I have an encrypted volume on OSX Lion.

How do I make it larger?

3 Answers 3


Let's do it the the Disk Utility way!

  1. I'm assuming you have opened Disk Utility and you can see your disk image in the list

  2. Make sure your .sparsebundle / .sparseimage is unmounted / ejected

  3. Select your disk image

  4. Select Images, then select Resize...

  5. Enter your password

  6. Resize that mofo

  7. Double-click the disk image in the list to mount it

  8. Choose your path

    1. If you select the actual volume in the list (the volume in the image, not the image) and the available space matches the new resized size, then you are done

    2. It doesn't match? Well... This means you have a disk image with a partition map. Read on.

      1. Unmount / eject that sucker

      2. Select the disk image (the .sparsebundle / .sparseimage)

      3. Select the Partition tab

      4. Drag the corner to enlarge partiton to the maximum size

      5. Select apply

  9. There is no step 9! Treat yourself to a large, toasty, disk image / chilled beverage

Ignore this method!

All it takes is a short Google search to discover the answer. Ray's Weblog has a solution:

A Sparse Bundle Image will increase in size automatically but will not shrink automatically. Before shrinking the sparse bundle, mount it and empty the trash to get rid of any deleted items from the image.

Unmount the image and follow the commands below.

To compact (image size stays the same):

hdiutil compact ~/Documents/filename.sparsebundle
hdiutil compact -help (for a list of options)

To increase the image size (eg., 20G to 30G)

hdiutil resize -size 30g ~/Documents/filename.sparsebundle
hdiutil resize -help (for a list of options)

Mount the image then do a Get Info on the Volume to see the new size.

  • what about the volume in the bundle? from what i see, you can't resize that.
    – hvgotcodes
    Jun 8, 2012 at 3:07
  • Are we talking about a .sparsebundle, or a .sparseimage?
    – evan.bovie
    Jun 8, 2012 at 3:24
  • Could you repair the broken images in this post? Upload them to the SE imgr host (just use the image button on the editor toolbar). Oct 18, 2013 at 15:12
  • 5
    "The selected image cannot be resized" at step 6
    – Michael
    Apr 12, 2018 at 14:39
  • 5
    Ignored method is worked for me. With Disk Utility I got "The selected image cannot be resized" (not encrypted image*)
    – BoShurik
    Oct 26, 2019 at 11:44

I have an encrypted .sparsebundle image and the Disk Utility approach failed with "The selected image cannot be resized" error. What worked instead was this Terminal command:

hdiutil resize -size 30g ~/Documents/filename.sparsebundle

(Replace 30g with the desired size.)

  • This is especially necessary on larger volumes, as disk utility seems to not like resizing them
    – Alex
    Sep 29, 2020 at 13:19
  • Quick and straightforward, thanks!
    – Jacob
    Feb 1, 2021 at 13:49
  • Easiest method on High Sierra. DiskUtility repeatedly refused to do it. Thanks.
    – cucu8
    Jun 3, 2021 at 11:25

Easiest way, especially on newer versions, is to put a large file in the folder you wish to create a disk image from, go through the process in disk utility, then delete the large file. Then you have a folder, protected as a disk image with a larger capacity - it's the 12M or whatever they give you plus the memory of the large file.

Or if you've run out of space just back up what's in the file and then make a new one with the old stuff in it, and you'll have 12M extra.

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