Protect Files – Help for Mac
Download the latest version of this app from the Mac Downloads page
Attention Mountain Lion Users:
We released a free update that solves the problems experienced by some Mountain Lion users. The update is downloadable from our Download page (click on the Download Demo link and if you own a license, the app will be registered automatically at first launch). Users of Mac App Store are not affected by this issue.
1. Launching an encrypted space I get the error: ‘Unable to unlock the encrypted space’.
Please download the new release that should fix the problem.
2. Accessing your data without launching an encrypted space
Technically speaking an encrypted space file is an application containing an encrypted disk image file where is stored your data encrypted with a password. If you want to access this data without to launch the encrypted space application do the following:
- Locate the encrypted space file application in the Finder
- Control-click its icon and choose the menu item “Show Pakage Content” from the contextual menu.
- Localize the encrypted disk image file containing your data which is located here:
In spaces created under Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard or later:
In spaces created under Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger:
- To access your files and folders, double-click the file and enter your password. Please note that forgotten passwords cannot be retrived.
Note: this disk image file is secure and can be copied or moved elsewhere in your hard disk if you want. If you experience often problems launcing Self Mounting Encrypted Spaces, you should consider to create Encrypted Disk Images instead of Self Mounting Encrypted Space. To do this, please follow the steps description in the ‘Create Encrypted Disk Images instead of Self Mounting Encrypted Space’ section below.
3. Create Encrypted Disk Images instead of Self Mounting Encrypted Space
If you experience often problems launcing Self Mounting Encrypted Spaces, you should consider to create Encrypted Disk Images instead of Self Mounting Encrypted Space. To do this, please go in the application’s General Preferences and change the Space Type from ’Self-mounting encrypted space‘ to ’Encrypted disk image‘ so the new encrypted spaces created will be open by the Finder (instead of by a self-mounting app).
Note: The spaces already created don’t will be affected by this choice. To extract a Encrypted Disk Image from a Self Mounting Encrypted Spaces please follow the steps desribed in the section ‘Accessing the data without launcing an encrypted space’ above.
4. I get an error message when trying to open the app or a personal space
Please do the following:
- Repair Disk Permissions with the Disk Utility application, located in the Applications/Utilities folder. This may take a while, so please be patient. This procedure is generally recommended after a main application installation or when things get hard.
- Quit the program if it is running, and delete the file located at:
Mac OS X 10.7 Lion hides the Library directory by default. Hold the Option key and use the “Go” menu in the Finder to Show Library.
- Launch the app in order to recreate from scratch the resources it needs.
5. If you have already followed the steps recommended above but you continue to have problems opening encrypted spaces
In this case we recommend to follow the steps described in the ‘Create Encrypted Disk Images instead of Self Mounting Encrypted Space’ section above.
Most Frequently Asked Questions
What is the advantage of using an Encrypted Space vs. a standard Disk Image?
The Encrypted Space is packed up in a convenient and easy interface to unlock and lock the space. Additionally the Encrypted Space, automatically optimizes the enclosed disk image to reclaim unused space every time the space is used. What’s more the encrypted space application guides the user when using the encrypted space with clear step by step information.
Where are stored my data?
By default the application creates an encrypted space file which is a little application containing an encrypted disk image, the application automatically optimizes the enclosed disk image to reclaim unused space (on portable computers only when the power adapter is connected).
What kind of encryption is used to encrypt data?
By default the application uses 128-bit AES encryption but optionally user can specify in the preferences the use of even stronger 256-bit AES encryption.
What can I do whether I lost my password?
If you forget the password you will not able to access the files stored on the encrypted space. Forgotten passwords cannot be retrived. The only way you have to access again the data is the one to remember the password you used when creating the encrypted space. You can find interesting advice about creating strong passwords you can remember here: Creating Secure Passwords [About.com].
How much secure is an encrypted space created by Protect Files?
Protect Files leverage on Mac OS X technology to create disk images with AES encryption which is one of the most secure encryption methods widely adopted from many governments. See Security section of Advanced Encryption Standard page at Wikipedia to learn more.
Note on space sizes
The maximum size of a space created is 99 GB. This limit is used to prevent too long opening and closing of the spaces.
One minute guide to protect your files
1. The Application
This is the application icon, double click it to create your first encrypted space. Creating an encrypted space it’s very easy, just follow the online step by step guide which asks you the name you want to give to encrypted space, the size and the password you want to use to protect your data. You use this application only to create new encrypted space file.
2. The File
This is the encrypted space file, it contains all your encrypted data, you can keep it on the Mac’s hard disk, an external disk, or a USB drive. When you want to access your files, just double-click this icon, enter your password and the space will show up as a volume on your desktop.
3. The Volume
This is the encrypted space volume, it contains all your files, documents and folders and you use it as a regular external disk: just copy the files you want to protect inside this volume. After working with it, eject the volume by clicking the Eject button in the sidebar of a Finder window or dragging its icon to the Trash.
Need More Help?
My problem is not listed here
Please open a ticket to describe a different problem. We will be glad to help.