On macOS Catalina 10.15/Mojave 10.14/High Sierra 10.13, our boot drive will not only be formatted to be APFS, but also will be automatically encrypted. Although this advanced encryption technique can help protect our files, there are also times when we find it troublesome to input password again and again and want to unlock encrypted APFS boot drive.
This page will provided detailed tutorial to unlock an encrypted APFS boot drive, as well as how to avoid data loss if can't unlock an encrypted APFS boot drive.
Easy method to unlock an encrypted APFS boot drive
Only with the build-in Disk Utility, we can easily unlock an encrypted APFS boot drive. But there is a condition that we must know the password of the encrypted APFS drive. (If we haven't changed the password, the default password of the APFS boot drive is our power-on password.)
Step 1: Launch Disk Utility.
Step 2: Select the APFS boot drive we want to unlock on the left part of the window.
Step 3: Click "Mount" on the top of the window.
Step 4: Enter password after been reminded, and click "Unlock".
At most of the times, we can unlock an encrypted APFS boot drive with the above method. But there are also times that we can't unlock an encrypted APFS drive, no matter due to forgetting password or the above method failing to work. Under that condition, to avoid data loss, we should perform data recovery from can't be unlocked APFS boot drive.
If can't unlock APFS boot drive: recover lost files with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac
iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac is a free & professional Mac data recovery software that can recover lost data from can't be unlocked APFS boot drive,
recover lost/deleted data from APFS partition,
Aside from above, iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac can also recover lost files from FAT32 drives, exFAT drives, HFS+ drives, recover lost data from formatted, unmountable, unreadable, corrupted hard drive, external hard drive, USB flash drive, SD card, pen drive, etc.
Solution 1: If you have only one Mac computer
If you have only one Mac computer, please directly run iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac in macOS Recovery mode and recover lost data from the encrypted APFS volume. This method is highly recommended as it's easier and more time-saving.
Step 1: Click the Power button to turn on the Mac, and immediately press COMMAND+OPTION+R keys until you see the spinning globe. This will boot your Mac into macOS Recovery mode.
Step 2: Choose a network for your Mac. You need to make your Mac connected to the Internet all the time.
Step 3: Go to Utilities > Terminal from the menu bar to open Terminal.
Note: If your Mac hasn't connect to internet, you need to choose a WiFi network in the upper-right corner of the screen.
Step 4: Type in the following command and press Enter. This will launch iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac through iBoysoft Server.
sh <(curl http://boot.iboysoft.com/boot.sh)
Step 5: Once you launch iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac, you need to click "Find Lost APFS partitions" on the top right corner. After that, you will see all hard drives connected to your Mac.
Step 6: Select the system drive that contains the APFS encrypted boot volume and then click "Next". The program will start scaning all APFS volums on the selected drive.
Step 7: When the APFS encrypted boot volume is listed, choose it and click "Next".
Step 8: Enter the password and click the "OK" button. This program will start scanning for lost files on the volume.
Step 9: Preview the scanning results, and choose the files you want to get back.
Step 10: Click the "Recover" button. You need to specify a different location to store the recovered files.
Solution 2: If you have two Mac computers
Step 1: Download iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac on another Mac computer.
Step 2: Install and launch iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac.
Step 3: Click iBoysoft Data Recovery on menu bar and then select "Create Boot Drive".
Step 4: Insert a USB drive into your Mac computer and select it to create a boot drive.
Step 5: Click "Make bootable" and the creation process will start immediately.
Note: This process will erase all data on the USB drive. So please be sure to make a backup if there're important files.
Step 6: After that, please insert iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac bootable USB drive into unbootable Mac computer, and then press the Power button and Option key (⌥) to start the computer up.
Step 7: Select iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac from the boot options.
Note: If you're running macOS Mojave or earlier, iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac will launch immediately when your Mac boots up. But, if your Mac is running macOS Catalina, you need two additional steps to launch this program.
Step 8: Wait for your Mac to boot up, open "Terminal" application from "Utilities" drop-down menu.
Step 9: Run the following command:
Step 10: Click"Find Lost APFS Partition" on the top right corner. You will see all built-in and connected hard drives.
Step 11: Choose the system drive and click "Next". Then the software will find all APFS voulmes from the drive.
Step 12: Select the APFS encrypted boot volume and click "Next".
Step 13: Enter the password and then click "OK". This program will start search for all lost data on the APFS encrypted volume.
Step 14: Choose the files you want to get back, and then click the "Recover" button.