external hard drive that isn’t preloaded with an app that preps it for use with a Mac, you’ll need to use Apple’s tool to reformat the drive.
If that drive happens to be a portable hard drive or a flash drive, you’ll probably want to encrypt it so that if it’s lost or stolen, your files aren’t immediately readable. In fact, Disk Utility can protect your disk with 128-bit or 256-bit AES encryption, the latter of which is strong enough that it’s used by governments and public bodies. Alan Stonebridge
Disk Utility can encrypt a disk and protect access to it with a password in the process