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iMac doesn't recognize external BitLocker drive

My work PCs (one each at two different companies) have each had mandatory Bitlocker installed, so when I backup data from their HDDs onto my 2 Tb LaCie HDD, all the data is encrypted. Both PCs can read the LaCie HDD, so Bitlocker is not linked to just one PC. But now I cannot transfer that data to my iMac, as it does not recognize the LaCie HDD. I first formatted unknowingly formatted the new HDD to NTFS and then allowed the encryption to run 6 hours or more on the empty drive; then I reformatted to exFAT and re-did the encryption. The iMac still does not recognize it. As this data is my own personal treasure trove of technical information collected over decades, I really need it to be under my full control. Any ideas?

Best Answered by

iBoysoft author Amanda Wong

Amanda Wong

Answered on Friday, April 12, 2024

It is a common issue that Mac can't recognize the external hard drive encrypted with BitLocker given that BitLocker is not supported by macOS.

No matter whether the external drive is formatted with NTFS or exFAT on Windows, as long as the drive is encrypted with BitLocker Drive Encryption, you can not read and write the BitLocker-encrypted drive on Mac by default. 

If you want to use the external hard drive on a Mac, you can turn off BitLocker first. Or, you can try BitLocker for Mac, the third-party software that can help you unlock and read-write BitLocker encrypted hard drives on Mac easily and securely. Among them, iBoysoft BitLocker for Mac is a good choice for you.

If you choose to disable the BitLocker on the HDD and access it on Mac, you'd better formatted it with a file system that is compatible with both Windows and macOS such as exFAT and FAT32, if the file system is NTFS, you can only read but can't write to it on Mac.

Even if the HDD is an NTFS drive and encrypted with BitLocker, you can use iBoysoft BitLocker for Mac to easily access the drive on your Mac. You don't need to erase the drive on Windows. It's the best solution you can try.

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