security, file vault and startup.

Club AppleVis Member
macOS & Mac Apps

Hi all, I have File Vault enabled on my MacBook Pro. When I startup my computer the voice comes on loudly with a security window. It won't work through the headphones and I have to type in my username and password very slowly. It's a bit of a problem in the office/library. I like to keep File Vault enabled, because I use my computer in public places all the time. Are there settings I can adjust for this startup security window? If so, how do I access the preferences and change them? Thanks. Kate



Submitted by Justin on Monday, April 15, 2019

I'd say disable filevault. When I spoke to a couple computer guys at a store that work on and sell apple Macs he said Filevault isn't worth it. Why can't you just put the computer to sleep when going from place to place, and just wake it back up when you get to the library? or are you using a desktop Mac? I have never used filevault in my almost decade of mac exclusivity. I'd say disable filevault, but that's just me. I don't think there are any settings that you can adjust for filevault.

what yo could do is before you shut down your mac, unplug the headphones and then adjust the volume. It should affect also the volume of VO during initial login.
The reason it doesn't come through headphones is that the disc is encrypted, so nothing can access it, not even the audio drivers.
However, you don't have to type in your username and password slowly, don't wait for the VoiceOver to say the letters. Usually for me, I am done typing my username and password by the time VoiceOver has finished saying enter username.
And I agree, if you don't need to, don't bother shutting down your mac, especially if you know you need to start it up in quiet places.

Submitted by Kate on Monday, April 15, 2019

Club AppleVis Member

Yes, I've been just sleeping my Mac rather than shutting down, just thought I'd check to see if there was another solution. I didn't used to use File Vault, but figured maybe I wasn't being safe enough. Why do they say it's not worth it? Thanks.

Submitted by Justin on Tuesday, April 16, 2019

My thought is you don't need to use it since the mac side is pretty safe in general if you're careful. Also, if you're using screen curtain on the screen and dim it all the way no one will see it lol. But anyway, if you want to use it go ahead and keep doing so. It's a personal preference.

Submitted by Garry Turkington on Tuesday, April 16, 2019

I usually go weeks between shutdowns/reboots on my Mac laptops. Consequently I only get the File Vault log in pretty rarely. So for me the thing to minimise is the frequency of a full restart rather than turn off File Vault.

It's important to realise what File Vault does - its not really related to the security of the Mac, its about keeping your files and data on the Mac private through encryption. This is why its particularly useful on a laptop; if you are using File Vault and a decent password and your Mac is lost/stolen you can be certain that the data on the Mac has not been compromised.

Admittedly it is more critical for company laptops where full disk encryption should be mandatory in any environment where security or compliance is a concern. But after years of having encrypted laptops I get twitchy with any without it so use File Vault on personal Macs as well. :)

File vault has nothing to do with screen curtain TBH.
It encrypts the system drive, so if your device gets stolen, they can't access the data.
Imo the weird login process isn't too big hassle considering the increased security.