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Encrypting USB devices on Macs

From Jan 2021 the use of USB memory storage devices by staff is prohibited across the University of Warwick in order to be compliant with ICO guidance.

If you have a clear need to continue using USB memory storage devices please contact us to discuss. There is a process to request an exemption to this policy and we can help you to navigate this.

These instructions are for Staff Apple Mac users who have an exemption from the central IDG (Information and Digital Group) to continue to use USB memory storage devices. These instructions explains how to encrypt such devices so that the information is safe, even if the USB memory stick or similar is lost or stolen.

As Mac devices are unmanaged by us you will need to start this process yourself. Please contact the WBS Helpdesk ( if you have any problems with these instructions.

  1. Plug in the USB storage device
  2. Open Finder and click View > Show All Devices

    Open finder. Click View and Show All Devices

  3. Select the Format and Scheme as below. You can name the memory stick anything that is meaningful to you
    Select Mac OS Extended Journaled and GUID Partition Map

  4. Open Finder. Ctrl + Click on the device in the sidebar. Select 'Encrypt' from the pop-up menu

    Locate the device in Finder. Control Click and select Encrypt