Today I was updating my MacBook Pro and decided to turn on FileVault, but when. I saw the estimated time to complete, I decided to disable it by going to, Disk Utility > File > Turn Off FileVault. Will that have any damaging effects to my computer?

1 Answer 1


No. it'll simply unwind the encryption process. But don't let the time it would take to encrypt dissuade you from using FileVault; the computer is fully usable while encryption takes place in the background. The main potential problem with FileVault is that if you forget your password (and recovery key/iCloud account/ whatever recovery option you choose), all of your data becomes unrecoverably lost. You need a backup.

Actually, you need a backup whether or not you use FileVault. There are many things that can deny you access to your data, and the best defense is to have another copy somewhere safe.

  • Another reason why I turned it off was because I heard that it slows down the computer dramatically. Is this true? What are the pros and cons for FileVault?
    – user628566
    Aug 12, 2016 at 2:26
  • @user628566: It depends on exactly what CPU your computer has, specifically whether it has AES-NI (hardware-accelerated encryption support). Open Terminal, and run the command sysctl -a machdep.cpu | grep AES -- if that prints something, you have AES-NI. Aug 12, 2016 at 2:52
  • If you do AES-NI, it'll slow down disk access some, but that's unlikely to slow general usage much (see this AnandTech review). Note that they tested with an SSD; if you have a hard disk, it's slower to begin with, so encryption won't matter as much. If you don't have AES-NI, expect a much bigger performance hit. Aug 12, 2016 at 2:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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