Adding password protection to folders in MacOS
Like Windows, MacOS lacks the native ability to add password protection to folders, but what you lose in convenience you definitely gain in security. You might be able to rename, share, and tag a particular folder, but adding a rudimentary password will require you to create an encrypted disk image through the operating system’s native Disk Utility application — an application that comes pre-installed on nearly all Mac devices. Once created, you’ll be able to access the folder as a mounted virtual disk, allowing you to edit, add, and delete content after entering a designated password. Any changes you make while the disk is mounted will automatically become both encrypted and password-protected upon dragging the disk to the Trash.
Step 1: Launch Disk Utility
Navigate to the the MacOS Sierra Disk Utility within the Applications folder, or search for the application using Spotlight. The latter feature is accessible by clicking the icon depicting the magnifying glass in the right-hand side of the taskbar. Afterward, launch the program.
Step 2: Create a new disk image
Once opened, click File in the application toolbar, select New from the resulting drop-down menu, followed by Disk Image from Folder. Then, locate the folder you wish to password protect by perusing the resulting folder, highlighting said folder, and clicking the Image button in the bottom-right corner of the window. Alternatively, search for the folder using the search bar in the upper-right corner and click the Image button in the bottom-right corner of the window.
Step 3: Adjust settings
Once you’ve tagged and named the resulting files, select read/write from the drop-down menu directly right of the Image Format option, followed by 128-bit AES encryption from the drop-down menu directly right of the Encryption option. Afterward, choose your desired save location and click the Save button in the bottom-right corner when finished.
Step 4: Set password
When prompted, enter and re-enter your desired password in the text fields in the middle of the pop-up window. Afterward, uncheck the box directly left of Remember password in my keychain and click the OK button in the bottom-right of the window.
Step 5: Remove the original folder
Once the password-protected disk image has been created, delete the original folder so it can no longer be accessed. There’s no need to have two versions of the same data, especially since the original folder will remain unprotected. Test to make sure the encrypted disk image is password-protected before doing so, however. You may still be able to view the folder name, but extracting the files will require you to enter your designated password when prompted. Then, breathe a deep sigh of relief.