Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I want to disable FileVault on my home directory but when I try it the preference pane will freeze for some minutes and than report that I need 65 GB additional free space in my home directory. Now the strange thing is that Finder reports 30 GB free space in my home directory but 120 GB free space on my boot disk. What can I do to disable FileVault?

My problem is that I do have enough free space on the hard drive. The error I get is that the encrypted home directory has not enough free space. I have no idea how I can resize the encrypted home directory.

share|improve this question
I have the same issue but with the addition that I don't seem to be able to reclaim space on my HD even though I delete large files and afterwards empty the trash. Any ideas? / Jon – user101286 Oct 13 '11 at 8:29
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You need the space so that it can decrypt your data, as far as I understand it. I use FileVault but I've never actually thought twice about it.

With that premise, I would go about moving larger files out of my home directory elsewhere, and I would guess that they would be decrypted along the way.

If I'm wrong, please feel free to correct me.

share|improve this answer
Moving files out of the home folder helped. – Fabian Jakobs Sep 21 '09 at 13:33

You can disable FileVault by giving your home directory more space. Try moving some of the bigger files to an external hard disk first.

EDIT : Adding more info on how to calculate how much diskspace you need to turn off FV.

FileVault puts the contents of your home directory into an encrypted disk image, then deletes the original files. Turning off FileVault reverses the process. This means you need space on your hard drive to temporarily duplicate your entire home directory.

To find out how much space you really need, open a new window in the Finder showing the contents of your home directory (Documents folder, Pictures, etc). Do a Select All. Then, hold down the Option key and select Show Inspector from the File menu.

The window will show you the total size used by those files. You need to have that amount of space (plus 1 or 2 GB just to be safe) free on your hard drive before you can disable FileVault.

Before you do this, you should also Log Out (not Restart) once. If FileVault is currently wasting a lot of space it'll ask you if you want to reclaim it. Do so.

share|improve this answer
Well it looks like I'm on the right track. – user3463 Sep 11 '09 at 13:50
-laughs- yep you are. – caliban Sep 11 '09 at 13:51

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.